Reference Guide for Repatriation of Native American Cultural Items Held Abroad

Guidance for Federal Officials

The following document provides guidance to Federal Officials assisting Native American Communities with the repatriation of their cultural items held outside the United States.

International Repatriation Reference Guide

Cultural Sensitivity – When utilizing the International Repatriation Guidance, the Federal official should seek to obtain answers for as many of the listed questions as possible while keeping in mind that cultural protocols and traditions may limit the information Native American Communities can provide about a cultural item. It is also important to note that western methods of tracking ownership/physical custody/control of a cultural item sometimes differ from that of Native American Communities. It is for this reason that folkloric and linguistic evidence as well as expert opinion, to include testimony from elders or traditional religious leaders, is acceptable.

Input from Native American Community Leaders Welcome – If you are a Native American Community Leader or cultural practitioner and have suggestions on how to improve this guidance please contact us. We view the guidance as a living document and welcome your input.

Was this page helpful?

Please provide a comment