Archival Repatriation Committee

I. Purpose 

The Archival Repatriation Committee works to ensure that the organization's services, activities, policies, communications, and products support the goal of supporting archivists in repatriating and receiving archival materials. It coordinates with various SAA entities, external organizations, and originating communities and monitors, evaluates, advocates for, and reports on matters relating to the repatriation of archival materials.

II. Committee Selection, Size, and Length of Terms

The committee consists of six members and two co-chairs, who are appointed by the SAA vice president/president-elect. The immediate past chair of the Native American Archives Section serves as a committee member for a one-year term. Committee members serve staggered three-year terms. The co-chairs shall serve staggered two-year terms. The vice president/president-elect shall appoint one committee member after consultation with the executive director of the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums.

III. Duties and Responsibilities

  • Develops and disseminates guidance and training about archival repatriation.
  • Serves as a point of contact and subject matter experts for people with questions about archival repatriation.
  • Work on cooperative repatriation projects with organizations with similar goals.
  • Engages in reparative and reciprocal actions that lead to better community and institutional relationships.
  • Further ongoing investigations of relationships between the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), repatriation policy, and archival collections and/or to advocate for inclusion of archival collections in U.S. and international repatriation policy.
  • Make recommendations to SAA Council for necessary actions to meet these goals.

IV. Reporting Procedures

The Repatriation Committee reports to the Council and works closely with its Council liaison, the President, and the Executive Director to ensure that it is responsive to the Council’s needs. The chair is responsible for submitting an annual report to the Council, and may also submit items for Council action or discussion and feedback as necessary. The chair also is responsible for ensuring that minutes of Repatriation Committee meetings are prepared and posted on the Repatriation Committee’s SAA-hosted website to inform SAA members of its activities and comply with SAA’s record-keeping requirements.

V. Meetings

The committee shall meet virtually as needed to conduct its work. The committee may conduct its business by email, telephone, or virtual meeting during the course of the year.


Approved by the SAA Council, May 2022.