The Department of the Interior has made changes to the regulations that implement the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA).  The new rule makes revisions “for accuracy and consistency,” according to the notice published in the Federal Register.  The new rule takes effect on 10 June 2013.

Many of the revisions are minor.  Among the more substantive changes are:

  • Clarification of notification requirements to linear descendants.  Notification is required to known lineal descendents of a deceased Native American individual whose human remains and associated funerary objects were inadvertently discovered.
  • Text was added to clarify that, with respect to recoveries from federal lands, the priority of right of control of human remains and associated funerary objects defaults to a culturally affiliated Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization only where the lineal descendants of the deceased Native American cannot be ascertained.  With respect to other cultural items recovered from federal lands, the priority of ownership is in the culturally affiliated Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization.

Read the new rule at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-05-09/html/2013-10966.htm.