Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Amy Z. Mundorff

Committee Members

Ellen M. Lofaro, Caela O'Connell


The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, passed in 1990, was enacted in order to provide Native Americans with the legal means to reclaim the remains of their ancestors. Although it has been almost 30 years since the law was passed, it has not been successful in ensuring Native American remains are repatriated in the proper manner. This thesis examines the implementation of NAGPRA within medical examiner and coroner offices, a venue that has yet to be explored in this context.Through the distribution of a nationwide survey, data was collected on medicolegal practitioner’s familiarity with NAGPRA as well as the presence of disposition protocol for non-forensically significant Native American remains. The results indicate that there is a disconnect present between the medicolegal profession and the implementation of NAGPRA. This research will discuss what has led to this disconnect as well as what can be done to bridge it.

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