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The Repatriation Database Data from Nov. 29, 2023

Indiana University

2 subunits · Located in Indiana

Indiana Univ. has the 5th largest collection of unrepatriated Native American remains in the U.S. The institution reported still having the remains of at least 4,800 Native Americans that it has not made available for return to tribes.

The institution has made available for return 17% of the more than 5,800 Native American remains that it reported to the federal government.

remains of 1,023 Native Americans made available for return to tribes
remains of at least 4,838 Native Americans not made available for return

Where Native American remains reported by Indiana Univ. were taken from

Each county is a peak
Height is the minimum amount of remains taken from county, as reported by institution
Color is reported rate of remains made available for return to tribes
Institution reported no remains taken from these counties
Location of institution
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Note: Indiana Univ. reported remains of at least 61 Native Americans with no location information. 13% of these remains were made available for return to tribes.
Under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, when an institution establishes a connection between tribes and remains, it must publish a list of the tribes eligible to make a repatriation claim. The remains are then made available for return to the tribe(s). Once a tribal claim is made, physical transfer may occur. Many remains have been physically returned to tribes, but data on this is spotty because the law does not require institutions to report when these transfers occur.

Timeline of Native American remains made available for return to tribes by Indiana Univ.

Tribal and institutional capacity, funding, staffing, regulatory changes, audits, Review Committee decisions and litigation may influence timelines. Under NAGPRA, institutions determine whether Native American remains may be returned through cultural affiliation using evidence such as tribal traditional knowledge and biological and archaeological links, or through disposition based on geographic affiliation.

How Indiana Univ. compares to other institutions

The amount of Native American remains still held by institutions ranges widely.

Indiana Univ. made Native American remains available for return to 68 tribes.

Institutions often make remains available for return to multiple tribes, so the amount of remains listed below may be counted for more than one tribe.
TribeRemains Made Available for Return To
Quapaw Nation758
Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma755
Absentee-Shawnee Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma725
Delaware Nation, Oklahoma725
Delaware Tribe of Indians725
Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma725
Miami Tribe of Oklahoma725
Shawnee Tribe725
Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation, North Dakota155
Caddo Nation of Oklahoma44
Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma21
Jena Band of Choctaw Indians21
Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians21
Hopi Tribe of Arizona15
Zuni Tribe of the Zuni Reservation, New Mexico15
Ohkay Owingeh, New Mexico (formerly the Pueblo of San Juan)14
Pueblo of Acoma, New Mexico14
Pueblo of Cochiti, New Mexico14
Pueblo of Isleta, New Mexico14
Pueblo of Jemez, New Mexico14
Pueblo of Laguna, New Mexico14
Pueblo of Nambe, New Mexico14
Pueblo of Picuris, New Mexico14
Pueblo of Pojoaque, New Mexico14
Pueblo of San Felipe, New Mexico14
Pueblo of San Ildefonso, New Mexico14
Pueblo of Sandia, New Mexico14
Pueblo of Santa Ana, New Mexico14
Pueblo of Santa Clara, New Mexico14
Pueblo of Taos, New Mexico14
Pueblo of Tesuque, New Mexico14
Pueblo of Zia, New Mexico14
Santo Domingo Pueblo14
Ysleta del Sur Pueblo14
Barrow Inupiat Traditional Government, Native Village of8
Inupiat Community of the Arctic Slope8
Southern Ute Indian Tribe of the Southern Ute Reservation, Colorado8
Ute Mountain Ute Tribe8
Lummi Tribe of the Lummi Reservation5
Muckleshoot Indian Tribe5
Nooksack Indian Tribe5
Samish Indian Nation5
Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe5
Snoqualmie Indian Tribe5
Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians of Washington5
Suquamish Indian Tribe of the Port Madison Reservation, Washington5
Swinomish Indian Tribal Community5
Tulalip Tribes of Washington5
Upper Skagit Indian Tribe5
Chickasaw Nation4
Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas2
Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town, Oklahoma2
Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana2
Kialegee Tribal Town2
Miccosukee Tribe of Indians2
Muscogee (Creek) Nation2
Poarch Band of Creek Indians2
Seminole Tribe of Florida2
The Seminole Nation of Oklahoma2
Thlopthlocco Tribal Town2
Ak-Chin Indian Community1
Cherokee Nation1
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians1
Gila River Indian Community of the Gila River Indian Reservation, Arizona1
Osage Nation1
Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community of the Salt River Reservation, Arizona1
Tohono O'odham Nation of Arizona1
United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma1

Indiana Univ. reported Native American remains from two sub-institutions.

Sub-institutionRemains Not Made Available for ReturnRemains Made Available for Return% of Remains Made Available for Return
Indiana University, Dept. of Anthropology4,0452646%
Indiana University, Glenn A. Black Lab. of Archeology79375949%

Indiana Univ. reported making 10% of more than 8,400 associated funerary objects available for return to tribes.

The funerary objects were taken along with Native American remains reported by the institution.
848 associated funerary objects made available for return to tribes
at least 7,613 associated funerary objects not made available for return

Indiana Univ. did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

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About the Data

This tool presents a dataset maintained by the National Park Service containing all the Native American human remains and associated funerary objects that institutions have reported to the federal government under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. The dataset includes information about the state and county where remains and objects were taken from, which institutions hold them and whether they have been made available for return to tribes.

The data is self-reported by institutions. The amount of unrepatriated Native American remains reported by institutions is a minimum estimate of individuals and institutions frequently adjust these numbers when they reinventory groups of remains. Some institutions that are subject to NAGPRA have also entirely failed to report the remains in their possession. As a result, the numbers provided are best taken as estimates. The actual number and geographic scope of what’s held by publicly funded institutions is larger than what is presently documented.

ProPublica supplemented this dataset with information about cultural affiliation and disposition to specific tribes by systematically parsing the text of Notices of Inventory Completion published in the Federal Register. An additional dataset from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Tribal Directory Assessment Tool, was used for the section on remains not made available for return from counties that each tribe has indicated interest in to the federal government.

Institution location and tribal headquarters location information was provided by National NAGPRA. The location of some groups that are not federally recognized was provided through research by ProPublica.

Institutions that are part of a larger entity are grouped. (For example, the Mesa Verde National Park is part of the U.S. Department of the Interior.)

Institutions that have not submitted information to the federal government are not listed. The Smithsonian Institution is not listed because its repatriation process falls under the National Museum of the American Indian Act and it is not required to publicly report its holdings with the same detail as institutions subject to NAGPRA.

If you work for an institution and would like to provide comment on your institution’s repatriation efforts, please email [email protected]. If you think the data is incorrect or have a data request, please get in touch. We are aware of some issues with the accuracy of location information and tribes mistakenly being identified for disposition of Native American remains in published notices.

If you want to share something else with ProPublica, we’d like to hear from you.

If you have questions about implementing or complying with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, get in touch with National NAGPRA or the NAGPRA Community of Practice.

We use the word “tribes” to refer to all groups that institutions made Native American remains available to under NAGPRA. This includes tribes, nations, bands, pueblos, communities, Native Alaskan villages, Native Hawaiian organizations and non-federally recognized groups.

Data sources from Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National NAGPRA Program, the Federal Register, Department of Housing and Development, Tribal Directory Assessment Tool