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The Repatriation Database Data from Nov. 29, 2023


Institutions reported making 96% of the more than 3,100 Native American remains taken from Nebraska available for return to tribes under NAGPRA.

remains of 3,059 Native Americans made available for return to tribes
remains of at least 124 Native Americans not made available for return

There are eight institutions located in Nebraska 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
Hastings Museum6110864%
U.S. Department of the Interior566253%
University of Nebraska State Museum491,96598%
History Nebraska3779996%
U.S. Department of Defense3237692%
Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer200%
Cass County Historical Society Museum100%
Chadron State College08100%

There are 32 institutions that reported Native American remains taken from Nebraska.

InstitutionRemains Not Made Available for ReturnRemains Made Available for Return% of Remains Made Available for Return
Harvard University596050%
American Museum of Natural History2414%
University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology1200%
Hastings Museum99591%
U.S. Department of Defense34093%
U.S. Department of the Interior35895%
University of Nebraska State Museum31,952100%
Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer200%
Cass County Historical Society Museum100%
Cleveland Museum of Natural History100%
History Nebraska1794100%
Tioga Point Museum100%
University of Kansas100%
University of Kentucky, William S. Webb Museum of Anthropology100%
University of Tennessee, Knoxville100%
University of Wyoming1267%
Willamette University, Hallie Ford Museum of Art100%
Buffalo Bill Center of the West01100%
Chadron State College08100%
Field Museum02100%
Fruitlands Museums03100%
History Colorado01100%
Illinois State Museum01100%
Maryland Center for History and Culture (formerly Maryland Historical Society)03100%
Milwaukee Public Museum03100%
New York University, College of Dentistry02100%
Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History01100%
University of Denver, Museum of Anthropology06100%
University of Iowa, Office of the State Archaeologist021100%
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology01100%
University of Washington03100%
Wisconsin Historical Society01100%
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 Nebraska available for return to 59 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
Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma2,827
Ponca Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma2,191
Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation, North Dakota1,622
Ponca Tribe of Nebraska1,607
Omaha Tribe of Nebraska1,521
Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma1,515
Rosebud Sioux Tribe of the Rosebud Indian Reservation, South Dakota1,513
Santee Sioux Nation, Nebraska1,513
Oglala Sioux Tribe1,512
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe of the Cheyenne River Reservation, South Dakota1,511
Yankton Sioux Tribe of South Dakota1,510
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North and South Dakota1,493
Spirit Lake Tribe, North Dakota1,492
Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska1,476
Kickapoo Tribe of Indians of the Kickapoo Reservation in Kansas1,454
Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians of North Dakota812
Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Indians, Oklahoma730
Wichita and Affiliated Tribes (Wichita, Keechi, Waco and Tawakonie), Oklahoma709
Crow Tribe of Montana708
Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska704
Kaw Nation, Oklahoma704
Lower Brule Sioux Tribe of the Lower Brule Reservation, South Dakota699
Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, Montana698
Crow Creek Sioux Tribe of the Crow Creek Reservation, South Dakota698
Northern Cheyenne Tribe of the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation, Montana698
Northern Arapaho Tribe of the Wind River Reservation, Wyoming695
Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, Oklahoma681
Comanche Nation, Oklahoma672
Kiowa Indian Tribe of Oklahoma672
Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation, South Dakota672
Apache Tribe of Oklahoma671
Prairie Band of Potawatomi Nation663
Sac and Fox Nation of Missouri in Kansas and Nebraska663
Sac and Fox Nation, Oklahoma663
Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa663
Delaware Nation, Oklahoma642
Delaware Tribe of Indians642
Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma642
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe of South Dakota48
Lower Sioux Indian Community in the State of Minnesota29
Upper Sioux Community, Minnesota29
Eastern Shoshone Tribe of the Wind River Reservation, Wyoming26
Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of the Duck Valley Reservation, Nevada26
Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Oklahoma21
Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin21
Miami Tribe of Oklahoma21
Osage Nation21
Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma21
Fort Sill Apache Tribe of Oklahoma9
Blackfeet Tribe of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation of Montana8
Jicarilla Apache Nation, New Mexico8
Mescalero Apache Tribe of the Mescalero Reservation, New Mexico8
Northwestern Band of Shoshoni Nation8
Prairie Island Indian Community in the State of Minnesota8
Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community of Minnesota8
Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Reservation8
Southern Ute Indian Tribe of the Southern Ute Reservation, Colorado1
Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, Utah1
Ute Mountain Ute Tribe1

Institutions reported Native American remains taken from 66 counties in Nebraska.

CountyRemains Taken From County Not Made Available for ReturnRemains Made Available for Return% of Remains Made Available for Return
Douglas County2224592%
Custer County15835%
Richardson County54390%
Cass County422898%
Scotts Bluff County46294%
Thurston County3350%
Webster County36796%
Nance County25396%
Stanton County21185%
Washington County25096%
Dawson County1267%
Frontier County13397%
Hall County1686%
Harlan County17299%
Hitchcock County11694%
Kimball County100%
Platte County12195%
Sarpy County112399%
Adams County01100%
Antelope County010100%
Banner County01100%
Boone County032100%
Box Butte County01100%
Boyd County07100%
Buffalo County013100%
Burt County01100%
Butler County012100%
Cedar County0373100%
Chase County02100%
Cherry County03100%
Colfax County03100%
Cuming County010100%
Dakota County0499100%
Dawes County09100%
Dixon County0141100%
Dodge County061100%
Dundy County03100%
Fillmore County01100%
Franklin County030100%
Furnas County018100%
Gage County02100%
Garden County01100%
Garfield County01100%
Greeley County03100%
Hamilton County01100%
Holt County025100%
Hooker County03100%
Howard County09100%
Jefferson County01100%
Keith County07100%
Keya Paha County01100%
Knox County0174100%
Lancaster County05100%
Lincoln County010100%
McPherson County08100%
Madison County03100%
Merrick County028100%
Morrill County08100%
Nemaha County025100%
Polk County02100%
Red Willow County011100%
Saunders County059100%
Sherman County04100%
Sioux County06100%
Thayer County05100%
Valley County05100%
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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