The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 and the regulations (43 CFR Part 10) that allow for its implementation address the rights of lineal descendants, Indian tribes, and Native Hawaiian organizations (parties with standing) to Native American human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony (cultural items). The statute requires Federal agencies and museums to provide information about Native American cultural items to parties with standing and, upon presentation of a valid claim, ensure the item(s) undergo disposition or repatriation.
NAGPRA requires that Reclamation complete a number of reports and submit them to tribes and the Department of the Interior through the National NAGPRA Program. Reclamation submitted a single Reclamation Summary Report in 1993. All five regions within Reclamation submitted region specific inventories by the statutory deadline in 1995. A number of inadvertent discoveries and intentional excavations of NAGPRA cultural items have occurred on Reclamation lands or because of its actions on tribal lands since 1990.