a reply to: The angel of light
The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) is a United States federal law enacted on 16 November 1990.
The Act requires federal agencies and institutions that receive federal funding to return Native American "cultural items" to lineal descendants and
culturally affiliated Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations. Cultural items include human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and
objects of cultural patrimony. A program of federal grants assists in the repatriation process and the Secretary of the Interior may assess civil
penalties on museums that fail to comply.
NAGPRA also establishes procedures for the inadvertent discovery or planned excavation of Native American cultural items on federal or tribal lands.
While these provisions do not apply to discoveries or excavations on private or state lands, the collection provisions of the Act does apply to Native
American cultural items if they come under the control of an institution that receives federal funding. Since this native American child was under
the control of the United States National Park service at its Mesa Verde Museum, this child is covered by NAGPRA.
Lastly, NAGPRA makes it a criminal offense to traffic in Native American human remains without right of possession or in Native American cultural
items obtained in violation of the Act. Penalties for a first offense may reach 12 months imprisonment and a $100,000 fine.
Therefor, Maussan is treading on dangerous legal ground by publicly offering a $10,000 reward for the body of the mummified Native American child.
The intent of the NAGPRA legislation is to address long-standing claims by federally recognized tribes for the return of human remains and cultural
objects unlawfully obtained from prehistoric, historic, former, and current Native American homelands.
As the research as shown, the mummified Native American child was originally removed from an archaeological dig site. The body subsequently was
turned over some years later to a National Parks museum - Mesa Verde. NAGPRA compelled the National Park Service to return said child back to Native
Americans. In this case, the specific Native American tribe being the Pueblos.
Most presumably, this child was buried in the ground in 1990 on Pueblo land in the western United States, by the Pueblos.
Collections holders are obliged to inform and engage with tribes whose materials, including human remains, they may possess. NAGPRA was enacted
primarily at the insistence and by the direction of members of Native American nations.
It has long been the time to let this deceased Native American boy rest in peace in the land of his descendants.