How to Remedy the NAGPRA’s Unintended Effect on Hawai’i after Brown v. Hawaii by Jeannin-Melissa Kapuakawekiu Russo

This note will discuss the repercussions of the Brown v. Hawaiʻi decision, which classified the State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD), a Hawaiʻi state agency, as a “museum” under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA).  The court in Brown required SHPD to follow the repatriation process imposed upon museums by NAGPRA.  Some have argued that imposing NAGPRA’s federal heightened requirements upon a state agency will force SHPD to repatriate the hundreds of native Hawaiian remains in their possession.  Others see NAGPRA as interfering with the proper treatment of human remains within the State.  Despite differing views, the fact remains that after Brown, SHPD will have to comply with the NAGPRA requirements, or find an alternate way to evade the Act.  This note makes alternative recommendations on how SHPD can either comply, or avoid compliance, with NAGPRA . . .

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Posted on 11.23.11 to Hawaii, NAGPRA.