NAGPRA in Practice (Level 2)

Are you familiar with the basics of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) and want to deepen your understanding? If so, this course is for you. Some of the most experienced NAGPRA practitioners in the country will share their knowledge and practical tips during this course. What you learn in this course will build confidence in implementing NAGPRA and is applicable to working for and with Indian Tribes, Native Hawaiian organizations, museums (as the term is defined in NAGPRA), and Federal agencies. This course is part of a two-part NAGPRA series and is limited to 20 participants. The Advanced NAGPRA In Practice in-person class will be taught August 5-8, 2024. This course is not a prerequisite for the Advanced course.

This four-week course uses a blended learning format of synchronous and asynchronous learning. We will meet synchronously two hours per week via video conferencing, along with asynchronous discussions, readings, and activities to be completed each week. Live meetings will be on Wednesdays from 3:00-5:00 PM CST. Participants will build a community of practice through group activities during synchronous sessions, online discussions, and virtual gatherings.

After completing this course participants will:

  • Be confident in their understanding and implementation of the law and regulations.
  • Learn how to identify Indian Tribes who may have an interest in participating in meaningful consultation that may lead to cultural affiliation determinations, repatriations, and dispositions.
  • Know how to respectfully plan, facilitate, and document individual and intertribal consultations.
  • Know how to conduct aboriginal land research.
  • Learn how to develop NAGPRA Notices, Disposition Agreements, Transfer documents, Memorandums of Understanding/Care and Trust Agreements, and draft concise and considerate correspondence.
  • Understand the provisions of the new NAGPRA regulation and expectations of museums and federal agencies.
  • Understand the importance of and develop a NAGPRA needs assessment.
  • Build or expand existing NAGPRA resources and practitioner contacts.

The impact of colonialism on museums and Indigenous communities and Indigenous collections care practices are covered in the Culturally Informed Collections Stewardship course.

Course Dates

April 3-24, 2024 (CONFIRMED TO RUN AND FULL)

Course Fee


Early Registration



Jan Bernstein and Jane Richardson

About the Instructor

Jan Bernstein helped lay the groundwork for the repatriation of thousands of Native American individuals and cultural items under the control of the State of California in the 1980s. Recognizing that this was human rights work, Jan found her calling. In 1989, six months before NAGPRA’s passage, Jan helped prepare Colorado museums to comply with NAGPRA. After earning an M.S. in Museum and Field Studies from the University of Colorado, Boulder, Jan served as the University of Denver Museum of Anthropology NAGPRA coordinator and collections manager for eight years. She also taught courses in the University of Denver and University of Colorado Museum Studies graduate programs. In 2003, Jan founded Bernstein & Associates NAGPRA Consultants to facilitate respectful repatriation through meaningful consultation. Since 2010, Jan has served on the faculty of the National Preservation Institute, teaches NAGPRA webinars for the National NAGPRA Program, and develops on-demand training for the National NAGPRA Program, which administers NAGPRA for the Secretary of the Interior. Jan also has a B.A. in Art History and Studio Art from California State University Sacramento.

Jane Richardson joined Bernstein & Associates in 2019 and since then has facilitated the repatriation of thousands of ancestors and cultural items. She is on the National Preservation Institute faculty and has developed on-demand trainings for the National NAGPRA Program. Jane has worked with archaeology and ethnographic collections in numerous museum settings whose institutional philosophies incorporate the perspectives of Indigenous peoples. She has also worked with multiple institutions and federal agencies in preparing their collections for NAGPRA compliance. Jane holds a B.A. in Anthropology from Florida Atlantic University and an M.S. in Museum and Field Studies from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

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