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The Repatriation Database Data from Nov. 29, 2023


Institutions reported making 73% of the more than 700 Native American remains taken from Nevada available for return to tribes under NAGPRA.

remains of 574 Native Americans made available for return to tribes
remains of at least 212 Native Americans not made available for return

There are nine institutions located in Nevada 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
Nevada State Museum464047%
University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Department of Anthropology1210390%
University of Nevada, Reno11215%
U.S. Department of the Interior921596%
U.S. Department of Defense400%
Lost City Museum016100%
Nevada Historical Society010100%
U.S. Department of Agriculture05100%
U.S. Department of Energy01100%

There are 25 institutions that reported Native American remains taken from Nevada.

InstitutionRemains Not Made Available for ReturnRemains Made Available for Return% of Remains Made Available for Return
University of California, Berkeley140107%
Nevada State Museum353953%
U.S. Department of the Interior938398%
American Museum of Natural History700%
Nassau County Department of Parks and Recreation500%
U.S. Department of Defense400%
Natural History Museum of Utah300%
University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Department of Anthropology39497%
California Department of Parks and Recreation200%
Klamath County Museum200%
California State University, Chico, Department of Anthropology100%
Museum of Natural History and Planetarium100%
Autry Museum of the American West01100%
California State University, Los Angeles02100%
Harvard University04100%
Lost City Museum016100%
Museum of Us02100%
Nevada Historical Society010100%
New York University, College of Dentistry01100%
U.S. Department of Agriculture05100%
U.S. Department of Energy01100%
University of California, Riverside01100%
University of Denver, Museum of Anthropology02100%
University of Nevada, Reno02100%
University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History01100%
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 Nevada available for return to 53 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
Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe of the Pyramid Lake Reservation, Nevada282
Paiute-Shoshone Tribe of the Fallon Reservation and Colony, Nevada244
Moapa Band of Paiute Indians of the Moapa River Indian Reservation, Nevada96
Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribes of the Fort McDermitt Indian Reservation, Nevada and Oregon93
Las Vegas Tribe of Paiute Indians of the Las Vegas Indian Colony, Nevada93
Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah92
Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, Nevada80
Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians of the Kaibab Indian Reservation, Arizona79
Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians of Nevada75
Yerington Paiute Tribe of the Yerington Colony and Campbell Ranch, Nevada74
Yomba Shoshone Tribe of the Yomba Reservation, Nevada71
Washoe Tribe of Nevada & California70
Fort Independence Indian Community of Paiute Indians of the Fort Independence Reservation, California68
Duckwater Shoshone Tribe of the Duckwater Reservation, Nevada67
Walker River Paiute Tribe of the Walker River Reservation, Nevada59
Ely Shoshone Tribe of Nevada55
Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of the Duck Valley Reservation, Nevada55
Confederated Tribes of the Goshute Reservation, Nevada and Utah54
Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Reservation51
Eastern Shoshone Tribe of the Wind River Reservation, Wyoming46
Lovelock Paiute Tribe of the Lovelock Indian Colony, Nevada46
Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon43
Bishop Paiute Tribe42
Timbisha Shoshone Tribe40
Big Pine Paiute Tribe of the Owens Valley39
Winnemucca Indian Colony of Nevada39
Colorado River Indian Tribes of the Colorado River Indian Reservation, Arizona and California37
San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe of Arizona37
Fort Mojave Indian Tribe of Arizona, California and Nevada36
Northwestern Band of Shoshoni Nation36
Summit Lake Paiute Tribe of Nevada31
Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone Tribe28
Skull Valley Band of Goshute Indians of Utah26
Hopi Tribe of Arizona20
Bridgeport Indian Colony19
Burns Paiute Tribe16
Susanville Indian Rancheria, California16
Alturas Indian Rancheria, California15
Cedarville Rancheria, California15
Utu Utu Gwaitu Paiute Tribe of the Benton Paiute Reservation, California15
Chemehuevi Indian Tribe of the Chemehuevi Reservation, California14
Hualapai Indian Tribe of the Hualapai Indian Reservation, Arizona12
Buena Vista Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians of California7
Lineal Descendant5
Fort Bidwell Indian Community of the Fort Bidwell Reservation of California4
Inter-Tribal Council of Nevada2
Klamath Tribes2
Navajo Nation, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah2
Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, Utah2
Ute Mountain Ute Tribe2
Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians1
Northern Arapaho Tribe of the Wind River Reservation, Wyoming1
Oneida Nation of Wisconsin1

Institutions reported Native American remains taken from 14 counties in Nevada.

CountyRemains Taken From County Not Made Available for ReturnRemains Made Available for Return% of Remains Made Available for Return
Churchill County12016758%
Pershing County20417%
Humboldt County19932%
Washoe County1924093%
Clark County105284%
Douglas County31482%
White Pine County32890%
Lander County1150%
Lyon County1990%
Elko County06100%
Lincoln County06100%
Mineral County02100%
Nye County018100%
Carson City05100%
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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