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.

Our NAGPRA Advisory Committee supports the intent of State Executive Order N-15-19 and the UC systemwide NAGPRA Policy.  We also recognize and commit 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]

Under the direction of the California Native American Heritage Commission (NAHC), the UC 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, CalNAGPRA and UCOP policy 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 Thomas Torma, email: nagpra-liaison@berkeley.edu, phone: (510) 672-5388.

Committee Membership (effective July 1, 2021)

Campus NAGPRA Official

  • Randy Howard Katz (Campus NAGPRA official, does not vote on committee)

UC Berkeley Campus Committee - Appointed July 2021

  • UC - Sabrina Agarwal (UC Berkeley) 
  • UC - Phenocia Bauerle (UC Berkeley) 
  • UC - Amy Lonetree (UC Santa Cruz) 
  • Tribal - Vince Medina (Ohlone Indian Tribe) (NFR) 
  • Tribal - Creed Stedman (United Auburn Indian Community) (FR) 
  • Tribal - Daniel Fonseca (Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians) (FR) 

Past Committee Members (July 2018 - June 2021)

  • Seth Davis - term concluded June, 2021
  • Daniel Fisher - term concluded June, 2021
  • Darlene Francis - term concluded June, 2021
  • Junko Habu - term concluded June, 2021
  • Christine Hastorf - term concluded June, 2021
  • Shari Huhndorf - term concluded June, 2021
  • Ira Jacknis - term concluded June 30, 2019
  • Sonia Katyal - term concluded June 30, 2019 
  • Joe Myers - term concluded June 30, 2019
  • Beth Piatote - term concluded June, 2021
  • Melissa Stoner - term concluded June, 2021
  • Steve Sugarman - term concluded June 30, 2019