Native Americans seek access to and repatriation of ancestral remains and cultural items that are important to community well-being. The Cultural Heritage Center supports Native American efforts to recover items held in foreign museums or offered for sale in foreign countries.

Museums: The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and U.S. embassies connect Native Americans with museum personnel, issue diplomatic correspondence supporting tribal efforts to repatriate items, and organize exchange programs to strengthen relationships between Native Americans and foreign museums.

Sales: ECA and U.S. embassies raise awareness overseas about the damage to tribal communities when sacred items are bought and sold through statements, social media campaigns, and press events that feature the voices of Native American leaders, which are especially compelling among foreign audiences. The Department of State engages foreign governments and works with the Department of the Interior, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Homeland Security to stop the sale of sacred and ceremonial items in foreign countries.

State Department Exchange Programs: If you are interested in participating in an international exchange program related to Native American cultural heritage, visit the website to see available programs.

For inquiries regarding repatriations of Native American cultural items, please contact:

Allison Davis
Phone: 202-632-6305
Email:, include “Davis” in the subject line