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Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) - Consultation/Documentation Grants

Grants to USA Nonprofits, Agencies, IHEs, Tribes, and
Native Organizations to Preserve Cultural Objects

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Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of the Interior - National Park Service

Deadline Date:

03/09/18 11:59 PM PST


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Grants ranging from $5,000 to $90,000 to USA Indian tribes, Native Hawaiian organizations, Alaska Native colleges, and museums for the collection and documentation of cultural items. Applicants are advised that registration in the online grants system may take several days to complete.

Program Background Information and Objectives:

The National Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) Program assists the Secretary of the Interior with some responsibilities under NAGPRA. One of these responsibilities is to administer the section of NAGPRA which authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to make grants to museums, Indian tribes, and Native Hawaiian organizations for the purposes of assisting in consultation, documentation, and repatriation of Native American cultural items, including human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony (25 U.S.C. 3008).

Grant funds must be used for consultation and documentation under NAGPRA. Consultation projects support efforts related to compiling or revising a NAGPRA inventory and making or responding to requests for items in a NAGPRA summary. Documentation projects support determining the geographical origin, cultural affiliation, and other basic facts surrounding the acquisition of Native American cultural items. Consultation and documentation projects should lead to determining control, treatment, and disposition of NAGPRA cultural items.

1. Appropriate Activities for Grant Funds:

Consultation/ Documentation grants are intended to support:

a. Museums’ efforts to further identify Native American human remains and cultural items in their collections through consultation with Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations leading towards repatriation; and/or

b. Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations’ efforts to consult with museums regarding human remains and cultural items of interest to their tribe or organization and determine items for which they desire to make a request and consult on repatriation/ disposition.

Grants are used to support specific, discrete projects that can be accomplished within a 24-month grant period. NAGPRA grants will support both new projects as well as phases of larger, ongoing projects. Projects may include, but are not limited to:

a. Research and/or data collection. This includes academic research, database development, interviews with tribal elders, and other forms of data collection to support consultations leading to cultural affiliation and repatriation/disposition requests. For museums this would include research to determine cultural affiliation of newly acquired collections, updating collections previously identified as culturally unidentifiable for additional tribal or aboriginal land interests of tribes, developing databases or other records management systems to improve consultations, or partnering with other museums and/or tribes to improve identification and consultation. For tribes and NHOs, this would include developing a database system to maintain information gained from summaries and inventories, producing reports on cultural affiliation to support NAGPRA requests, or working with Indian tribes, NHOs and/or museums on projects to determine the cultural affiliation or tribal or aboriginal land connections of the human remains and cultural items.

b. Training. This includes the development and production of conferences or workshops; attending established conferences and workshops, including the NAGPRA Review Committee meetings and trainings connected to the meetings, to gain knowledge on a variety of NAGPRA-related issues including consultations, repatriation, and handling contaminated collections.

c. Travel. Museums, Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations can use NAGPRA grants to cover travel costs for tribal representatives to view collections and consult regarding the identification, cultural affiliation, proper care, and repatriation of human remains and cultural items.

d. Meetings. NAGPRA encourages the development of innovative techniques to bring museums, Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations together to consult. Meetings can be conducted onsite or remotely via teleconferences, webinars, conference calls, etc. Meetings can range in size and scope. Museums may use NAGPRA funds to support the preparation and hosting of tribes for consultations or meetings with other museums. Tribes may consider using the grant to support various meetings including internal NAGPRA committee meetings, meetings with a NAGPRA coalition, or meetings with museums.

e. Collections Care. Many NAGPRA items in museums were treated with potentially hazardous materials in an effort to preserve them, and now pose health and environmental concerns. Funds can be used to test collections for the presence of pesticides or other contaminants, research and document a collections treatment history, and cover the cost of decontaminating items. Funds can also be used to train museum and tribal staff on the care and maintenance of contaminated collections subject to handling in consultation and repatriation.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 178708

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

Based on prior year data, NPS anticipates between 20 and 30 agreements for FY2018. The actual number of awards will depend on the number of meritorious applications and the availability of appropriated funds.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Based on prior year data, NPS anticipates the average dollar amount of awards made under this announcement to be between $5,000 to $90,000.

