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#531 Online: Building a Database and Reporting on the Repatriation of Native American Remains


Logan Jaffe, Reporter (she/her)
Ash Ngu, News Apps Developer (she/her; they/them)
Andrea Suozzo, News Apps Developer (she/her)

Three decades after legislation pushed for the return of Native American remains to Indigenous communities, many of the nation’s top museums and universities still have the remains of thousands of people in their collections. Among those institutions is the Illinois State Museum, which has made little progress in returning the remains of at least 7,000 Native Americans.

In January, ProPublica launched The Repatriation Project, a series that began with a national database that lets readers find out which institutions still have Native American remains, as well as a local deep-dive into the Illinois State Museum.

In this talk, reporters Logan Jaffe, Ash Ngu, and Andrea Suozzo will describe how the database was built, designed, and used in reporting. We’ll also discuss the state of repatriation nationally and in the Midwest region.