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The Repatriation Database Data from Nov. 29, 2023


Institutions reported making 2% of the more than 15,500 Native American remains taken from Illinois available for return to tribes under NAGPRA.

remains of 381 Native Americans made available for return to tribes
remains of at least 15,136 Native Americans not made available for return

There are 15 institutions located in Illinois that reported Native American remains taken from across the country.

InstitutionRemains Not Made Available for ReturnRemains Made Available for Return% of Remains Made Available for Return
Illinois State Museum7,1101963%
Center for American Archeology, Kampsville Archeological Center1,94700%
Field Museum1,29856530%
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Center for Archaeological Investigations84600%
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign761587%
U.S. Department of Defense8100%
Western Illinois University2600%
U.S. Department of Agriculture2500%
Cook County Forest Preserve District2300%
U.S. Department of the Interior1300%
Elgin Public Museum500%
Aurora Historical Society300%
Madison County Historical Society3125%
Bess Bower Dunn Museum048100%
Evanston History Center02100%

There are 61 institutions that reported Native American remains taken from Illinois.

InstitutionRemains Not Made Available for ReturnRemains Made Available for Return% of Remains Made Available for Return
Illinois State Museum6,7621462%
Indiana University3,395291%
Center for American Archeology, Kampsville Archeological Center1,93700%
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Center for Archaeological Investigations78500%
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign735344%
U.S. Department of Defense47800%
Harvard University26921%
Field Museum26410%
Gilcrease Museum11600%
University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology8500%
Mutter Museum, College of Physicians of Philadelphia3813%
Western Illinois University2600%
American Museum of Natural History2527%
U.S. Department of Agriculture2500%
University of Missouri, Columbia, Museum of Anthropology2400%
Cook County Forest Preserve District2300%
Florida State University, Department of Anthropology2100%
Stanford University Heritage Services2000%
Grand Rapids Public Museum1300%
U.S. Department of the Interior1317%
University of Iowa, Office of the State Archaeologist135681%
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology1000%
Hastings Museum600%
Robert S. Peabody Institute of Archaeology, Phillips Academy600%
University of Nebraska State Museum5758%
University of Wyoming500%
Aurora Historical Society300%
Elgin Public Museum300%
New York State Museum300%
University of Kansas300%
Brigham Young University, Museum of Peoples and Cultures200%
Madison County Historical Society200%
Rochester Museum and Science Center200%
State Museum of Pennsylvania200%
University of New Mexico, Maxwell Museum of Anthropology200%
University of Northern Iowa200%
Cleveland Museum of Natural History100%
Dayton Museum of Natural History100%
Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites Corporation, State of Indiana100%
Louisiana State Exhibit Museum100%
Milwaukee Public Museum100%
New York University, College of Dentistry100%
Palmer Foundation for Chiropractic History100%
Springfield Science Museum100%
Sullivan County Historical Society, Inc.100%
University of Arizona, Arizona State Museum100%
University of California, Berkeley100%
Wichita State University, Department of Anthropology100%
Wisconsin Historical Society100%
Beloit College, Logan Museum of Anthropology04100%
Bess Bower Dunn Museum034100%
Coe College04100%
Denver Museum of Nature and Science03100%
Evanston History Center02100%
Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne-Archaeological Survey01100%
Library Company of Philadelphia01100%
Oregon State University018100%
Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History01100%
U.S. Department of Justice01100%
University of Arkansas011100%
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Department of Anthropology022100%
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.

