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The Repatriation Database Data from Nov. 29, 2023

University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History

Located in Oregon

The Univ. of Oregon reported still having the remains of at least 73 Native Americans.

The institution has made available for return 87% of the more than 500 Native American remains that it reported to the federal government.

remains of 479 Native Americans made available for return to tribes
remains of at least 73 Native Americans not made available for return

Where Native American remains reported by the Univ. of Oregon 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 Oregon reported remains of at least 32 Native Americans with no location information. 0% 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 Oregon

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 Oregon compares to other institutions

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

The Univ. of Oregon made Native American remains available for return to 51 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
Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians of Oregon247
Klamath Tribes191
Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon187
Modoc Nation144
Coquille Indian Tribe44
Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon40
Elk Valley Rancheria, California37
Tolowa Dee-ni' Nation37
Burns Paiute Tribe27
Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians of Oregon27
Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Reservation18
Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation16
Fort Sill Apache Tribe of Oklahoma9
Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation6
Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation5
Native Hawaiian Organizations5
Nez Perce Tribe5
Quartz Valley Indian Community of the Quartz Valley Reservation of California5
Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation4
Kalispel Indian Community of the Kalispel Reservation4
Spokane Tribe of the Spokane Reservation4
Alturas Indian Rancheria, California3
Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs3
Department of Hawaiian Homelands3
Fort Bidwell Indian Community of the Fort Bidwell Reservation of California3
Friends of Iolani Palace3
Hawaiian Genealogy Society3
Kaiwi Olelo O'Hawaii3
Kamehameha School3
Kekumano 'Ohana3
Native Hawaiian Advisory Council3
O'ahu Island Burial Council3
Office of Hawaiian Affairs3
Pa Ku'i-a-lua3
Pit River Tribe, California3
Pu'uhonua O Waimanalo3
Round Valley Indian Tribes of the Round Valley Reservation, California3
Susanville Indian Rancheria, California3
Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community of the Salt River Reservation, Arizona2
Buena Vista Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians of California1
Chicken Ranch Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians of California1
Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribes of the Fort McDermitt Indian Reservation, Nevada and Oregon1
Jackson Band of Miwuk Indians1
Kletsel Dehe Wintun of the Cortina Rancheria1
Knik Tribe1
Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians of California1
Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe of the Pyramid Lake Reservation, Nevada1
Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians, Shingle Springs Rancheria (Verona Tract), California1
Table Mountain Rancheria1
Tule River Indian Tribe of the Tule River Reservation, California1
Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians of the Tuolumne Rancheria of California1

The Univ. of Oregon reported making 95% of more than 3,600 associated funerary objects available for return to tribes.

The funerary objects were taken along with Native American remains reported by the institution.
3,441 associated funerary objects made available for return to tribes
at least 188 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