Educate & Act Series will cover Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act

LAWRENCE — The Educate & Act series at the University of Kansas will host virtual events this semester for the Jayhawk community to learn more about the policies and procedures that characterize democracy in the United States and connects attendees to resources for further learning.

Led by The Commons, the Center for Service Learning and the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity, the next event will take place at 3:30 p.m. March 5 and will cover the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), featuring KU scholars and professional staff whose work connects them to this topic in different ways.

Originally passed in 1990, NAGPRA has been at the center of many hearings since then and has been updated as recently as December 2023 under the leadership of Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland.

“NAGPRA is incredibly complex and nuanced legislation that directs processes most of us don’t interact with on a regular basis if at all,” says Emily Ryan, director of The Commons. “These considerations, combined with the fact that we have a number of individuals working with NAGPRA here at KU, prompted us to include it in the Educate & Act series.”

This event will cover some of the basics of NAGPRA, such as:

  • What is NAGPRA, and why does it exist?
  • What kinds of institutions does NAGPRA apply to? How does it function?
  • What are the parts of a repatriation process, and how do they happen?
  • What have been some recent updates to NAGPRA legislation?
  • How can people learn more about NAGPRA, including local and regional efforts?

This event will feature:

  • Carlton Shield Chief Gover, curator of archaeology, KU Biodiversity Institute & Natural History Museum and assistant professor of anthropology
    Dennis O’Rourke, Foundation Distinguished Professor of Anthropology
    Tom Torma, Repatriation Program manager
    Moderator: Meg Smith, master’s student, museum studies

Register to attend the event via Zoom.