Code Section Group

Public Resources Code - PRC

DIVISION 5. PARKS AND MONUMENTS [5001 - 5873]

  ( Division 5 added by Stats. 1939, Ch. 94. )

CHAPTER 1.75. Native American Historical, Cultural, and Sacred Sites [5097.9 - 5097.991]
  ( Chapter 1.75 repealed and added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1332. )

5097.9.
  

No public agency, and no private party using or occupying public property, or operating on public property, under a public license, permit, grant, lease, or contract made on or after July 1, 1977, shall in any manner whatsoever interfere with the free expression or exercise of Native American religion as provided in the United States Constitution and the California Constitution; nor shall any such agency or party cause severe or irreparable damage to any Native American sanctified cemetery, place of worship, religious or ceremonial site, or sacred shrine located on public property, except on a clear and convincing showing that the public interest and necessity so require. The provisions of this chapter shall be enforced by the commission, pursuant to Sections 5097.94 and 5097.97.

The provisions of this chapter shall not be construed to limit the requirements of the Environmental Quality Act of 1970, Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000).

The public property of all cities, counties, and city and county located within the limits of the city, county, and city and county, except for all parklands in excess of 100 acres, shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter. Nothing in this section shall, however, nullify protections for Indian cemeteries under other statutes.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1332.)

5097.91.
  

There is in state government a Native American Heritage Commission, consisting of nine members appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. For purposes of this chapter, “commission” means the Native American Heritage Commission.

(Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 863, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2007.)

5097.92.
  

At least five of the nine members shall be elders, traditional people, or spiritual leaders of California Native American tribes, nominated by Native American organizations, tribes, or groups within the state. The executive secretary of the commission shall be appointed by the Governor.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1332.)

5097.93.
  

The members of the commission shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed their actual and necessary expenses.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1332.)

5097.94.
  

The commission shall have the following powers and duties:

(a) To identify and catalog places of special religious or social significance to Native Americans, and known graves and cemeteries of Native Americans on private lands. The identification and cataloguing of known graves and cemeteries shall be completed on or before January 1, 1984. The commission shall notify landowners on whose property the graves and cemeteries are determined to exist, and shall identify the Native American group most likely descended from those Native Americans who may be interred on the property.

(b) To make recommendations relative to Native American sacred places that are located on private lands, are inaccessible to Native Americans, and have cultural significance to Native Americans for acquisition by the state or other public agencies for the purpose of facilitating or assuring access thereto by Native Americans.

(c) To make recommendations to the Legislature relative to procedures that will voluntarily encourage private property owners to preserve and protect sacred places in a natural state and to allow appropriate access to Native American religionists for ceremonial or spiritual activities.

(d) To appoint necessary clerical staff.

(e) To accept grants or donations, real or in kind, to carry out the purposes of this chapter and the California Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 2001 (Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 8010) of Part 2 of Division 7 of the Health and Safety Code).

(f) To make recommendations to the Director of Parks and Recreation and the California Arts Council relative to the California State Indian Museum and other Indian matters touched upon by department programs.

(g) To bring an action to prevent severe and irreparable damage to, or assure appropriate access for Native Americans to, a Native American sanctified cemetery, place of worship, religious or ceremonial site, or sacred shrine located on public property, pursuant to Section 5097.97. If the court finds that severe and irreparable damage will occur or that appropriate access will be denied, and appropriate mitigation measures are not available, it shall issue an injunction, unless it finds, on clear and convincing evidence, that the public interest and necessity require otherwise. The Attorney General shall represent the commission and the state in litigation concerning affairs of the commission, unless the Attorney General has determined to represent the agency against whom the commission’s action is directed, in which case the commission shall be authorized to employ other counsel. In an action to enforce this subdivision the commission shall introduce evidence showing that a cemetery, place, site, or shrine has been historically regarded as a sacred or sanctified place by Native American people and represents a place of unique historical and cultural significance to an Indian tribe or community.

(h) To request and utilize the advice and service of all federal, state, local, and regional agencies, including for purposes of carrying out the California Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 2001 (Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 8010) of Part 2 of Division 7 of the Health and Safety Code).

(i) To assist Native Americans in obtaining appropriate access to sacred places that are located on public lands for ceremonial or spiritual activities.

(j) To assist state agencies in any negotiations with agencies of the federal government for the protection of Native American sacred places that are located on federal lands.

(k) (1) To mediate, upon application of either of the parties, disputes arising between landowners and known descendants relating to the treatment and disposition of Native American human burials, skeletal remains, and items associated with Native American burials.

(2) The agreements shall provide protection to Native American human burials and skeletal remains from vandalism and inadvertent destruction and provide for sensitive treatment and disposition of Native American burials, skeletal remains, and associated grave goods consistent with the planned use of, or the approved project on, the land.

(l) To assist interested landowners in developing agreements with appropriate Native American groups for treating or disposing, with appropriate dignity, of the human remains and any items associated with Native American burials.

(m) To provide each California Native American tribe, as defined in Section 21073, on or before July 1, 2016, with a list of all public agencies that may be a lead agency pursuant to Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) within the geographic area with which the tribe is traditionally and culturally affiliated, the contact information of those public agencies, and information on how the tribe may request the public agency to notify the tribe of projects within the jurisdiction of those public agencies for the purposes of requesting consultation pursuant to Section 21080.3.1.

(n) (1) To assume the powers and duties of the former Repatriation Oversight Commission and meet, when necessary and at least quarterly, to perform the following duties:

(A) Order the repatriation of human remains and cultural items in accordance with the act.

(B) Establish mediation procedures and, upon the application of the parties involved, mediate disputes among tribes and museums and agencies relating to the disposition of human remains and cultural items. The commission shall have the power of subpoena for purposes of discovery and may impose civil penalties against any agency or museum that intentionally or willfully fails to comply with the act. Members of the commission and commission staff shall receive training in mediation for purposes of this subparagraph. The commission may delegate its responsibility to mediate disputes to a certified mediator or commission staff.

