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The Burke Museum works closely with tribes throughout the US and Canada to preserve Native American cultural items, to facilitate repatriation, to assist with tribal trainings in museum methods and cultural heritage law, and promote collaborative research and public education about Native American culture and history. The Burke Museum has a long history of commitment to both the legal and the ethical principals of NAGPRA, and values having open communications and relationships with tribes during this process.

To learn more about repatriation and the laws surrounding it please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

If you are a tribal member please visit our Information for Tribal Members page.


As required by law, the Burke Museum provided NAGPRA Summaries to the National Park Service and relevant tribal communities in 1993, NAGPRA Inventories of human remains and funerary objects in 1995, and has updated NAGPRA Summaries biennially of all accessions collected since the passage of the law.

The stone T’xlewatse being fitted for his travelling canoe by Megon Noble and Sonny McHalsie.


As of June 2010, the Burke has repatriated 333 sets of Native American human remains, 24,590 funerary objects, nine sacred objects, and one object of cultural patrimony. The Burke Museum is continuing the consultation process to ensure the return of human remains and funerary objects to the appropriate culturally affiliated tribes.

Recently, the Burke Museum was honored to participate in the repatriation of an object of cultural patrimony known as the Stone T'xwelatse to the Nooksack Indian Tribe and the Sto:lo Nation (see photo above). To learn more about this historic event please visit our T'xwelatse Event page.

International Repatriation

For more information about the international repatriation, please click here


For a list of recent notices from the Burke Museum that are published on the Federal Register and links to the full text of these documents please visit our Published Notices page.

For more information about repatriation at the Burke, please contact:

Hollye Keister