POSTED: 07:50 a.m. HST, Jun 16, 2011
U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee Chairman Daniel Akaka is holding a hearing to review the goals of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.
Akaka, a Democrat representing Hawaii, planned to examine barriers to repatriating remains and funerary, sacred and patrimonial objects during the hearing Thursday.
The federal law is designed to provide a process for museums and federal agencies to return Native American cultural items to descendants, tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations.
Since the law was enacted in 1990, more than 40,000 human remains, 1.1 million funerary objects, 5,500 sacred objects and 2,1000 patrimonial objects have been found eligible for repatriation.