Consultation Process

1) Sharing Information

The first step in the consultation process is to share relevant information. This is often initiated by NAGPRA Project staff. Tribal representatives are welcome to make inquiries and request additional information.

Requests should be addressed to the NAGPRA Project Manager at 530-752-8501 or mnoble@ucdavis.edu. In order to provide the most relevant information, it is helpful if representatives can provide the cultural and geographic areas of interest, as well as any particular objects of interest.


​2) Request for Consultation

In-person consultations are an important part of exchanging information, establishing a dialogue and discussing the next steps in the NAGPRA process. Topics typically discussed during consultation meetings include establishing the tribe’s geographic area of interest or priority areas, gathering relevant information regarding cultural affiliation, discussing the designation of funerary objects, and other topics. The NAGPRA staff can arrange to meet with California tribes either in their tribal offices, on campus, or at another mutually convenient location.

To initiate an in-person consultation, please complete the Consultation Request Form or contact NAGPRA Project Manager Megon Noble (mnoble@ucdavis.edu). Please note that depending on the scope of collections requested to be viewed, museum visits need to be scheduled several weeks advance.


3) Identifying Authorized Tribal Representatives

NAGPRA requires a formal relationship between the University of California, Davis and the Native American Tribe. Authorized tribal representatives can be identified in a number of ways:

  1. The National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers maintains a list of officially designated Tribal Historic Preservation Officers.
  2. Tribes may submit a letter on official tribal letterhead, signed by the head of the tribe, designating the authorized NAGPRA representative. Please see a sample letter below.
  3. Tribes may provide a tribal resolution, depending on the needs of the tribe. 

4) Claim

Human remains and materials meeting the definitions of cultural items under NAGPRA can be formally claimed by tribal representatives at any time. Formal written claim letters or requests for repatriation or disposition are required prior to any transfer.

NAGPRA claim letters should be addressed to the NAGPRA Project Manager and include the following: the accession number, site number, and/or catalog numbers of the materials subject to claim, the relevant NAGPRA category the items are being claimed under and supporting information, and supporting evidence demonstrating cultural affiliation (if not already established).

See sample claim letters below.


5) Review Process

NAGPRA Project staff will review claims. Additional information or clarification may be requested. The UC Davis NAGPRA Advisory Committee will then review the claim and make a recommendation to the Provost. The Provost will make a campus determination. UC Davis will forward the campus’s decision (with majority and minority opinion, if relevant) to the UC Office of the President for review and consideration by the UC Systemwide Advisory Group. NAGPRA staff will continue to keep tribal representatives informed during this review process.


6) Federal Register Notices

Upon approval from the UC Office of the President, the UC Davis NAGPRA Project will submit Notices of Inventory Completion or Notices of Intent to Repatriation to National NAGPRA for review and publication in the Federal Register. Once published, UC Davis will notify all tribes consulted or invited to consult of the publication of Federal Register Notices. UC Davis must not transfer human remains or cultural items until the close of the mandatory 30 day wait period.


7) Repatriation /Transfer

Upon successful completion of NAGPRA and UC Policy requirements, UC Davis will coordinate with the claimant tribe or tribes to arrange transfer of control and physical transfer. UC Davis acknowledges that arranging reburial can be a difficult task requiring appropriate timing and coordination. UC Davis will consider and aim to accommodate requests from claimant tribes for the campus to continue to house human remains and cultural items. National NAGPRA Grants are available to help fund repatriations. UC Davis will partner with and assist Native American tribes seeking NAGPRA Grant funding.