Natural Science Collections Alliance

Our members are part of an international community of museums, botanical gardens, herbariums, universities and other institutions that house natural science collections and utilize them in research, exhibitions, academic and informal science education, and outreach activities.

Draft Rule Addresses Unclaimed Native American Remains and Objects

The Department of the Interior has proposed new procedures for the disposition of unclaimed human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, or objects of cultural patrimony discovered on federal lands after 16 November 1990.  The rule would only apply to remains and objects whose disposition of ownership or control has not occurred because no claimant has exercised its right to claim ownership or control of the cultural items, or no potential claimant can reasonably be identified.

Federal agencies would be required to inventory their unclaimed cultural items and submit the list to the National Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act Program within two years of the rule being finalized or within two years of excavating the items.  The rule also sets out specific standards for care of unclaimed cultural items.

Public comments will be accepted through 30 December 2013.  Read the draft rule at

Draft Rule Addresses Unclaimed Native American Remains and Objects
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