Repatriation at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution

Author(s): William Billeck

Year: 2018


Repatriation at the National Museum of Natural History is conducted under the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) Act of 1989, as amended in 1996, and involves the return of affiliated human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects and objects of cultural patrimony. In the 28 years since the passage of the NMAI Act, the museum has affiliated over 6,000 individuals and thousands of objects and completed over 120 repatriations to Native Alaskan, Native Hawaiian and Native American tribes. Repatriation has led to increased interactions with the Native American community and has changed the way that the museum works with community members and collections. Over time, the Repatriation Office has become a primary contact point for Native Americans interested in the museum’s collections and records. This paper and the following session will discuss the changes and developments in repatriation at the museum over the past two-and-a-half decades.

Cite this Record

Repatriation at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. William Billeck. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 445357)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Spatial Coverage

min long: -168.574; min lat: 7.014 ; max long: -54.844; max lat: 74.683 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 21524