Term of Contract:

Agreement terms for funded projects are estimated to range between one and two years, depending on the negotiated project statement of work.

Applications for renewal or supplementation of existing projects are eligible to compete with applications for new Federal awards. Applications to renew or supplement existing projects must explain in full the specific, discrete project that can be accomplished within a 24-month grant period that is a part of a larger, ongoing project.

The anticipated term of the agreement is September 1, 2018 - August 31, 2020.


  • City or township governments
  • County governments
  • Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Private institutions of higher education
  • Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
  • See RFP and/or Grant Guidelines for full eligibility
  • State governments

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Applicants:

Federally recognized Indian tribes, Alaska Native villages, Native Hawaiian organizations, and museums are eligible to apply. Federal agencies may not apply for grants. The following entities are eligible to apply for a NAGPRA Consultation/Documentation Grant:

a. An Indian Tribe, Alaska Native village, or Native Hawaiian Organization

An "Indian tribe" means any tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community of Indians, including any Alaska Native village (as defined in, or established pursuant to, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act), which is recognized as eligible for the special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians. The Department of the Interior has interpreted this definition as applying to over 560 Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages that are recognized by the United States Government. The Bureau of Indian Affairs’ list of Federally recognized tribes is posted on the National NAGPRA website at This list does not include Alaska regional or village corporations, although Alaska Native Villages may subcontract work under grants to such corporations.

“Native Hawaiian organization” includes any organization that: a) serves and represents the interests of Native Hawaiians; b) has as a primary and stated purpose the provision of services to Native Hawaiians; and c) has expertise in Native Hawaiian Affairs. NAGPRA states that such Native Hawaiian organizations shall include the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

b. A museum that has control of Native American human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, or objects of cultural patrimony and has received Federal funds.

The term “Museum” includes state or local government agencies, private institutions, and institutions of higher learning that have received Federal funds. As applicable to their institution, eligible museums must have completed and provided the following documents to the National NAGPRA Program and to Indian tribes or NHOs as appropriate:

i. A NAGPRA Summary of the Native American unassociated funerary objects, sacred objects or objects of cultural patrimony in their possession or control by November 16, 1993, and thereafter according to timelines established by 43 CFR 10.13 (Future Applicability Rule).

ii. A NAGPRA Inventory of Native American human remains and associated funerary objects in their possession or control by November 16, 1995 (or other deadline as stipulated by the Department of the Interior), and thereafter according to timelines established by 43 CFR 10.13 (Future Applicability Rule).

A museum that has not yet completed the initial obligations of NAGPRA (the initial summaries and inventories), but does so prior to submitting a grant proposal, may then receive an award.

Applicants who previously received a NAGPRA grant, but did not meet the conditions of the grant agreement, including reporting and deliverables, may be penalized in the review process.

Pre-Application Information:

All NAGPRA grant applicants must submit their complete application packages electronically through the website. Organizations not yet registered or familiar with must first register online. It will take several days for your account to be processed before you can submit your application.

Applicants may submit more than one proposal during the fiscal year. A separate and complete proposal package must be submitted for each unique project. Note that a maximum of $90,000 is available for a unique project. Multiple proposals from museums, tribes, and NHOs can be submitted for the same project however, applicants should determine how the $90,000 will be distributed among the requestors prior to submittal and budget accordingly. A single joint request is preferred.

Consultation/Documentation Grant applications due in by 11:59 PM (PST) on March 9, 2018.

The target date for announcement of FY2018 ConsultationDocumentation Grant awards is August 2018.

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Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Organizations not yet registered or familiar with must first go to the following website and follow the instructions to register:

Sarah Glass

National NAGPRA Program
1849 C Street NW
Mail Stop 7360
Washington, D.C. 20240

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Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming