DOI Invites Native Hawaiian Community Leaders to Consult on Proposed NAGPRA Regulations

Written comment deadline extended to January 31, 2023, 6:59 pm HST.

Last edited 01/10/2023

The Department proposes to revise its Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) regulations at 43 C.F.R. Part 10. The proposed regulations would clarify and improve upon the systematic process for the disposition and repatriation of Native American human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, or objects of cultural patrimony.

The Department's intent with the proposed rule is to:

• Emphasize consultation at every step in the regulatory process;

• Require deference to the customs, traditions, and Native American traditional knowledge of lineal descendants, Indian Tribes, and Native Hawaiian organizations;

• Provide a step-by-step roadmap for museums and Federal agencies to comply with the requirements;

• Establish specific timelines to facilitate the required disposition and repatriation; and

• Remove the burden on lineal descendants, Indian Tribes, and Native Hawaiian organizations to initiate the process and add a requirement for museums and Federal agencies to complete the process.

The Department seeks input on the following specific areas:

• Timelines: How can we further allow Native Hawaiian organizations flexibility and discretion in the step-by-step processes under Subparts B and C?

• New responsibilities: Do you anticipate sufficient capacity to take on new responsibilities for discoveries and excavations on Tribal lands under Subpart B?

• Requests: Do you anticipate sufficient opportunity under the proposed regulations to submit requests for consultation and repatriation under Subpart C?

• Efficiency: Do you think the proposed revisions have streamlined and simplified the regulatory process for repatriation under Subpart C?

• Impacts: Do you think the proposed revisions will impact your organization's capacity and resources for repatriation under Subpart C?

Links to the proposed rule, where to submit comments, and documents to assist with review of the proposed rule are available on the National NAGPRA Program's Regulations webpage:

Virtual consultation sessions for the Native Hawaiian Community

are scheduled on --

Monday, January 9, 2023, from 9:00 am to 11:00 am HST; and

Tuesday, January 10, 2023, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm HST.

Register for one or both of the consultation sessions at:

Slide Presentation is available at

Comments must be received by 6:59 pm HST on Tuesday, January 31, 2023.



DOI Press Release

Comments and Responses on August 2021 Draft Proposal

In August 2021 , the Department hosted consultation sessions with Indian Tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations on a draft proposal and incorporated that input to the maximum extent possible. A summary of the over 700 comments received and the Department's response to each comment is linked below.
DOI Response To Comments On Draft NAGPRA Rule 508 [pdf]

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