Below is an idea for a lesson plan when discussing NAGPRA, tribal collections, or repatriation with students.
NAGPRA Lesson 1
- Introduction of NAGPRA, summary of what and why it protects cultural items. May consider copying the Act for them to read independently.
- 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).
- 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)
- Review how the Tribe implements the NAGPRA laws and how the Tribe protects Yurok cultural items
- Explain consultation with museums and importance of accession documents and photographs.
- 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.
- Students will be given photos of ceremonial items and asked to place them in a NAGPRA category.
- Students will review museum accession documents. Discussion on what it says.
- 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.
- NAGPRA (Act, Regulations)
- Photos of ceremonial items from museums
- Museum Accession records
- Literature on NAGPRA and Tribal Experiences