The Department of the Interior (DOI) is committed to helping protect Native American cultural heritage.  We recognize that cultural heritage is an essential element for Tribal self-determination and for the identity of Native American Communities. 

Consultation on International Repatriation

On October 26, 2020, Assistant Secretary Sweeney invited Tribes to participate in consultation regarding whether your Tribe has identified human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, or objects of cultural patrimony (hereafter referred to as "cultural items") that are currently under foreign (outside the United States) possession. The consultation will also allow for discussion of a number of additional questions related to international repatriation, which are included in the Dear Tribal Leader letter, available here.

Tribal Consultation Session

Consultation Session - International Repatriation
Date TIme Call-In Number Passcode
Wednesday, December 2, 2020 2 p.m. - 5 p.m. Eastern (888) 831-8967 "DOI"


Please email any written input you have to by midnight, Friday, December 4, 2020. 

For further information:  Ms. Ashley Fry, Senior Advisor - International Affairs, Office of the Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs,, (202) 492-1947.

A summary of comments received is available here

Draft Legislative Options Summary

We have drafted a summary of possible legislative options regarding international repatriation of Native American cultural items. This draft legislative options summary addresses a recommendation in the August 2018 Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report to Congress entitled Native American Cultural Property: Additional Agency Actions Needed to Assist Tribes with Repatriating Items from Overseas AuctionsThe draft legislative options summary is available here.

On November 1, 2019, the Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs announced in a Tribal Leader letter a listening session and a Tribal consultation session to be held on the draft international repatriation legislative options summary.  


The comment period of Friday, February 14, 2020, has closed. 

Listening Session

Date Time (Local Time) Location Venue
Tuesday, November 12, 2019
5:15 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Fountain Hills, AZ
(in association with AAIA Repatriation Conference)
We-Ko-Pa Resort and Conference Center
Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation
10438 N. Fort McDowell Road
Fountain Hills, AZ  85264

Tribal Consultation Session

Date Time (Local Time) Location Venue
Tuesday, January 14, 2020
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (Eastern Time)
Call-in Number: 1-800-857-9804
Passcode: 9420567