of the Yurok Tribe  
Lesson Plan for Teachers

Below is an idea for a lesson plan when discussing NAGPRA, tribal collections, or repatriation with students.

NAGPRA Lesson 1




  1. Introduction of NAGPRA, summary of what and why it protects cultural items.  May consider copying the Act for them to read independently. 
  2. Explain NAGPRA, review the definition of repatriation, when the law was enacted, that it is a human rights law. Emphasize the number of human remains stored in museums (over 200,000 human remains in museums – 18,000 were in Smithsonian Institute).
  3. Review the Act’s key definitions (funerary/unassociated funerary, objects of cultural patrimony, sacred objects). Explain the various facets that NAGPRA addresses – (Museum/federal agency summary and inventory notices, excavation and discoveries, civil penalties, illegal trafficking, Review Committee)
  4. Review how the Tribe implements the NAGPRA laws and how the Tribe protects Yurok cultural items
  5. Explain consultation with museums and importance of accession documents and photographs.  
  6. Explain the claims process, length of time it takes for the Tribe to create a claim and how long it takes for a museum to process a claim.




  1. Students will be given photos of ceremonial items and asked to place them in a NAGPRA category.
  2. Students will review museum accession documents. Discussion on what it says.
  3. Students will write a claim to the museum explaining why the items need to be repatriated and why they are important to the Tribe and meet the statutory definitions of the law.  



Resources Needed


  1. NAGPRA (Act, Regulations)
  2. Photos of ceremonial items from museums
  3. Museum Accession records
  4. Literature on NAGPRA and Tribal Experiences