Select Page
Blog by Melinda Sue Robbins, Grants Manager, School for Advanced Research
The School for Advanced Research (SAR) has been awarded a grant in the amount of $88,799 from the National Park Service (NPS) for a project that will have the Indian Arts Research Center (IARC) collaborating with consultants from the Pueblo of Acoma and Pueblo of Tesuque to identify items in SAR’s Acoma and Tesuque Pueblo collections that are subject to compliance with the North American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). The two-year project will result in the return of the identified items to the source communities, and the culturally appropriate housing, handling, documentation, and access for the items that remain at the IARC.

SAR’s research collection, stewarded by the IARC, is a leader in the field of Native American community collaboration. The IARC is known for its impact in the museum field through its publication Guidelines for Collaboration (SAR Press, 2017), which has set national standards for collaborative, respectful stewardship of Native American collections, and is a resource for museums, educational institutions, and Native American communities as they work together on curatorial and educational projects. An additional goal of the NPS-funded project is for SAR to share the process and outcomes with other institutions, Pueblos, tribes, and museum professionals as a model for their own NAGPRA collections reviews.

The National Park Service has awarded NAGPRA grants since 1994, providing over 1,100 grants to Indian tribes and museums to assist in consultation, documentation, and repatriation under NAGPRA. The recent round of funding awarded $2.1 million in grants to nine Indian Tribes and twenty museums to assist in the consultation, documentation, and repatriation of ancestral remains and cultural items. “Repatriation of human remains and sacred cultural objects to Native American Tribes, Alaska Natives, and the Native Hawaiian Community is fundamental to ensuring the preservation of Indigenous culture,” said NPS Director Chuck Sams. “These grants are just one way the National Park Service is advancing a whole-of-government effort to strengthen Tribal sovereignty and repair our nation-to-nation relationships.”