In 1990, when the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) was passed, the Act required museums to compile and report summaries of unassociated funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony by November 16, 1993 to potentially affiliated tribes and the National Park Service (NPS).

The act also required museums to compile and report inventories of Native American human remains and associated funerary objects by November 16, 1995 to potentially affiliated tribes and NPS.  Those remains that were not potentially affiliated, but rather were considered "culturally unidentifiable" were reported to the Manager of the National NAGPRA Program, who provided this information to the NAGPRA Review Committee. History Colorado met the required deadlines for submitting summaries and inventory listings.

History Colorado finds itself in a rather unique situation, however, not actively collecting but continuing to take into custody Native American human remains.  This is because History Colorado includes the Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (OAHP), where the State Archaeologist's position resides.  Very few other states have this arrangement.  Colorado State statutes require that the State Archaeologist take into custody Native American human remains that are discovered on state and private lands if they have to be disinterred (24-80-1301ff, Part 13 Unmarked Human Graves).  Once taken into custody, they are transferred to the Department of Material Culture at History Colorado for care and for repatriation or disposition under NAGPRA. For History Colorado to be in compliance with NAGPRA, all Native American individuals who come into our custody after the 1995 deadline for inventory submission must be reported to tribes and NPS in amended inventory listings, under the Future Applicability regulations (43 C.F.R. 10.13). History Colorado submitted its most recent amended inventory listing on October 28, 2011.

In order to complete the inventory, over the past two years, History Colorado has conducted meetings, inviting representatives from a total of forty tribes to consult. During these meetings, evidence was presented that allowed HC to make cultural affiliation determinations for many individuals and associated funerary objects. Fifty-nine individuals and thirty-nine associated funerary objects were repatriated to the twenty-one present day Pueblos (Notice of Inventory Completion, Federal Register, Vol. 76, No. 115, June 15, 2011, pages 35010-35012). In addition, seven individuals were repatriated to the Navajo Nation (Notice of Inventory Completion, Federal Register, Vol. 76, No. 93, May 13, 2011, pages 28071-28072). A small number of individuals were unable to be culturally affiliated, and one individual was claimed by two tribes. These will be reported on Notices currently being drafted.