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NAGPRA Day at SAA Preview

By Nina Schreiner, NAGPRA Coordinator, South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology; Amanda Roberts Thompson, Operations Director and NAGPRA Coordinator, University of Georgia; and Jenna Domeischel, Archaeologist & NAGPRA Coordinator, Mandatory Center of Expertise for the Curation and Management of Archaeological Collections, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Louis District


The Society for American Archaeology 89th Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana is right around the corner! At this year’s meeting, the SAA Committee on Museums, Collections, and Curation, SAA Committee on Repatriation, and SAA Curation Interest Group are sponsoring a NAGPRA Day at SAA. In your SAA program, the series appears as In Search of Solutions: Exploring Pathways to Repatriation for NAGPRA Practitioners (Parts I-V) on Thursday, April 18. This lineup will be followed by a Meet & Greet from 7 to 9pm. All NAGPRA Day content except the Meet & Greet will be available through SAA’s virtual attendance option.


To adequately discuss the range of topics and provide case studies that incorporate shifting discourses of repatriation, policies, and collections management concerning NAGPRA, practitioners from across the discipline will engage multiple formats throughout the day. We will begin at 8am with a paper symposium on Practitioner Experiences and Challenges, followed by a forum on NAGPRA Legislation from 10am-12pm. After lunch, we will resume with a paper symposium on Curation Practices and a poster symposium on Policy, Protocol, and Practice, both held from 1-3pm. Finally, a wrap-up forum from 3:15-5:15pm will synthesize prominent themes introduced throughout the day.

The organizing committee is especially excited to present content that includes voices from diverse sectors of heritage practice. From universities and museums to Tribal, Federal, and state governments, to private sector consulting firms, there will be a NAGPRA representative speaking to the compliance realities of your field. Such wide-ranging participation also makes this event a rare opportunity to discuss problems and solutions that cross-cut disciplinary silos, an intention that aligns with the purpose of the NAGPRA Community of Practice.


Connecting with Anne Amati’s recent post “Engaging University Students in the NAGPRA Process,” we have also included opportunities to address the challenge of educating emerging professionals in NAGPRA compliance. In the 8am paper symposium, we will hear a review of the first Intensive NAGPRA Summer Training & Education Program (INSTEP) from Krystiana Krupa and Jayne-Leigh Thomas. Later in the day, we will view several posters authored by graduate and undergraduate students, two of which address how to appropriately and productively engage students in NAGPRA-related work tasks.

For questions about content or to receive a copy of our NAGPRA Day program, please contact Amanda Roberts Thompson (, Nina Schreiner (, or Jenna Domeischel ( See you in NOLA!

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