ALBANY — More than 30 years after Congress passed a law requiring museums to return all things removed from Native American graves to the descendants of those buried, the New York State Museum has returned just 29% of its ancestry collection and Native American grave goods to their nations of origin, calling the others “culturally unidentifiable.”
The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act outlines requirements and processes for museums and federal agencies to return objects and artifacts removed from Native American graves, including soil, pottery, and ancestral remains, to lineal descendants, nations culturally affiliated Native Americans or Native Hawaiian organizations.
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