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The Repatriation Database Data from Nov. 29, 2023

New Mexico

Institutions reported making 73% of the more than 10,700 Native American remains taken from New Mexico available for return to tribes under NAGPRA.

remains of 7,780 Native Americans made available for return to tribes
remains of at least 2,937 Native Americans not made available for return

There are 13 institutions located in New Mexico 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
Museum of New Mexico, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture77927926%
University of New Mexico, Maxwell Museum of Anthropology58384459%
U.S. Department of Agriculture41078166%
U.S. Department of the Interior1301,99094%
New Mexico State University Museum4528886%
Carlsbad Museum42613%
New Mexico Highlands University4200%
U.S. Department of Defense528098%
Artesia Historical Museum and Art Center2133%
Western New Mexico University Museum200%
Albuquerque Museum06100%
Salmon Ruins Museum0195100%
School for Advanced Research0263100%

There are 88 institutions that reported Native American remains taken from New Mexico.

InstitutionRemains Not Made Available for ReturnRemains Made Available for Return% of Remains Made Available for Return
Museum of New Mexico, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture74527927%
U.S. Department of Agriculture40649255%
American Museum of Natural History39240651%
U.S. Department of the Interior3321,96086%
Harvard University31616634%
Museum of Texas Tech University12800%
University of New Mexico, Maxwell Museum of Anthropology8484491%
University of California, Berkeley6600%
Field Museum5112%
University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology5000%
Beloit College, Logan Museum of Anthropology4000%
New Mexico Highlands University3500%
Carlsbad Museum3200%
University of Arizona, Arizona State Museum2900%
U.S. Department of Defense2323391%
University of Texas, El Paso, Centennial Museum2300%
Los Angeles County Natural History Museum171343%
New Mexico State University Museum1600%
University of Nebraska State Museum1500%
West Texas A and M University, Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum1400%
Eastern Arizona College Foundation1200%
Milwaukee Public Museum1218%
Ohio History Connection (formerly the Ohio Historical Society)1200%
Trinidad State Junior College700%
University of Kansas700%
San Bernardino County Museum600%
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology500%
Wisconsin Historical Society5117%
Grand Rapids Public Museum400%
Illinois State Museum400%
University of Oklahoma400%
Western Colorado University400%
Museum of Northern Arizona300%
Artesia Historical Museum and Art Center2133%
Cleveland Museum of Natural History200%
Dartmouth College, Hood Museum of Art200%
Kansas City Museum200%
University of Missouri, Columbia, Museum of Anthropology200%
University of Northern Iowa200%
University of Tennessee, Knoxville200%
University of Texas at Austin, Texas Archeological Research Laboratory200%
University of Wisconsin, Madison, Department of Anthropology200%
Brown University, Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology100%
Carnegie Museum of Natural History100%
Charleston Museum100%
Dayton Museum of Natural History100%
Fort Hays State University, Sternburg Museum of Natural History100%
Hastings Museum100%
Minnesota Indian Affairs Council100%
Missouri Historical Society100%
No Man's Land Historical Society100%
North Museum of Nature and Science100%
Rutgers University, Zimmerli Art Museum100%
Stanford University Heritage Services100%
Texas Parks and Wildlife100%
Texas State University100%
University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History100%
University of Minnesota, Duluth, Department of Pathology100%
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill100%
University of Vermont100%
University of Wyoming100%
Western New Mexico University Museum100%
Albuquerque Museum06100%
Animas Museum04100%
Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum04100%
Denver Museum of Nature and Science055100%
Hartwick College01100%
History Colorado06100%
Indiana University06100%
Kingman Museum, Inc.01100%
Michigan State University03100%
Museum of Riverside01100%
Museum of Us0209100%
New Jersey State Museum01100%
New Mexico State Univ. Museum + U.S. Dept. of Interior + U.S. Dept. of Agriculture +0222100%
Harvard Univ. + Robert S. Peabody Institute of Archaeology01,922100%
Robert S. Peabody Institute of Archaeology, Phillips Academy06100%
Salmon Ruins Museum0195100%
School for Advanced Research0263100%
Southern Methodist University0195100%
Texas A and M University05100%
U.S. Department of Justice040100%
University of California, Los Angeles, Fowler Museum of Cultural History02100%
University of Colorado Museum014100%
University of Denver, Museum of Anthropology011100%
University of Iowa, Office of the State Archaeologist04100%
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities0198100%
University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History09100%
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 New Mexico available for return to 44 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
Pueblo of Jemez, New Mexico5,633
Hopi Tribe of Arizona3,191
Pueblo of Acoma, New Mexico2,871
Zuni Tribe of the Zuni Reservation, New Mexico2,852
Pueblo of Taos, New Mexico2,611
Pueblo of Isleta, New Mexico2,607
Pueblo of Sandia, New Mexico2,367
Santo Domingo Pueblo2,286
Ysleta del Sur Pueblo1,945
Pueblo of Santa Ana, New Mexico1,703
Pueblo of Cochiti, New Mexico1,660
Pueblo of Picuris, New Mexico1,643
Pueblo of Laguna, New Mexico1,536
Pueblo of San Ildefonso, New Mexico1,516
Pueblo of Santa Clara, New Mexico1,507
Pueblo of Pojoaque, New Mexico1,504
Pueblo of Nambe, New Mexico1,503
Pueblo of Tesuque, New Mexico1,503
Pueblo of Zia, New Mexico1,455
Pueblo of San Felipe, New Mexico1,450
Ohkay Owingeh, New Mexico (formerly the Pueblo of San Juan)1,313
Navajo Nation, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah829
Mescalero Apache Tribe of the Mescalero Reservation, New Mexico480
White Mountain Apache Tribe of the Fort Apache Reservation, Arizona258
Comanche Nation, Oklahoma226
Jicarilla Apache Nation, New Mexico210
Ute Mountain Ute Tribe199
Southern Ute Indian Tribe of the Southern Ute Reservation, Colorado195
Piro-Manso-Tiwa Tribe75
Fort Sill Apache Tribe of Oklahoma58
Gila River Indian Community of the Gila River Indian Reservation, Arizona40
Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community of the Salt River Reservation, Arizona40
Piro-Manso-Tiwa Indian group33
Apache Tribe of Oklahoma12
Kiowa Indian Tribe of Oklahoma12
San Carlos Apache Tribe of the San Carlos Reservation, Arizona8
Wichita and Affiliated Tribes (Wichita, Keechi, Waco and Tawakonie), Oklahoma8
Tonto Apache Tribe of Arizona5
Caddo Nation of Oklahoma4
Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Arizona1
Osage Nation1
Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma1
Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, Utah1
Yavapai-Apache Nation of the Camp Verde Indian Reservation, Arizona1

Institutions reported Native American remains taken from 30 counties in New Mexico.

CountyRemains Taken From County Not Made Available for ReturnRemains Made Available for Return% of Remains Made Available for Return
San Juan County43581965%
Rio Arriba County4144510%
Grant County33621139%
Santa Fe County32470468%
Lincoln County19332%
McKinley County1796226%
Catron County16325261%
Eddy County9944%
Otero County921010%
San Miguel County722,15997%
Bernalillo County6529482%
Sandoval County551,31196%
Chaves County5447%
Luna County52610%
Cibola County3022588%
Hidalgo County3039%
Doña Ana County281332%
Taos County2320990%
Torrance County195273%
Colfax County1516%
Lea County1019%
Socorro County1096099%
Valencia County800%
De Baca County400%
Sierra County35094%
Quay County200%
Guadalupe County100%
Harding County100%
Los Alamos County07100%
Mora County07100%
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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