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The University of California system pursues greater compliance with NAGPRA

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Caitlin Philippo

Center for Art Collections Ethics Graduate Assistant

Elizabeth Campbell

Director of the Center for Art Collection Ethics

Blog  •
UCLA’s campus.

UCLA’s campus.

California governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law a measure that requires the University of California system to ensure compliance with the 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). The law creates a systemwide repatriation oversight commission that will consult with the State of California Native American Heritage Commission, a nine-member body appointed by the governor. The new measure also provides for two audits to ensure ongoing compliance across the UC system.

Students from several UC campuses lobbied for the bill in Sacramento, citing a need for greater transparency and more consistent adherence to NAGPRA regulations. The challenge of implementation remains, but it is a promising measure that recognizes the importance of Native heritage and the responsibility of Universities to conserve ethically and, when warranted, repatriate.

Read more here.