Welcome to the SF State Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) Program

COVID-19 Health and Safety Update

Due to concerns about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the San Francisco State University NAGPRA Program facilities closed on March 13, 2020 at 5 p.m.

The SF State NAGPRA Program facilities remain closed until further notice.  We will carefully follow the recommendations from state and public health agencies regarding the virus, and we will reopen when it is safe to do so.  Protecting the health and safety of our staff, visitors, volunteers, and campus community is our highest priority.  We appreciate your patience as we navigate through this challenging time.  We will announce any changes to our operations on our website.

The University will maintain NAGPRA Program security throughout the closure, ensuring the safety of all collections in our buildings.  We want to maintain our relationship with you during this time of crisis, please feel free to reach out to us with any questions or concerns via email at nagpra@sfsu.edu.

Thank you for your understanding during this time.  We look forward to welcoming you back to the SF State NAGPRA Program.

Be well, take good care, and stay healthy.


San Francisco State University (SF State) is firmly committed to the repatriation of Native American ancestors and their belongings, and to the respectful curation of cultural materials. The primary goal of the SF State NAGPRA Program is to return ancestral remains and cultural objects to Native American tribal communities.

SF State has served as a repository for Native American and non-Native American cultural materials for over 50 years. The SF State NAGPRA Program is responsible for approximately 500 cultural site collections originating from 36 counties in California. Of these site collections, 78 are known to contain human remains, and/or funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony. The SF State NAGPRA Program is also responsible for Native American ethnographic items from the now defunct Treganza Anthropology Museum (TAM). The former TAM holdings include ethnographic items from across the United States, Alaska, and Hawaii. The SF State NAGPRA Program adheres to all federal and state NAGPRA legislation.

The SF State NAGPRA Program began in 1996. SF State NAGPRA Program Summaries, Inventories, Notices, and Culturally Unidentifiable Native American Inventories 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, used with permission from the two tribes)