Office of the President

Presidential Advisory Committee on Native American Cultural Affiliation and Repatriation


Cal Poly Pomona is committed to implementing the spirit and legislative requirements of the federal Native American Graves Protection & Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) and state CalNAGPRA, which were enacted to acknowledge the fundamental human rights of Native American and indigenous communities to their ancestral human remains and cultural items. 

Subsequently, the California Legislature passed Assembly Bill 275 (AB 275) in the fall of 2021, which revises CalNAGPRA to better develop the processes by which public agencies and museums conduct outreach and repatriation of cultural objects to tribes and expands tribal access to those processes and methods of recourse.

In February 2022, President Soraya Coley launched the Presidential Advisory Committee on Native American Cultural Affiliation and Repatriation to lead the campus’ efforts in fulfilling the requirements of NAGPRA and CalNAGPRA. The committee will work with colleagues from across the university to identify any human remains, associated funerary objects, unassociated funerary objects, sacred objects, objects of cultural patrimony, and other cultural items that might be in the possession of Cal Poly Pomona. Once the items have been inventoried, the committee will work with the California Native American Heritage Commission and the Native American tribes in the region to facilitate repatriation.

Specifically, the committee is charged with advising the President on matters related to the implementation of AB 275. This includes:

  1. providing ongoing management, compliance oversight of processes and structures to facilitate repatriation;
  2. making determinations regarding the identification of remains, funerary, and cultural objects, including the appropriate consultation with Tribal representatives;
  3. making recommendations to the President regarding the identification and repatriation of items; and
  4. promoting implementation of AB 275 and enhanced campus engagement with Tribal representatives and the Native American community off and on campus.

Committee Membership

  • Pat Hawthorne, Dean, University Library (Chair)
  • Claudia Garcia-Des Lauriers, Director, Kellogg Honors College/ Assoc. Professor, Geography and Anthropology
  • Madison Garcia, Student Representative
  • Nicole Hawkes, Chief of Staff, Office of the President
  • Alvaro Huerta, Religion and Public Life Organizing Fellow, Harvard Divinity School/Assoc. Professor, Urban & Regional Planning and Ethnic & Women’s Studies
  • Sandy Kewanhaptewa-Dixon, Professor of Ethnic and Women’s Studies and Repatriation Tribal Liaison
  • Naman Pandadiya, ASI Student Representative
  • Erica Ben, Administrative Support Coordinator, College of Letters, Arts & Social Sciences
  • Saarah Munir, Repatriation Coordinator
  • Armando Madrid, Associate Dean of Students, Student Advocacy & Support

Leadership Update 

March 26, 2024: Suspension of Collection of Native American Ancestral Remains (PDF)
June 29, 2023: Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act

Additional Information