The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act is a Federal law passed in 1990. NAGPRA provides a process for museums and Federal agencies to return certain Native American cultural items -- human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, or objects of cultural patrimony -- to lineal descendants, and culturally affiliated Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations. NAGPRA includes provisions for unclaimed and culturally unidentifiable Native American cultural items, intentional and inadvertent discovery of Native American cultural items on Federal and tribal lands, and penalties for noncompliance and illegal trafficking. In addition, NAGPRA authorizes Federal grants to Indian tribes, Native Hawaiian organizations, and museums to assist with the documentation and repatriation of Native American cultural items, and establishes the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review Committee to monitor the NAGPRA process and facilitate the resolution of disputes that may arise concerning repatriation under NAGPRA.
Dawn Marie Alapisco received her HBS in Archaeology/Physical Anthropology from Oregon State University Anthropology. She attended the Oregon State University 2009 Archeological Field School at the Newell Homestead in Champoeg, Oregon and the Bake House at Fort Yamhill, Oregon. Her education then took her into the field of bioarchaeology and human osteology. She is currently working on her Masters in Applied Anthropology at Oregon State University focusing on the curation of the Umm el-Jimal Osteological Research Collection from Umm el-Jimal, Jordan. Her main focus regarding this collection is nutritional health during subsistence strategy transition. This work led her to work with NAGPRA as an osteologist and a passion to ensure Native American ancestor repatriation was born.
In her current role as the NAGPRA Coordinator for Oregon State University, Dawn Marie is entrusted with ensuring appropriate identification and curation of human remains in the Oregon State University NAGPRA assemblage, as well as the curation of associated/unassociated funerary objects, sacred items, and items of cultural patrimony. She is also charged with responding to NAGPRA inquiries from Tribal governments and Federal agencies, contacting Native American Tribes regarding NAGPRA publications, and providing recommendations to the Oregon State University NAGPRA Committee concerning matters of NAGPRA repatriations.