Navajo Prevails at Ninth Circuit in NAGPRA Dispute with DOI

Here is the opinion in Navajo Nation v. Dept. of Interior

 From the syllabus:

The panel reversed the district court’s dismissal of the Navajo Nation’s suit seeking an injunction ending the National Park Service’s inventory, pursuant to the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (“NAGPRA”), of human remains and funerary objects removed from the Canyon de Chelly National Monument on the Navajo Reservation; and the immediate return of the objects taken from the reservation.
The panel held that the district court had jurisdiction to consider the Navajo Nation’s claims because the Park Service’s decision to inventory the remains and objects was a final agency action within the meaning of the Administrative Procedure Act. The panel also held that by deciding to undertake NAGPRA’s inventory process, the Park Service conclusively decided that it, and not the Navajo Nation, had the present right to “possession and control” of the remains and objects. 25 U.S.C. § 3003(a). The panel remanded for further proceedings.

Judge Ikuta dissented.

Materials here.

Congrats to the Navajo DOJ! 


This entry was posted in Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, cultural resources, Research and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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