An Act To establish the National Museum of the American Indian within the Smithsonian Institution, and for other purposes

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  • There is established, within the Smithsonian Institution, a living memorial to Native Americans and their traditions which shall be known as the "National Museum of the American Indian". The purposes of the National Museum are to: advance the study of native Americans, including the study of language, literature, history, art, anthropology, and life; collect, preserve, and exhibit Native American objects of artistic, historical, literary, anthropological, and scientific interest; and provide for Native American research and study programs. The Board of Regents is authorized to enter into an agreement with the Heye Foundation to provide for the transfer to the Smithsonian Institution of title to the Heye Foundation assets. The National Museum shall be under a Board of Trustees with the duties, powers, and authority specified in this Act.
  • The initial membership of the Board of Trustees shall consist of: the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution; an Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution appointed by the Board of Regents; 8 individuals appointed by the Board of Regents; and 15 individuals, each of whom shall be a member of the board of trustees of the Heye Museum, appointed by the Board of Regents from a list of nominees recommended by the board of trustees of the Heye Museum. The Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution shall appoint a Director who shall manage the National Museum. The Board of Regents shall plan, design, and construct a facility for the National Museum. Terms are set forth for the qualified successor to the Heye Foundation at Audubon Terrace.
  • Provisions are set forth concerning: Board of Regents functions with respect to certain agreement and programs; inventory, identification, and return of Indian human remains and Indian funerary objects in the possession of the Smithsonian Institution; grants by the Secretary of the Interior to assist Indian tribes with respect to agreements for the return of Indian human remains and Indian funerary objects, and for renovation and repair of museum facilities and exhibit facilities. There is established in the Treasury a fund, to be known as the "Tribal Museum Endowment Fund". There is authorized to be appropriated to the Board of Regents to carry out this Act $10,000,000 for fiscal year 1990 and such sums as may be necessary for each succeeding fiscal year.


  • Board of Regents
  • Heye Museum
  • National Museum of the American Indian Act
  • United States Dept. of the Interior
  • Tribal Museum Endowment Fund


Smithsonian Legal Documents

Legal document information

  • 103 Stat. 1336
  • Title 20, Education
  • Public Law

Citation information

Statutes at Large


This Act may be cited as the "National Museum of the American Indian Act."

Contained within

103 Stat. 1336 (1989); Pub. L. No. 101-185 (Book)

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


  • 1990
  • 11/28/1989


  • Art
  • Finance
  • Ethnology
  • Human remains (Archaeology)
  • Anthropolgy
  • Museums
  • Funeral decorations
  • Museum finance
  • Conservation and restoration
  • Funeral rites and ceremonies
  • Education
  • Preservation of materials
  • Historians
  • Expenditures, Public
  • Construction (Buildings)
  • Anthropological museums and collections
  • Art objects--Conservation and restoration
  • Indians of North America--Funeral customs and rites
  • Indians of North America--Museums
  • Museums--Educational aspects
  • Research


North America


Public Law

Physical description

Number of pages: 12; Page Numbers: 1336-47

Full Record

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