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The Repatriation Database Data from Nov. 29, 2023

University of California, Berkeley

Located in California · Read the institution’s response

The Univ. of California, Berkeley has the 4th largest collection of unrepatriated Native American remains in the U.S. The institution reported still having the remains of at least 4,900 Native Americans that it has not made available for return to tribes.

The institution has made available for return 59% of the more than 12,000 Native American remains that it reported to the federal government.

remains of 7,086 Native Americans made available for return to tribes
remains of at least 4,959 Native Americans not made available for return

Where Native American remains reported by the Univ. of California, Berkeley 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: The Univ. of California, Berkeley reported remains of at least two Native Americans with no location information. 50% 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 the Univ. of California, Berkeley

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 the Univ. of California, Berkeley compares to other institutions

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

The Univ. of California, Berkeley made Native American remains available for return to 142 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
Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians of the Tuolumne Rancheria of California4,681
Buena Vista Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians of California4,612
Chicken Ranch Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians of California4,612
Ione Band of Miwok Indians of California4,612
Jackson Band of Miwuk Indians4,612
Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians, Shingle Springs Rancheria (Verona Tract), California4,612
Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians of California4,561
Santa Rosa Indian Community of the Santa Rosa Rancheria, California4,561
Table Mountain Rancheria4,561
Tule River Indian Tribe of the Tule River Reservation, California4,561
California Valley Miwok Tribe, California4,535
Wilton Rancheria, California4,535
Middletown Rancheria of Pomo Indians of California4,492
Guidiville Rancheria of California4,448
Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Mission Indians of the Santa Ynez Reservation, California1,435
Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, California535
Round Valley Indian Tribes of the Round Valley Reservation, California228
Cher-Ae Heights Indian Community of the Trinidad Rancheria, California182
United Auburn Indian Community of the Auburn Rancheria of California182
Grindstone Indian Rancheria of Wintun-Wailaki Indians of California166
Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians of California160
Cachil DeHe Band of Wintun Indians of the Colusa Indian Community of the Colusa Rancheria, California111
Kletsel Dehe Wintun of the Cortina Rancheria111
Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, California111
Redding Rancheria, California95
Wiyot Tribe, California74
Washoe Tribe of Nevada & California58
Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria, California53
Blue Lake Rancheria, California53
Mooretown Rancheria of Maidu Indians of California53
Berry Creek Rancheria of Maidu Indians of California51
El Dorado Miwok Rancheria51
Enterprise Rancheria of Maidu Indians of California51
Greenville Rancheria51
Pechanga Band of Indians26
Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon25
Quartz Valley Indian Community of the Quartz Valley Reservation of California24
Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon22
Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians of Oregon21
Susanville Indian Rancheria, California19
Alturas Indian Rancheria, California18
Big Lagoon Rancheria, California18
Pit River Tribe, California18
Resighini Rancheria, California18
Yurok Tribe of the Yurok Reservation, California18
Klamath Tribes17
Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians of the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation, California10
Cahuilla Band of Indians10
Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indians, California10
Morongo Band of Mission Indians, California10
Ramona Band of Cahuilla, California10
Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians, California10
Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation9
Quechan Tribe of the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation, California and Arizona9
Cloverdale Rancheria of Pomo Indians of California8
Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians, California8
Kashia Band of Pomo Indians of the Stewarts Point Rancheria, California8
Lytton Rancheria of California8
Pinoleville Pomo Nation, California8
Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, Nevada8
Robinson Rancheria8
Tejon Indian Tribe8
Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians of the Big Valley Rancheria, California7
Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians of California7
Elem Indian Colony of Pomo Indians of the Sulphur Bank Rancheria, California7
Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake, California7
Hopland Band of Pomo Indians, California7
Koi Nation of Northern California7
Manchester Band of Pomo Indians of the Manchester Rancheria, California7
Potter Valley Tribe, California7
Redwood Valley or Little River Band of the Redwood Valley Rancheria California7
Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians of California7
Sherwood Valley Rancheria of Pomo Indians of California7
Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation, North Dakota6
Delaware Nation, Oklahoma4
Delaware Tribe of Indians4
Stockbridge Munsee Community, Wisconsin4
Office of Hawaiian Affairs3
Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah3
Pala Band of Mission Indians3
Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Reservation3
Cabazon Band of Cahuilla Indians2
Hui Malama I Na Kupuna O Hawai'i Nei2
Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians of the Kaibab Indian Reservation, Arizona2
Las Vegas Tribe of Paiute Indians of the Las Vegas Indian Colony, Nevada2
Mechoopda Indian Tribe of Chico Rancheria, California2
Moapa Band of Paiute Indians of the Moapa River Indian Reservation, Nevada2
Native Hawaiian Organizations2
Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe2
San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe of Arizona2
Santa Rosa Band of Cahuilla Indians, California2
Shinnecock Indian Nation2
Skokomish Indian Tribe2
Arctic Slope Regional Corporation1
Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indians, California1
Bishop Paiute Tribe1
Bridgeport Indian Colony1
Burns Paiute Tribe1
Cahto Tribe of the Laytonville Rancheria1
Campo Band of Diegueno Mission Indians of the Campo Indian Reservation, California1
Capitan Grande Band of Diegueno Mission Indians of California1
Cedarville Rancheria, California1
Chugach Alaska Corporation1
Duckwater Shoshone Tribe of the Duckwater Reservation, Nevada1
Ewiiaapaayp Band of Kumeyaay Indians, California1
Eyak, Native Village of (aka Cordova)1
Fort Bidwell Indian Community of the Fort Bidwell Reservation of California1
Fort Independence Indian Community of Paiute Indians of the Fort Independence Reservation, California1
Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribes of the Fort McDermitt Indian Reservation, Nevada and Oregon1
Gila River Indian Community of the Gila River Indian Reservation, Arizona1
Hopi Tribe of Arizona1
Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel, California1
Inaja Band of Diegueno Mission Indians of the Inaja and Cosmit Reservation, California1
Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe1
Jamul Indian Village of California1
Karuk Tribe1
La Posta Band of Diegueno Mission Indians of the La Posta Indian Reservation, California1
Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone Tribe1
Lovelock Paiute Tribe of the Lovelock Indian Colony, Nevada1
Lower Elwha Tribal Community1
Manzanita Band of Diegueno Mission Indians of the Manzanita Reservation, California1
Mesa Grande Band of Diegueno Mission Indians of the Mesa Grande Reservation, California1
Muckleshoot Indian Tribe1
Nisqually Indian Tribe1
Paiute-Shoshone Tribe of the Fallon Reservation and Colony, Nevada1
Puyallup Tribe of the Puyallup Reservation1
Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe of the Pyramid Lake Reservation, Nevada1
Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community of the Salt River Reservation, Arizona1
San Pasqual Band of Diegueno Mission Indians of California1
Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe1
Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of the Duck Valley Reservation, Nevada1
Squaxin Island Tribe of the Squaxin Island Reservation1
Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians of Washington1
Summit Lake Paiute Tribe of Nevada1
Suquamish Indian Tribe of the Port Madison Reservation, Washington1
Swinomish Indian Tribal Community1
Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation1
Tulalip Tribes of Washington1
Upper Skagit Indian Tribe1
Walker River Paiute Tribe of the Walker River Reservation, Nevada1
Winnemucca Indian Colony of Nevada1
Yerington Paiute Tribe of the Yerington Colony and Campbell Ranch, Nevada1

