Consultation and Repatriation
The Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology values consultation as a cornerstone of strong and positive relationships with American Indian communities. Consultation is at the heart of Federal NAGPRA law, but it is also at the heart of ethical museum practice.The outcomes of consultation are many: from community-based exhibitions of objects in the collections to educational programs for tribal youth to repatriation of collections in compliance with Federal law.
The Museum consults with tribes throughout the United States regarding human remains and associated funerary objects, unassociated funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony. The Museum is in full compliance with all provisions of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.
Consultation visits typically take place over a 1-3-day period and consists not only of viewing collections, but also of reviewing Museum documents to discover how the collections were obtained. The Museum staff also introduces visitors to other campus resources such as the Bancroft Library, the Anthropology Library, and the Ethnic Studies Library, where further information may be obtained relevant to any claim that a tribe may wish to file. In addition to campus visits, consultation takes the form of written and oral communications, such as e-mail, letters, and telephone conversations. To date, the Museum has consulted with more than 450 distinct American Indian groups.
Please direct any inquiries regarding the consultation or repatriation process to this address. The Museum's staff looks forward to working with you.