Institutions made Native American remains taken from Illinois available for return to 96 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 Tribe
Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma266
Prairie Band of Potawatomi Nation141
Sac and Fox Nation, Oklahoma141
Hannahville Indian Community, Michigan140
Sac and Fox Nation of Missouri in Kansas and Nebraska140
Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa140
Forest County Potawatomi Community, Wisconsin138
Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Oklahoma137
Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians of the Bad River Reservation, Wisconsin116
Bois Forte Band (Nett Lake) of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota116
Fond du Lac Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota116
Grand Portage Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota116
Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Michigan116
Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin116
Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of the Lac du Flambeau Reservation of Wisconsin116
Leech Lake Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota116
Mille Lacs Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota116
Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota116
Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin116
Sokaogon Chippewa Community, Wisconsin116
White Earth Band of Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota116
Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin109
Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska108
Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska104
Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma102
Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Indians, Oklahoma95
Santee Sioux Nation, Nebraska91
Miami Tribe of Oklahoma90
Yankton Sioux Tribe of South Dakota89
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe of South Dakota85
Lower Sioux Indian Community in the State of Minnesota85
Prairie Island Indian Community in the State of Minnesota85
Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, Michigan and Indiana80
Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, Michigan (formerly the Huron Potawatomi, Inc.)78
Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians of Michigan76
Kickapoo Tribe of Indians of the Kickapoo Reservation in Kansas73
Omaha Tribe of Nebraska69
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe of the Cheyenne River Reservation, South Dakota67
Oglala Sioux Tribe67
Osage Nation67
Spirit Lake Tribe, North Dakota67
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North and South Dakota67
Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma65
Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation, North Dakota65
Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians of North Dakota65
Upper Sioux Community, Minnesota63
Absentee-Shawnee Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma62
Delaware Nation, Oklahoma62
Kaw Nation, Oklahoma62
Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin61
United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma60
Delaware Tribe of Indians59
Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation, South Dakota59
Bay Mills Indian Community, Michigan58
Chippewa Cree Indians of the Rocky Boy's Reservation, Montana58
Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Michigan58
Kiowa Indian Tribe of Oklahoma58
Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Michigan58
Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, Michigan58
Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma58
Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, Minnesota58
Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan58
Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Michigan58
St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin58
Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, Montana35
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians35
Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation34
Crow Creek Sioux Tribe of the Crow Creek Reservation, South Dakota27
Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community of Minnesota27
Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, Michigan24
Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana23
Ponca Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma11
Ponca Tribe of Nebraska11
Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma10
Rosebud Sioux Tribe of the Rosebud Indian Reservation, South Dakota9
Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas6
Cayuga Nation4
Oneida Indian Nation in New York4
Oneida Nation of Wisconsin4
Onondaga Nation4
Quapaw Nation4
Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe4
Seneca Nation of Indians4
Seneca-Cayuga Nation4
Tonawanda Band of Seneca4
Tuscarora Nation4
Quechan Tribe of the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation, California and Arizona3
Shawnee Tribe3
Tonkawa Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma3
Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma2
Lower Brule Sioux Tribe of the Lower Brule Reservation, South Dakota2
Cherokee Nation1
Crow Tribe of Montana1
Muscogee (Creek) Nation1
Stockbridge Munsee Community, Wisconsin1
Wyandotte Nation1

Institutions reported Native American remains taken from 84 counties in Illinois.

CountyRemains Taken From County Not Made Available for ReturnRemains Made Available for Return% of Remains Made Available for Return
Fulton County3,14850%
Greene County1,54100%
Calhoun County1,16300%
Pike County1,15700%
St. Clair County1,06200%
Madison County700132%
Saline County68700%
Will County57031%
Adams County48671%
Jersey County37600%
Whiteside County34600%
LaSalle County2845917%
Clinton County27800%
Brown County23231%
Henderson County21031%
Moultrie County20400%
Peoria County19200%
Jackson County18100%
Schuyler County17000%
White County13911%
Randolph County1349341%
Monroe County12000%
Jo Daviess County10276%
Cook County8822%
Marshall County7500%
Hardin County7200%
Tazewell County6200%
Hancock County5136%
Mason County4800%
Massac County4600%
Rock Island County443846%
Lake County413546%
Perry County3313%
Union County3000%
Scott County2900%
Kane County262043%
Johnson County2400%
Cass County2300%
Mercer County1700%
Alexander County1600%
Woodford County1600%
Pope County1500%
McLean County1400%
Ogle County1400%
Sangamon County1400%
Vermilion County1400%
Kendall County1200%
Putnam County1000%
Williamson County1000%
Gallatin County900%
Henry County900%
Lee County800%
McDonough County800%
Crawford County700%
Morgan County700%
De Witt County600%
Lawrence County600%
Washington County600%
McHenry County5117%
Shelby County500%
Carroll County400%
Clark County400%
Macoupin County400%
Champaign County300%
Kankakee County300%
Knox County300%
Macon County300%
Winnebago County3240%
Bureau County200%
Grundy County21083%
Jefferson County200%
Livingston County200%
Menard County200%
Piatt County200%
Christian County100%
Cumberland County100%
Ford County100%
Franklin County100%
Iroquois County100%
Logan County100%
Montgomery County11192%
Pulaski County100%
Wayne County100%
Edwards County01100%
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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