Department of the Interior
|Office of the Secretary||
John Wright, 202-208-6416
|For Immediate Release: June 18, 2004|
Secretary Norton Appoints Three New Members to Native
Protection and Repatriation Review Committee
the Interior Gale Norton announced the appointment of three new members to
the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) Review
Committee. The seven-member committee is charged with monitoring, reviewing,
and assisting in implementation of the NAGPRA.
"The review committee serves
a critical role in ensuring the goals of NAGPRA are carried out," Norton
said. "I am pleased with the willingness and commitment of these new
members to take on this important challenge. I look forward to the
recommendations and advice of the full committee on this very important
The Act requires that federal
agencies and museums that receive federal funds provide information about
and, in certain circumstances, repatriate Native American human remains,
funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony to
lineal descendants, Indian tribes, and Native Hawaiian organizations. The
law also provides additional protection for Native American cultural items
discovered on federal or tribal lands.
Appointments to the review
committee are selected from nominations to the Secretary of the Interior by
Indian tribes, Native Hawaiian organizations and national museum and
scientific organizations. The following new members are appointed for
Willie Jones, a respected
traditional religious leader from the Lummi Nation in Washington. Mr. Jones
has served since 1977, as a member and chairman of the Lummi Nation Business
Council as well as the Tribe's general manager. He is currently a member
of the Lummi Cultural Resource Protection and Repatriation Committee and the
NAGPRA committee of the National Congress of American Indians.
Dr. Vincas P. Steponaitis, a
professor of anthropology and director of the Research Laboratories of
Archaeology at the University of North Carolina. Dr. Steponaitis was
personally involved in working out key compromises that enabled passage of
NAGPRA. He is a former president of the Society for American Archaeology and
currently serves as an advisor to the society's repatriation committee.
Dan L. Monroe, executive
director and chief executive officer of the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem,
MA. Mr. Monroe also played a central role in negotiating compromise language
included in NAGPRA. He is a former president of the American Association of
Museums and served as a member of the Native American Graves Protection and
Repatriation Review Committee from 1992 to 1996.
The three new members join Dr.
Garrick Bailey, Ms. Vera Metcalf, Mr. Lee Staples, and Dr. Rosita Worl on
the seven-member review committee.