San Francisco State University is firmly committed to the repatriation of Native American human remains and cultural items whenever possible and to the respectful curation of cultural materials at all times. The primary goal of the SF State NAGPRA Program is to return ancestral remains and cultural objects to Native American communities.
SF State University has served as a repository for Native American and non-Native American cultural materials for over 50 years: see the history of SF State collections (pdf). The NAGPRA Program is responsible for items from approximately 500 cultural sites located in 32 counties in California. A smaller number of items originate from Oregon and Nevada. SF State is responsible for the custody of 99 collections containing human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony. The NAGPRA Program is also responsible for Native American cultural items at the Treganza Anthropology Museum (TAM). The TAM collections include cultural items from various areas across the U.S. and Alaska.
The SF State NAGPRA Program began in 1996. SF State NAGPRA Summaries, Inventories, Notices, and Culturally Unidentifiable Native American Inventory have been submitted to the National NAGPRA Program. NAGPRA compliance is an ongoing process at SF State. All of our documents are subject to change as tribal groups become federally recognized, NAGPRA laws are revised, and collection records are updated.
The pictures below show the repatriation of baskets to the Tubatulabals of Kern Valley (top left) and to the Santa Rosa Rancheria (bottom right) in 2012. The Tubatulabal tribal representatives are Louise Miranda-Akers, Betsy Johnson, and Marie Bovey. The Santa Rosa tribal representatives are Pete Alanis and Lalo Franco. (Photographs by Peter Biella, use with permission from the two tribes)