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The Repatriation Database Data from Nov. 29, 2023

Princeton University

Located in New Jersey

Princeton Univ. has made available for return 100% of the 19 Native American remains that it reported to the federal government.

remains of 19 Native Americans made available for return to tribes
remains of 0 Native Americans not made available for return

Where Native American remains reported by Princeton 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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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 Princeton 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 Princeton Univ. compares to other institutions

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

Princeton Univ. made Native American remains available for return to 62 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
Delaware Nation, Oklahoma17
Delaware Tribe of Indians17
Absentee-Shawnee Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma13
Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Oklahoma13
Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma13
Hannahville Indian Community, Michigan13
Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians of Michigan13
Miami Tribe of Oklahoma13
Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, Michigan (formerly the Huron Potawatomi, Inc.)13
Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, Michigan and Indiana13
Prairie Band of Potawatomi Nation13
Shawnee Tribe13
Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians of the Bad River Reservation, Wisconsin12
Bay Mills Indian Community, Michigan12
Bois Forte Band (Nett Lake) of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota12
Chippewa Cree Indians of the Rocky Boy's Reservation, Montana12
Fond du Lac Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota12
Grand Portage Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota12
Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Michigan12
Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Michigan12
Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas12
Kickapoo Tribe of Indians of the Kickapoo Reservation in Kansas12
Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma12
Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin12
Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Michigan12
Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of the Lac du Flambeau Reservation of Wisconsin12
Leech Lake Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota12
Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, Michigan12
Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, Michigan12
Mille Lacs Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota12
Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota12
Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma12
Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma12
Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin12
Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, Minnesota12
Sac and Fox Nation of Missouri in Kansas and Nebraska12
Sac and Fox Nation, Oklahoma12
Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa12
Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan12
Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Michigan12
Seneca Nation of Indians12
Seneca-Cayuga Nation12
Sokaogon Chippewa Community, Wisconsin12
St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin12
Tonawanda Band of Seneca12
Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians of North Dakota12
White Earth Band of Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota12
Wyandotte Nation12
Stockbridge Munsee Community, Wisconsin5
Ak-Chin Indian Community1
Forest County Potawatomi Community, Wisconsin1
Gila River Indian Community of the Gila River Indian Reservation, Arizona1
Kaw Nation, Oklahoma1
Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana1
Omaha Tribe of Nebraska1
Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community of the Salt River Reservation, Arizona1
San Carlos Apache Tribe of the San Carlos Reservation, Arizona1
Tohono O'odham Nation of Arizona1
Tonto Apache Tribe of Arizona1
White Mountain Apache Tribe of the Fort Apache Reservation, Arizona1
Yakutat Tlingit Tribe1
Yavapai-Apache Nation of the Camp Verde Indian Reservation, Arizona1

Princeton Univ. reported making 100% of 33 associated funerary objects available for return to tribes.

The funerary objects were taken along with Native American remains reported by the institution.
33 associated funerary objects made available for return to tribes
0 associated funerary objects not made available for return
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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