Indian Issues: Key Federal Agencies' and the Smithsonian Institution's Efforts to Identify and Repatriate Indian Human Remains and Objects

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The National Museum of the American Indian Act of 1989 (NMAI Act), as amended in 1996, generally requires the Smithsonian Institution to inventory and identify the origins of its Indian and Native Hawaiian human remains and objects placed with them (funerary objects) and repatriate them to culturally affiliated Indian tribes upon request. According to the Smithsonian, two of its museums--the American Indian and the Natural History Museums--have items that are subject to the NMAI Act. The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), enacted in 1990, includes ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. June 16, 2011.

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The National Museum of the American Indian Act of 1989 (NMAI Act), as amended in 1996, generally requires the Smithsonian Institution to inventory and identify the origins of its Indian and Native Hawaiian human remains and objects placed with them (funerary objects) and repatriate them to culturally affiliated Indian tribes upon request. According to the Smithsonian, two of its museums--the American Indian and the Natural History Museums--have items that are subject to the NMAI Act. The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), enacted in 1990, includes similar requirements for federal agencies and museums. The National NAGPRA office, within the Department of the Interior's National Park Service, facilitates the governmentwide implementation of NAGPRA. Each act requires the establishment of a committee to monitor and review repatriation activities. GAO's testimony is based on its July 2010 report on NAGPRA implementation (GAO-10-768) and its May 2011 report on Smithsonian repatriation (GAO-11-515). The testimony focuses on the extent to which key federal agencies have complied with NAGPRA's requirements and the extent to which the Smithsonian has fulfilled its repatriation requirements."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • June 16, 2011

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  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Indian Issues: Key Federal Agencies' and the Smithsonian Institution's Efforts to Identify and Repatriate Indian Human Remains and Objects, text, June 16, 2011; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc294689/: accessed September 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.