If It were Your Grandma: A Tribal Perspective on NAGPRA in Utah

Author(s): Marie Johnson

Year: 2017


In 1990, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) was passed. The passing of NAGPRA was a huge step forward for indigenous rights; the law allowed tribes to decide the ultimate outcome of Native American burials found in any context on federal or tribal land. In Utah, there are also state laws that require similar standards of protection on private land. That being said, the repatriation process can be long and painful for many tribe members who are concerned with the welfare of their ancestors. Oftentimes, tribe members must fight the interests of archaeologists to demand the respect that they feel their ancestors deserve.

Through evidence gained from interviews with tribe members in Utah, I will show the perspective of the tribes on grave repatriation and NAGPRA associated practices. I will then present possible solutions for the problems raised by tribe members. Hopefully, this paper can help to create a culture of mutual respect and understanding between archaeologists and tribe members.

Cite this Record

If It were Your Grandma: A Tribal Perspective on NAGPRA in Utah. Marie Johnson. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430734)

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Geographic Keywords
North America - Great Basin

Spatial Coverage

min long: -122.761; min lat: 29.917 ; max long: -109.27; max lat: 42.553 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17523