Advanced NAGPRA in Practice (Level 3)

Are you an experienced museum, federal, or Tribal Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) practitioner aiming to elevate your expertise? This course, tailored for professionals with a background in implementing NAGPRA, offers advanced training in strategic planning, institutional advocacy, working collaboratively with Indigenous communities, and navigating complex decision-making and repatriation and disposition scenarios.

Some of the most experienced NAGPRA practitioners in the country will share their decades of experience successfully facilitating the repatriation and dispositions of Ancestral human remains and cultural items. You will be guided through strategic approaches, problem-solving sessions, and leadership techniques in NAGPRA practice. Although the “NAGPRA in Practice” course is not a prerequisite, it is recommended for those without multiple years of experience in NAGPRA implementation.

This intensive four-day in-person course will employ a mix of lectures, case studies, interactive discussions, and group activities. Participants are encouraged to bring real-world scenarios for problem-solving sessions.

After completing this course participants will:

  • Understand the importance of and develop a NAGPRA strategic plan.
  • Gain skills in relationship building.
  • Know how to implement the collections provision based on a case’s unique circumstances.
  • Tribal practitioners will refine skills in working with and developing collaborative partnerships with museums and federal agencies.
  • Be better equipped to navigate sensitive or contentious issues that may arise during the repatriation or disposition process.
  • Expand existing NAGPRA resources and practitioner contacts.
  • Know how to gain institutional support and sustain institutional commitment.
  • Gain skills navigating media and publicly requests.
  • Know how to develop successful NAGPRA grant proposals.

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

August 5-8, 2024

Course Fee


Early Registration



Jan Bernstein & 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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