The Museum Security Network has republished an interesting article from "Indian Country Today" about how the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) was used to justify the "reburial" of important artifacts from the Bishop Museum in some sacred caves in Hawaii : http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/home/content/29790944.html For more about the Bishop Museum see: http://www.bishopmuseum.org/aboutus/aboutus.html
The article recounts quite a story of how a law meant to protect the rights of Native Americans to the bones and artifacts of their ancestors has entangled Senator Inouye, his staff, the Department of the Interior and the venerable Bishop Museum in quite a tale of conflict of interest, self-dealing, theft, breach of fiduciary duty and even contempt of court. Meanwhile, "Indian Country Today" also reports elsewhere that the National Park Service is under investigation for improperly spending some $3 million in NAGPRA funds and that the entire program is under review for responsiveness to Tribal interests. http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/national/29791944.html
What a mess. At least a member of the NAGPRA review panel indicates that his committee is “very open” to “increasing the accountability and transparency” of the law’s implementation. Amen.