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The Repatriation Database Data from Nov. 29, 2023


Institutions reported making 19% of the more than 1,200 Native American remains taken from Kansas available for return to tribes under NAGPRA.

remains of 247 Native Americans made available for return to tribes
remains of at least 1,021 Native Americans not made available for return

There are seven institutions located in Kansas 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
University of Kansas458123%
Kansas State Historical Society30510325%
Wichita State University, Department of Anthropology3300%
Kansas State University1313791%
Fellow-Reeve Museum of History and Science200%
Fort Hays State University, Sternburg Museum of Natural History1267%
Pittsburg State University019100%

There are 20 institutions that reported Native American remains taken from Kansas.

InstitutionRemains Not Made Available for ReturnRemains Made Available for Return% of Remains Made Available for Return
University of Kansas35400%
Kansas State Historical Society28710326%
Harvard University15511%
University of Tennessee, Knoxville134107%
U.S. Department of the Interior5500%
Wichita State University, Department of Anthropology1000%
Kansas State University812594%
Hastings Museum4120%
U.S. Department of Defense3125%
Goshen College200%
New York University, College of Dentistry200%
American Museum of Natural History100%
Field Museum100%
Illinois State Museum100%
Kansas City Museum100%
Seton Hall University100%
University of Nebraska State Museum100%
Yale University, Peabody Museum of Natural History1480%
History Nebraska01100%
Sierra Mono Museum01100%
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 Kansas available for return to 20 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
Kaw Nation, Oklahoma151
Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma140
Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska110
Ponca Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma109
Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Indians, Oklahoma91
Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma81
Wichita and Affiliated Tribes (Wichita, Keechi, Waco and Tawakonie), Oklahoma68
Sac and Fox Nation of Missouri in Kansas and Nebraska32
Sac and Fox Nation, Oklahoma31
Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa31
Kickapoo Tribe of Indians of the Kickapoo Reservation in Kansas30
Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation, North Dakota29
Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas28
Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma28
Ponca Tribe of Nebraska28
Prairie Band of Potawatomi Nation7
Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Oklahoma6
Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, Oklahoma5
Northern Arapaho Tribe of the Wind River Reservation, Wyoming1
Osage Nation1

Institutions reported Native American remains taken from 74 counties in Kansas.

CountyRemains Taken From County Not Made Available for ReturnRemains Made Available for Return% of Remains Made Available for Return
Geary County17400%
Clay County16200%
Doniphan County1475025%
Wyandotte County1338138%
Mitchell County4200%
Jewell County4100%
Riley County3000%
Phillips County2400%
Ness County19210%
Osborne County1900%
Morris County1400%
Atchison County12214%
McPherson County11635%
Greenwood County1000%
Bourbon County800%
Meade County800%
Shawnee County81158%
Pottawatomie County6545%
Ellsworth County5117%
Ford County500%
Greeley County500%
Harper County5862%
Labette County500%
Leavenworth County5964%
Rawlins County5117%
Republic County52080%
Cowley County41680%
Finney County400%
Neosho County400%
Osage County400%
Rooks County400%
Wichita County400%
Brown County300%
Coffey County300%
Douglas County300%
Jefferson County300%
Lyon County300%
Trego County300%
Butler County200%
Chase County200%
Decatur County200%
Gray County200%
Montgomery County200%
Reno County200%
Saline County21286%
Sedgwick County200%
Sheridan County2360%
Stevens County200%
Sumner County200%
Wabaunsee County200%
Barton County1150%
Cherokee County1150%
Cloud County100%
Ellis County100%
Gove County100%
Graham County100%
Haskell County100%
Hodgeman County100%
Johnson County100%
Kiowa County100%
Lincoln County1267%
Logan County100%
Marion County1150%
Norton County100%
Ottawa County1150%
Pawnee County100%
Russell County100%
Scott County100%
Seward County100%
Smith County100%
Barber County01100%
Cheyenne County02100%
Dickinson County03100%
Rice County06100%
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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