Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma Repatriates 403 Human Remains from Mississippi
April 15, 2021
ADA, Okla. - Last month, the state of Mississippi returned the largest collection of human remains and other items of significant cultural value in the state's history, citing the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). The Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma repatriated 403 human remains and 83 lots of funerary items from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) in Jackson, Miss. It is the first repatriation by the state.
"We see the repatriation process as an act of love," said Director of Historical Preservation and Repatriation for the Chickasaw Nation Amber Hood to the Associated Press. "These are our grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, uncles and cousins from long ago."
Signed in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush, NAGRPA is a federal law that requires any institution that receives federal funding, which can include museums and schools, to consult with federally recognized tribes, Alaskan Natives, and Native Hawaiians. Tribes that have items in archives in an institution must be consulted with by law. Tribes can also make claims to repatriate human remains or items of significant cultural value to the tribe.