The Autry Museum recognizes the important role tribal consultation plays in a successful repatriation, and Autry staff respects and values the time that tribe members spend with us to share their perspectives, priorities, and interests. We also welcome discussions on the overall care and stewardship of the collections and research protocols. We will work with you to care for your materials in culturally appropriate ways while they are in the museum awaiting repatriation. We can also work with you to better manage how your materials are accessed and researched, such as designing customized research permissions or restrictions.
The Autry encourages in-person visits between staff and tribal representatives whenever possible. In-person visits, whether at the Autry or on tribal lands, offer the most effective means for discussions and collaborations, and can be meaningful experiences for everyone involved. Consultations are typically scheduled several months in advance to ensure that staff can fully accommodate tribes and make the most of your time with us. Any cultural knowledge offered during tribal consultations will be kept confidential, unless requested otherwise.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the safety of in-person visits, particularly for our elders. The safety of in-person visits will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Alternatively, we can consult with you through telephone and video conference calls. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss consultation.
Onsite consultations are held at the Autry’s Resources Center in dedicated consultation spaces. These include a place to view collections, a changing room, and an outdoor ceremonial garden. All these spaces have been designed to make the experience as comfortable and effective as possible and in consideration of your privacy.
Featured images provide a visual tour of the consultation experience and represent the spaces people will visit. (Click image for details)
Meaningful consultation between Autry staff and tribal representatives drives the repatriation process forward. Consultation is an important part of every step along the way.
The first step toward repatriation typically involves working with Autry staff to identify the cultural materials that the tribe is most interested in viewing and potentially claiming. Tribal representatives will be given specialized access to the Autry’s Collections Online database. The tribe may want to apply for a NAGPRA Consultation/Documentation grant during this time. The Autry can provide letters of support for a tribal application or apply to the grant in partnership with the tribe.
Once the list of items is finalized, Autry staff will work with you to tailor your visit to best meet your needs. Staff will coordinate scheduling, can assist with travel arrangements, and will make any necessary accommodations. During your visit you will view collections and meet with staff who will address your questions or concerns.
Following your visit, Autry staff will continue to be available to support your research toward making a claim for repatriation. When the Autry receives your claim, staff will compose a report for the Board of Trustees that summarizes the case and requests deaccession. Once the Board of Trustees approves, a notice is published in the Federal Register. After 30 days, ownership of the items will return to the tribe. Autry staff will stay in close communication with the tribe throughout this process.
Autry staff will coordinate with the tribe on the physical transfer of the items. Tribal members may want to visit the Autry again to pick up their Ancestors and cultural items, or they may want the Autry to arrange delivery. The noncompetitive NAGPRA Repatriation grant is available to cover the costs of reburial, travel, or specialized delivery. The Autry can provide support in the application process or apply in partnership with the tribe. Staff can also assist with coordinating travel and ensuring the Ancestors or cultural items are as safe as possible on their journey home.