NAGPRA Statement

The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), Pub. L. 101-601, 25 U.S.C. 3001 et seq., 104 Stat. 3048, is a United States federal law enacted on November 16, 1990. The Act is primarily concerned with the identification of “human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony” and the disposition and repatriation of the remains or objects to lineal descendants, Native American tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations.

Santa Rosa Junior College’s Multicultural Museum, as caretaker of the District’s collection of Native American art and artifacts, is committed to both the legal and ethical principles of NAGPRA. In 1994, SRJC published the first summary report to the national NAGPRA office.  SRJC continually reviews the collections for items that may fall under this law, and the more recent CalNAGPRA law, passed in 2001, in order to determine whether items in the holdings are sacred, items of cultural patrimony, or items that are unassociated funerary (burial) items.

Santa Rosa Junior College fully supports and participates in all laws that govern the exhibit, research, and possession of cultural objects belonging to Native American tribes. Through participation in open and transparent consultations, SRJC shares the archival information from the collections with Tribal officials, and defers to traditional cultural knowledge in determining how best to handle, treat, display, or ultimately, return objects to tribes. SRJC does not display objects, either in exhibits or on the website, if they are under review for being potential NAGPRA or CalNAGPRA items.

SRJC is dedicated to intentional and authentic relationship-building and consultation with local Indigenous communities. While SRJC is required by law to achieve full NAGPRA compliance, active engagement and meaningful dialogue with the Indigenous community fosters a respectful understanding of the cultural items, assists tribes in their cultural heritage efforts, and promotes collaborative research and public education.