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The Repatriation Database Data from Nov. 29, 2023


Institutions reported making 75% of the more than 200 Native American remains taken from Wyoming available for return to tribes under NAGPRA.

remains of 180 Native Americans made available for return to tribes
remains of at least 61 Native Americans not made available for return

There are six institutions located in Wyoming 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 Wyoming8314463%
U.S. Department of the Interior211542%
Buffalo Bill Center of the West5229%
Meeteetse Museum100%
Fremont County Coroner01100%
U.S. Department of Agriculture08100%

There are 21 institutions that reported Native American remains taken from Wyoming.

InstitutionRemains Not Made Available for ReturnRemains Made Available for Return% of Remains Made Available for Return
University of Wyoming2711881%
U.S. Department of the Interior211643%
Buffalo Bill Center of the West300%
American Museum of Natural History200%
Hastings Museum200%
History Nebraska100%
Meeteetse Museum100%
Natural History Museum of Utah100%
St. Joseph Museums, Inc.100%
University of Iowa, Office of the State Archaeologist100%
Utah Department of Natural Resources100%
Catholic University of America04100%
Denver Museum of Nature and Science01100%
Fremont County Coroner01100%
Harvard University022100%
Museum of Riverside02100%
U.S. Department of Agriculture08100%
U.S. Department of Justice01100%
University of Colorado Museum01100%
University of Denver, Museum of Anthropology03100%
Yale University, Peabody Museum of Natural History03100%
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 Wyoming available for return to 47 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
Northern Arapaho Tribe of the Wind River Reservation, Wyoming148
Crow Tribe of Montana71
Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Reservation63
Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, Oklahoma62
Northern Cheyenne Tribe of the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation, Montana60
Rosebud Sioux Tribe of the Rosebud Indian Reservation, South Dakota59
Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, Montana56
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe of the Cheyenne River Reservation, South Dakota56
Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation, North Dakota56
Crow Creek Sioux Tribe of the Crow Creek Reservation, South Dakota55
Fort Belknap Indian Community of the Fort Belknap Reservation of Montana55
Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Michigan55
Lower Brule Sioux Tribe of the Lower Brule Reservation, South Dakota55
Oglala Sioux Tribe55
Santee Sioux Nation, Nebraska55
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North and South Dakota55
Apache Tribe of Oklahoma54
Blackfeet Tribe of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation of Montana54
Comanche Nation, Oklahoma54
Nez Perce Tribe54
White Mountain Apache Tribe of the Fort Apache Reservation, Arizona54
Eastern Shoshone Tribe of the Wind River Reservation, Wyoming13
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation6
Big Pine Paiute Tribe of the Owens Valley5
Bishop Paiute Tribe5
Chippewa Cree Indians of the Rocky Boy's Reservation, Montana5
Duckwater Shoshone Tribe of the Duckwater Reservation, Nevada5
Ely Shoshone Tribe of Nevada5
Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribes of the Fort McDermitt Indian Reservation, Nevada and Oregon5
Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone Tribe5
Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of the Duck Valley Reservation, Nevada5
Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians of Nevada5
Timbisha Shoshone Tribe5
Yomba Shoshone Tribe of the Yomba Reservation, Nevada5
Northwestern Band of Shoshoni Nation4
Paiute-Shoshone Tribe of the Fallon Reservation and Colony, Nevada4
Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, Utah2
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe of South Dakota1
Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Michigan1
Lower Sioux Indian Community in the State of Minnesota1
Prairie Island Indian Community in the State of Minnesota1
Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community of Minnesota1
Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation, South Dakota1
Spirit Lake Tribe, North Dakota1
Upper Sioux Community, Minnesota1
Ute Mountain Ute Tribe1
Yankton Sioux Tribe of South Dakota1

Institutions reported Native American remains taken from 21 counties in Wyoming.

CountyRemains Taken From County Not Made Available for ReturnRemains Made Available for Return% of Remains Made Available for Return
Carbon County111150%
Sweetwater County1000%
Sheridan County8433%
Park County71467%
Fremont County32890%
Big Horn County2467%
Goshen County22091%
Johnson County21789%
Natrona County2675%
Campbell County1583%
Hot Springs County1150%
Niobrara County1150%
Sublette County1267%
Uinta County100%
Washakie County1788%
Albany County010100%
Converse County010100%
Crook County02100%
Lincoln County06100%
Platte County04100%
Weston 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