The Association on American Indian Affairs (AAIA) has long been involved in efforts to ensure the return of ancestral remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony to Native communities. The human rights issue of repatriation is not limited to the United States, but extends internationally, as recently recognized by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). With the International Repatriation Project, AAIA began the first national effort toward assisting Native American communities in the United States and Indigenous Peoples internationally with international repatriations. While the human rights issues that have resulted in the necessity for repatriation were once thought to be contained within the borders of the United States, it has become apparent that this is an international issue in scope.
Responding to the lack of information available to Native communities, the AAIA began to create information resources for tribes, including a culturally sensitive database of international collections, contact information at international repositories, and international repatriation assistance when requested. Read A Guide to International Repatriation.