UC Berkeley NAGPRA Advisory Committee

Introduction to the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) Advisory Committee

The UC Berkeley NAGPRA Advisory Committee recognizes that Berkeley sits on the territory of Huichin, the ancestral and unceded land of the Chochenyo Ohlone, the successors of the historic and sovereign Verona Band of Alameda County. By offering this Land Acknowledgement, we affirm Indigenous sovereignty and will work to hold the University of California, Berkeley more accountable to the needs of American Indian and Indigenous Peoples.  

The UC Berkeley campus holds the largest number of human remains of Native American ancestors and their cultural belongings within the UC system. The UC Berkeley NAGPRA Advisory Committee recognizes that the human remains of Native American and Native Hawaiian ancestors and their cultural belongings were obtained and continue to be held in the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology in violation of Indigenous Communities’ spiritual and cultural beliefs, without the free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous Communities.

We acknowledge that the federal Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) and California NAGPRA (CalNAGPRA) were enacted to recognize Native American and Native Hawaiian rights to ancestral human remains and cultural belongings. The repatriation or disposition of all human remains of Native American and Native Hawaiian ancestors and cultural belongings is a fundamental objective and value of the University of California, and the UC Berkeley NAGPRA Advisory Committee is committed to support the campus in accomplishing this as proactively, expeditiously and respectfully as possible.

Appointed by the Vice Chancellor for Research, the Berkeley campus and NAGPRA Advisory Committee supports the intent of Executive Order N-15-19 of the State of California, and recognizes and commits to implementing the rights of Indigenous Peoples articulated in Article 12 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) as follows: “the right to the use and control of their ceremonial objects; and the right to the repatriation of their ancestral human remains.” [1] UC Berkeley also commits to providing access to and repatriation of Native American or Native Hawaiian ancestral human remains and their cultural belongings “through fair, transparent and effective mechanisms developed in conjunction with Indigenous Peoples.”[2]

The Berkeley NAGPRA Advisory Committee is dedicated to upholding the campus commitment to repatriation made in conjunction with meaningful consultation with indigenous Peoples. The Committee continues to review claims for cultural affiliation and requests for repatriation/disposition, make recommendations to the Campus NAGPRA Official (Chancellor’s designee), and ensure campus compliance with NAGPRA and CalNAGPRA to the greatest extent possible through active community outreach. Review of traditional knowledge, in a format amiable to individual Tribes, will be a critical part of our decision-making process

[1]  United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, G.A. Res. 61/295, art. 12, ¶ 1, U.N. Doc. A/RES/61/295 (Sept. 13, 2007), available at https://undocs.org/A/RES/61/295.

[2] United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, art. 12, ¶ 2.

Inquiries regarding NAGPRA consultation and the repatriation process can be directed to vcr@berkeley.edu.

Committee Membership (effective July 1, 2019)

Campus NAGPRA Official, Advisory Committee Chair, Museum Director Ex Officio

  • Randy Howard Katz (Campus NAGPRA official, does not vote on committee) - term as campus official concludes June 30, 2021
  • Sabrina Agarwal (Chair, Anthropology) - term concludes June 30, 2024
  • Lauren Kroiz (Phoebe Hearst Museum Faculty Director, does not vote on committee) - ex officio

Faculty and Staff At-Large Positions (of any professional background, with strong preference for those with demonstrated personal or professional interests in the Indigenous Peoples of North America)

  • Amy Lonetree - term concludes June 30, 2023
  • Darlene Francis - term concludes June 30, 2023
  • Phenocia Bauerle - term concludes June 30, 2022
  • Melissa Stoner - term concludes June 30, 2021

Faculty with scholarship on topics pertaining to Native American and other Indigenous Peoples

  • Shari Huhndorf - term concludes June 30, 2024
  • Beth Piatote - term concludes June 30, 2023

Faculty with scholarship in Anthropology, Human Evolution, Genetics, Osteology, & Related Fields

  • Daniel Fisher - term concludes June 30, 2021
  • Sabrina Agarwal (Chair) - term concludes June 30, 2024

Faculty with scholarship in Law

  • Seth Davis (systemwide representative) - term concludes June 30, 2024

Members of the Phoebe Hearst Museum's Council of Curators

  • Junko Habu - term concludes June 30, 2023
  • Christine Hastorf - term concludes June 30, 2022

Observers (non-voting)

  • Campus Counsel
  • Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion
  • Vice Chancellor for Research
  • Hearst Museum Head of Cultural Policy and Repatriation

Past Committee Members

  • Ira Jacknis - term concluded June 30, 2019
  • Sonia Katyal - term concluded June 30, 2019 
  • Joe Myers - term concluded June 30, 2019
  • Steve Sugarman - term concluded June 30, 2019