NOVEMBER 28, 1989

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN ACT OF 1989 SIGNED INTO LAW

Signed by President George H. W. Bush, Public Law 101–185, authorized the erection of the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) in Washington, D.C., to house the more than 800,000 objects in the George Gustav Heye (GGH) Foundation’s Museum of the American Indian in New York which, under the Act, became the GGH Center of the NMAI. The Act’s initial purposes were:  To advance the study of Native Americans; collect, preserve & exhibit Native American objects; and provide for Native American research & study programs.  The Native American Rights Fund insisted on a fourth purpose:  Repatriation.  All Smithsonian museums must inventory, identify & consider for return—if requested by a Native community or individual—American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian human remains and funerary objects.  Amendments to the Act in 1996 (Public Law 104–278) provided for the inventory and repatriation of unassociated funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony.

Source:  “Repatriation,” National Museum of the American Indian. Smithsonian Institution.  Retrieved 8/17/2020, https://americanindian.si.edu/explore/repatriation
 Wikipedia
Graphic:  Official Seal of the United States of America.  Public Domain.  

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