NAGPRA provides various repatriation, ownership and control rights to Native American individuals and families who are the lineal descendants of a deceased Native individual and to Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations.
Two different ways of seeing the world come together at meetings of the NAGPRA Review Committee, with tribal members and museum representatives often on opposite sides of the room. Charter member Tessie Naranjo addresses the reasons why Native Americans do not share the assumption behind what museums do.
The following is a discussion of how Indian tribes can use their sovereign powers to secure their rights under NAGPRA. There is a spectrum of approaches to the exercise of repatriation rights, ranging from case-by-case pursual to the creation of comprehensive, pro-active programs.