The Univ. of California, Berkeley reported making 70% of more than 169,200 associated funerary objects available for return to tribes.

The funerary objects were taken along with Native American remains reported by the institution.
118,821 associated funerary objects made available for return to tribes
at least 50,461 associated funerary objects not made available for return

The Univ. of California, Berkeley’s response:

In the past, for more than a century, ancestors and cultural property were taken by our institution and others across the country in violation of Indigenous Communities’ spiritual and cultural beliefs, without prior and informed consent. As such Berkeley holds one of the largest collections to repatriate. In the past, our campus had conservative and inequitable interpretations of NAGPRA and limited our interactions to only those tribes that were federally recognized. The campus also privileged specific types of scientific and scholarly evidence over tribal interests and historical evidence provided by tribes, requiring an unattainable degree of so-called “scientific proof” that too often prevented the remains of ancestors and belongings to be affiliated with a tribe for the purpose of repatriation. In the past tribal knowledge or tradition was discounted or given less weight, and tribal representatives were not invited to participate in claim review discussions. The new UC systemwide policy, in concert with our new campus practices and procedures, now specifically addresses these issues by elevating and prioritizing tribal knowledge and culturally affiliating to federally unrecognized Tribes. It is our intention that control of all of our campus NAGPRA-eligible holdings will be transferred to tribes, including ancestral remains, and with our Implementation Plan set to be completed this year, this can be accomplished in the next 10 years. However, repatriation must also follow and eventually occur at a pace and schedule that is determined to be acceptable to tribes.

— University spokesperson
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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