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National Institute of Justice Webinar………Implementing NAGPRA: Connecting Medical Examiner and Coroner Offices to Tribal Partners

November 22, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EST

This project is designed to connect tribal partners to ME/C offices to facilitate successful disposition protocols for non-forensically significant Native American remains that are compliant with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 (NAGPRA). In order to facilitate tribal-ME/C office partnerships and NAGPRA implementation, the investigators, in partnership with the tribal partners, propose to offer their repatriation, osteological, and curatorial expertise to ME/C offices to help complete inventories of remains that fall under the jurisdiction of NAGPRA, initiate consultation, and provide repatriation education and training.

The data collected through these collaborative efforts will be used to construct a national database that details the medicolegal system in each state, identifies NAGPRA contact information for each office, what offices hold Native American human remains, and the contextual information associated with them. The database will also include NAGPRA “tool-kits”, resource documents designed for medico-legal practitioners that will provide easy, go-to guides for NAGPRA compliance that are state specific. The tool-kits will be tailored to the input from the tribes located in each state, the state’s ME/C structure, as well as each state’s laws for the identification and disposition of non-forensically significant remains. The database as well as the tool-kits will first be constructed for and piloted in Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Michigan, and Tennessee. Ideally, the database will give tribes the information and tools necessary to decide how and when they would like to make NAGPRA claims. Ultimately, the study’s deliverables and findings could help ensure the medicolegal system upholds their responsibilities established by federal laws for repatriating non-forensically insignificant Native American remains in their possession.


Christine “Tina” Crossland, Senior Social Science Analyst/Social and Behavioral Research Scientist, NIJ


Dr. Veronica Pasfield, Ojibwa member of the Bays Mills Tribal Community

Reylynne Williams, Cultural Resource Specialist, Gila River Indian Community

Megan Kleeschulte, M.A., University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Dr. Ellen Lofaro, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Dr. Bruce Anderson, Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner, Arizona


Thursday, August 4

Download Day 4 Agenda


Wednesday, August 3

Download Day 3 Agenda Here


Tuesday, August 2

Download Day 2 Agenda

7:30 am
Registration (Location: Sequoia)

9:00 am
Posting of Colors (Location: Grand Peninsula Ballroom)

9:05 am
Welcome & Opening Prayer

9:10 am
Time of Reflection

9:25 am
Welcome & Opening Message from SGCETC Board of Directors 

9:30 am
Welcome from Tribal Nations within California and Discussion of Hot  Topics

10:15 am
Discussion with Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Bryan Newland

10:30 am

10:45 am
Establishing the Bay Area American Indian Cultural District

11:00 am
COVID Update and Indian Health Service Initiatives to Improve Health and Wellbeing

11:30 am
International Decade (2022 – 2032) of Indigenous Language Preservation

11:45 am
Lunch Break

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Breakout Sessions

 2:00 pm – 2:15 pm
Networking Break

2:15 pm – 3:30 pm
Breakout Sessions

3:30 pm- 3:45 pm

3:45 pm
Threats to Tribal Sovereignty: Protecting the Indian Child Welfare Act

(Location: Grand Peninsula Ballroom)

4:05 pm
Self-Governance Updates from DOI, IHS, and DOT

4:45 pm
Tiwahe Initiative – Federal Updates


Additional Meetings and Activities

11:30 am – 5:00 pm
DOI SGDB Training Room (Sand Pebble D)

11:30 am – 5:00 pm
Individual Meetings with OSG Staff- Open (Board Rooms 3 & 4)

6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Tribal Caucus for the Food Distribution Program for Indian Reservations Consultation Meeting (Cypress A)