Dear campus community,
The UC Office of the President (UCOP) updated the Native American Cultural Affiliation and Repatriation Policy on December 17, 2021 to increase and achieve repatriation, in compliance with the Federal Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) and the California NAGPRA (CalNAGPRA), and to increase accountability and transparency across all UC campuses. NAGPRA and CalNAGPRA were enacted to address the rights of Native American and Native Hawaiian tribes and lineal descendants to repatriation of ancestral human remains and certain cultural items (funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony).
I write to raise awareness of the policy’s requirements, to affirm UCI’s commitment to these laws and to the guiding principles and procedures of the UC policy, and to enlist your assistance ensuring the campus fully complies with this important human rights and cultural heritage effort. In addition, provided below are procedures to report Native American and Native Hawaiian human remains or cultural items. In particular, note that the policy:
- Articulates the repatriation of Native American and Native Hawaiian human remains as a fundamental objective and value of the university.
- Requires campuses to proactively review existing collections, including all collections that contain Native American archaeological or ethnographic objects or other holdings that may potentially contain Native American or Native Hawaiian human remains or cultural items.
- Prohibits the use of Native American or Native Hawaiian human remains or cultural items in research or instructional activities without tribal and university approval.
- Requires the university to consult with tribes regarding traditional practices for the care of ancestral human remains and cultural items.
- Provides procedures for tribes to file appeals or complaints if they disagree with campus actions or decisions under the policy.
- Provides a procedure for members of the campus community to report Native American or Native Hawaiian human remains and cultural items that they believe are not being properly maintained or properly reported.
- Requires each campus to perform a review of all departments and units historically engaged in studies with human remains or cultural items and all departments or units identified by department deans, chairs, or unit heads as potentially holding Native American or Native Hawaiian human remains or cultural items, in order to identify previously unreported human remains or cultural items.
As the Chancellor’s Designee under the UC Policy, I am responsible for campus oversight, compliance, and decision-making associated with this policy, NAGPRA, and CalNAGPRA. Joseph Morales serves as the Campus Repatriation Point of Contact under the policy and has been delegated authority to implement the policy.
As we prepare for the campus-wide review described above, I will be writing to department deans, chairs, and unit heads with further instruction in the coming weeks. I kindly request the cooperation of all UC faculty, staff, and students with the Repatriation Point of Contact and with their department heads as needed in carrying out this review.
For updated information regarding the Policy, please visit https://ucal.us/nagpra. For additional information regarding UCI’s NAGPRA compliance efforts, please visit https://inclusion.uci.edu/nagpra/. Please contact UCI Repatriation Point of Contact Joseph Morales at email@example.com or (949) 824-7455 with any questions regarding the policy or if you believe you or others may hold Native American or Native Hawaiian human remains or cultural items that have not previously been reported.
We appreciate your attention and full cooperation with this important policy.
Douglas M. Haynes, Ph.D. (Pronouns: he/him/his)
Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Chief Diversity Officer
Director, ADVANCE Program
Professor of History