The following is a result of a two-year grant from the National Park
Service to create a Southeast Alaska database. It includes information on various museums'
holdings of Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian materials, contact information of the
30 NAGPRA eligible Native entities in Southeast Alaska, a list of
current and past NAGPRA related grant activities in Southeast Alaska and
a list of successful repatriation claims to Native entities in the
The database also includes suggested repatriation
procedures, a guide for resolving repatriation disputes, and template
documents for use in repatriation activities.
If you have any recommendations or questions, please
contact SHI Cultural Projects Coordinator, Sarah Dybdahl at
Sealaska Heritage Institute assists with repatriation efforts in several
- SHI helps to repatriate cultural objects by writing repatriation claims
on behalf of clans or by helping tribal members write claims.
- SHI trains tribal members on the Native American Graves Protection
and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). The institute's most recent training
seminar was Dec. 5-7, 2002 in Juneau. SHI secured a federal grant to
bring tribal representatives from across the region to the conference,
attended by about 40 people from 12 Southeast communities. (Photos)
- SHI in 2004 received a NAGPRA grant to document clan hats in museums
across the country. Part of the project involves reviewing over 100
files SHI has received from museums about objects in their collections.
SHI staff visited two California museums in 2004 more than 100 objects
from Southeast Alaska. The institute will visit 10 villages in 2005 to
share the information gathered from the museum visits and to start the
consultation and subsequent repatriation process.
- SHI recently assisted the Harvard Peabody Museum on a project to develop
a web-based tribal consultation and repatriation system between the
museum and Alaska Natives. This was a first step in the consultation
and repatriation process required under NAGPRA.
- SHI President Rosita Worl serves on the federally-appointed NAGPRA Review
Committee, a seven-member advisory panel based in Washington, D.C. The
purpose of the committee is "to monitor and review the implementation
of the inventory and identification processes and repatriation activities
required under federal law." In other words, Worl, a Tlingit anthropologist,
is positioned to make sure the interests of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian
are served under NAGPRA. The appointment also allows her to stay on
top of current events affecting NAGPRA practices.
- Worl also serves as trustee to the Smithsonian Institution's National
Museum of the American Indian, established by Congress in 1989.
Worl chairs NMAI's Collection/Acquisition Committee and serves on the
Repatriation and Program Planning Committees. Worl is working with NMAI
to provide curation training in Southeast Alaska to allow communities
to care for objects repatriated under NAGPRA. She also is striving for
partnership programs between NMAI and Native tribes and organizations.
NMAI includes museums at three sites: the George Gustav Heye Center
at the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House in New York City; the Cultural
Resources Center in Maryland and the National Museum of the American
Indian on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., scheduled to open in
Seeks Information About Old Tunic
Sealaska Heritage Institute
is seeking information about an old Tlingit tunic, probably made in the
early 20th century. If you have information about the tunic in the photo,
please contact the institute at 907-463-4844.
"Bringing history home;
Historic Klukwan tunic repatriated to clan"
"Sealaska Heritage gets federal grant to help reclaim clan
"Traditional Rattle Seized,
Returned to Southeast"
Find Turns Into Landmark Court Case"
History Heads Home"
Other NAGPRA Links
Park Service - National NAGPRA Database
US Department of the Interior
- Bureau of Reclamation
University of Connecticut - Virtual Library - Archaeology Section