(1) The Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, in consultation and cooperation with traditional Indian religious leaders and government officials of Indian tribes, shall—
(A) inventory the Indian human remains and Indian funerary objects in the possession or control of the Smithsonian Institution; and
(B) using the best available scientific and historical documentation, identify the origins of such remains and objects.
(2) The inventory made by the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution under paragraph (1) shall be completed not later than June 1, 1998.
(3) For purposes of this subsection, the term "inventory" means a simple, itemized list that, to the extent practicable, identifies, based upon available information held by the Smithsonian Institution, the geographic and cultural affiliation of the remains and objects referred to in paragraph (1).
If the tribal origin of any Indian human remains or Indian funerary object is identified by a preponderance of the evidence, the Secretary shall so notify any affected Indian tribe at the earliest opportunity.
If any Indian human remains are identified by a preponderance of the evidence as those of a particular individual or as those of an individual culturally affiliated with a particular Indian tribe, the Secretary, upon the request of the descendants of such individual or of the Indian tribe shall expeditiously return such remains (together with any associated funerary objects) to the descendants or tribe, as the case may be.
If any Indian funerary object not associated with Indian human remains is identified by a preponderance of the evidence as having been removed from a specific burial site of an individual culturally affiliated with a particular Indian tribe, the Secretary, upon the request of the Indian tribe, shall expeditiously return such object to the tribe.
Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as—
(1) limiting the authority of the Smithsonian Institution to return or repatriate Indian human remains or Indian funerary objects to Indian tribes or individuals; or
(2) delaying actions on pending repatriation requests, denying or otherwise affecting access to the courts, or limiting any procedural or substantive rights which may otherwise be secured to Indian tribes or individuals.
There is authorized to be appropriated $1,000,000 for fiscal year 1991 and such sums as may be necessary for succeeding fiscal years to carry out this section and section 80q–9a of this title.
(Pub. L. 101–185, §11, Nov. 28, 1989, 103 Stat. 1343; Pub. L. 104–278, §3, Oct. 9, 1996, 110 Stat. 3355.)
Last modified: October 26, 2015