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Detail of Plateau Bag (NMNH catalog no. E204234)
Repatriation Reports

Between 1997 and 1998, the National Museum of Natural History distributed two separate reports to federally recognized Native American communities. The first report, distributed in 1997, was a summary of all Native American ethnological objects in the collections at the Smithsonian Institution. The second report, distributed in 1998, was an inventory of all Native American human remains and archaeological objects held by the National Museum of Natural History. Both reports were sent to all federally recognized Native American tribes, Alaskan Native Corporations and Native Hawaiian organizations.

The Repatriation Office at the National Museum of Natural History is producing a series of reports, or cultural affiliation studies, responding to repatriation claims for the material listed in the inventories and summaries sent to them. Abstracts of the cultural affiliation studies completed since 1991 are available online. The information in the inventories and summaries should be considered preliminary until verified in a cultural affiliation study. Tribes may request additional copies of any of these three categories of reports by contacting the Repatriation Office.

bulletAnnual Report to Congress
Annual Report to Congress on the Repatriation Activities of the Smithsonian Institution.

bulletSummaries of Cultural Affiliation Reports
Find report summaries by cultural affiliation or geographic area.

bulletAbout Cultural Affiliation Studies: Responses to Requests for Repatriation
The Repatriation Office of the National Museum of Natural History produces detailed reports in response to tribal repatriation requests that summarize all the available information on the origins of the collections in question.

bulletPhysical Anthropology and Archaeological Inventory Reports
The human remains of approximately 19,250 Native American individuals from the United States have been reported in inventories, as well as the entire collection of over 225,000 archaeological catalog records from the United States.

bulletEthnographic Object Summaries
Ethnographic summaries enable Native tribes and organizations to begin their review of the National Museum of Natural History’s collections and identify those objects that may be of concern to them.

bulletRepatriation of Anthropology Collections
Find data on the number of repatriations offered and accomplished by the National Museum of Natural History, Repatriation Office.


Smithsonian Institute - National Mueseum of Natural History