NAGPRA UPDATE: MORATORIUM
September 11, 2020 3:01 PM
Effective September 15, 2020, as part of our commitment to NAGPRA and to the concerns of Tribal Nations, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will implement a moratorium on research, teaching, display, imaging, and circulation of human remains and cultural items that are potentially subject to NAGPRA at the University, including all on-site collections in the University’s custody or collections that the University has loaned to other organizations.
As a federally funded land-grant institution, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has an ethical and legal responsibility to acknowledge the Tribal Nations on whose land we reside and to curate and repatriate Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian human remains and funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony (collectively, “cultural items”) in a respectful, dignified, and legally compliant manner. The University is consulting with Tribal Nations regarding human remains and cultural items in University collections, in accordance with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (25 U.S.C. § 3001 et seq., 43 CFR Part 10; collectively, “NAGPRA”). Part of that effort involves establishing a moratorium on some activities: research, teaching, display, imaging, and circulation of human remains and cultural items that are potentially subject to NAGPRA at the University, including all on-site collections in the University’s custody or collections that the University has loaned to other organizations.
The campus has established a NAGPRA Office within the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation to lead this work, with support from an Advisory Committee. The moratorium actively affirms the University’s commitment to respect the sovereignty of Tribal Nations in our research, teaching, and museum practices, and will remain in effect until the University’s NAGPRA Advisory Committee establishes procedures for review of access requests. The moratorium was developed in consultation with the Office of the Provost and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.
The NAGPRA Office is responsible for the University’s inventory, documentation, consultation, and repatriation efforts under NAGPRA. Its work to fulfill the University’s legal obligations is exempted from this moratorium. Certain projects, particularly those that have received explicit tribal permissions, may be eligible for interim review by the NAGPRA Advisory Committee. Their recommendations will be considered for approval by the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation, in consultation with the NAGPRA Officer.
For more specific information regarding the moratorium and interim review process, please visit the University’s NAGPRA web page and contact the NAGPRA Program Officer (email@example.com) with further questions.
Robert J. Jones