U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Oct 22, 2020

§ 10.6 - Custody.

(a) Priority of custody. This section carries out section 3 (a) of the Act, subject to the limitations of § 10.15, regarding the custody of human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, or objects of cultural patrimony excavated intentionally or discovered inadvertently in Federal or tribal lands after November 16, 1990. For the purposes of this section, custody means ownership or control of human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, or objects of cultural patrimony excavated intentionally or discovered inadvertently in Federal or tribal lands after November 16, 1990. Custody of these human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, or objects of cultural patrimony is, with priority given in the order listed:

(1) In the case of human remains and associated funerary objects, in the lineal descendant of the deceased individual as determined pursuant to § 10.14 (b);

(2) When a lineal descendant of a deceased Native American individual cannot be ascertained with respect to the human remains and associated funerary objects, and with respect to unassociated funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony:

(i) In the Indian tribe on whose tribal land the human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, or objects of cultural patrimony were excavated intentionally or discovered inadvertently;

(ii) In the Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization that has the closest cultural affiliation with the human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, or objects of cultural patrimony as determined pursuant to § 10.14 (c); or

(iii) In circumstances in which the cultural affiliation of the human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, or objects of cultural patrimony cannot be ascertained and the objects were excavated intentionally or discovered inadvertently on Federal land that is recognized by a final judgment of the Indian Claims Commission or the United States Court of Claims as the aboriginal land of an Indian tribe:

(A) In the Indian tribe aboriginally occupying the Federal land on which the human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, or objects of cultural patrimony were excavated intentionally or discovered inadvertently, or

(B) If a preponderance of the evidence shows that a different Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization has a stronger cultural relationship with the human remains, associated funerary objects, unassociated funerary objects, sacred objects, or objects of cultural patrimony, in the Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization that has the strongest demonstrated relationship with the cultural items.

(b) Custody of human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, or objects of cultural patrimony and other provisions of the Act apply to all intentional excavations and inadvertent discoveries made after November 16, 1990, including those made before the effective date of these regulations.

(c) Final notice, claims and disposition with respect to Federal lands. Upon determination of the lineal descendant, Indian tribe, or Native Hawaiian organization that under these regulations appears to be entitled to custody of particular human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, or objects of cultural patrimony excavated intentionally or discovered inadvertently on Federal lands, the responsible Federal agency official must, subject to the notice required herein and the limitations of § 10.15, transfer custody of the objects to the lineal descendant, Indian tribe, or Native Hawaiian organization following appropriate procedures, which must respect traditional customs and practices of the affiliated Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations in each instance. Prior to any such disposition by a Federal agency official, the Federal agency official must publish general notices of the proposed disposition in a newspaper of general circulation in the area in which the human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, or objects of cultural patrimony were excavated intentionally or discovered inadvertently and, if applicable, in a newspaper of general circulation in the area(s) in which affiliated Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations members now reside. The notice must provide information as to the nature and affiliation of the human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, or objects of cultural patrimony and solicit further claims to custody. The notice must be published at least two (2) times at least a week apart, and the transfer must not take place until at least thirty (30) days after the publication of the second notice to allow time for any additional claimants to come forward. If additional claimants do come forward and the Federal agency official cannot clearly determine which claimant is entitled to custody, the Federal agency must not transfer custody of the objects until such time as the proper recipient is determined pursuant to these regulations. The Federal agency official must send a copy of the notice and information on when and in what newspaper(s) the notice was published to the Manager, National NAGPRA Program.

[60 FR 62158, Dec. 4, 1995, as amended at 62 FR 41293, Aug. 1, 1997; 71 FR 16501, Apr. 3, 2006; 78 FR 27083, May 9, 2013]