(C) Establish and maintain an Internet Web site for communication among tribes and museums and agencies.

(D) Upon the request of tribes or museums and agencies, analyze and make decisions regarding providing financial assistance to aid in specific repatriation activities.

(E) Make recommendations to the Legislature to assist tribes in obtaining the dedication of appropriate state lands for the purposes of reinterment of human remains and cultural items.

(F) (i) Prepare and submit to the Legislature an annual report detailing commission activities, disbursement of funds, and dispute resolutions relating to the repatriation activities under the act.

(ii) A report submitted to the Legislature pursuant to this subparagraph shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.

(G) Refer any known noncompliance with the federal Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (25 U.S.C. Sec. 3001 et seq.) to the United States Attorney General and the Secretary of the Interior.

(H) Impose administrative civil penalties pursuant to Section 8029 of the Health and Safety Code against an agency or museum that is determined by the commission to have violated the act.

(I) Establish those rules and regulations the commission determines to be necessary for the administration of the act.

(2) For purposes of this subdivision, the following terms have the following meanings:

(A) “Act” means the California Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 8010) of Part 2 of Division 7 of the Health and Safety Code).

(B) “Tribe” means a “California Indian tribe” as that term is used in the act.

(o) (1) To establish and assess a fee on a person or public or private entity that is reasonably related to the cost of conducting a search of catalogs, described in subdivision (a), inventories, described in Section 5097.96, or lists, described in Section 21073, for that person or entity, which funds shall be available to the commission upon appropriation by the Legislature.

(2) The Legislature finds that, pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 3 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution, the fees established pursuant to paragraph (1) are not taxes. To the extent that these fees are appropriated through the Budget Act for the purposes for which they are collected to provide services to the people of the State of California, the Legislature finds that these fees are not subject to Article XIII B of the California Constitution.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 26, Sec. 79. (SB 92) Effective June 27, 2017.)

5097.95.
  

Each state and local agency shall cooperate with the commission in carrying out its duties under this chapter. Such cooperation shall include, but is not limited to, transmitting copies, at the commission’s expense, of appropriate sections of all environmental impact reports relating to property identified by the commission as of special religious significance to Native Americans or which is reasonably foreseeable as such property.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1332.)

5097.96.
  

The commission may prepare an inventory of Native American sacred places that are located on public lands and shall review the current administrative and statutory protections accorded to such places. The commission shall submit a report to the Legislature no later than January 1, 1979, in which the commission shall report its findings as a result of these efforts and shall recommend such actions as the commission deems necessary to preserve these sacred places and to protect the free exercise of the Native American religions.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1332.)

5097.97.
  

In the event that any Native American organization, tribe, group, or individual advises the commission that a proposed action by a public agency may cause severe or irreparable damage to a Native American sanctified cemetery, place of worship, religious or ceremonial site, or sacred shrine located on public property, or may bar appropriate access thereto by Native Americans, the commission shall conduct an investigation as to the effect of the proposed action. Where the commission finds, after a public hearing, that the proposed action would result in such damage or interference, the commission may recommend mitigation measures for consideration by the public agency proposing to take such action. If the public agency fails to accept the mitigation measures, and if the commission finds that the proposed action would do severe and irreparable damage to a Native American sanctified cemetery, place of worship, religious or ceremonial site, or sacred shrine located on public property, the commission may ask the Attorney General to take appropriate legal action pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 5097.94.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1332.)

5097.98.
  

(a) Whenever the commission receives notification of a discovery of Native American human remains from a county coroner pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 7050.5 of the Health and Safety Code, it shall immediately notify those persons it believes to be most likely descended from the deceased Native American. The descendants may, with the permission of the owner of the land, or his or her authorized representative, inspect the site of the discovery of the Native American human remains and may recommend to the owner or the person responsible for the excavation work means for treatment or disposition, with appropriate dignity, of the human remains and any associated grave goods. The descendants shall complete their inspection and make recommendations or preferences for treatment within 48 hours of being granted access to the site.

(b) Upon the discovery of Native American remains, the landowner shall ensure that the immediate vicinity, according to generally accepted cultural or archaeological standards or practices, where the Native American human remains are located, is not damaged or disturbed by further development activity until the landowner has discussed and conferred, as prescribed in this section, with the most likely descendants regarding their recommendations, if applicable, taking into account the possibility of multiple human remains. The landowner shall discuss and confer with the descendants all reasonable options regarding the descendants’ preferences for treatment.

(1) The descendants’ preferences for treatment may include the following:

(A) The nondestructive removal and analysis of human remains and items associated with Native American human remains.

(B) Preservation of Native American human remains and associated items in place.

(C) Relinquishment of Native American human remains and associated items to the descendants for treatment.

(D) Other culturally appropriate treatment.

(2) The parties may also mutually agree to extend discussions, taking into account the possibility that additional or multiple Native American human remains, as defined in this section, are located in the project area, providing a basis for additional treatment measures.

(c) For the purposes of this section, “conferral” or “discuss and confer” means the meaningful and timely discussion and careful consideration of the views of each party, in a manner that is cognizant of all parties’ cultural values, and where feasible, seeking agreement. Each party shall recognize the other’s needs and concerns for confidentiality of information provided to the other.

(d) (1) Human remains of a Native American may be an inhumation or cremation, and in any state of decomposition or skeletal completeness.

(2) Any items associated with the human remains that are placed or buried with the Native American human remains are to be treated in the same manner as the remains, but do not by themselves constitute human remains.

(e) Whenever the commission is unable to identify a descendant, or the descendants identified fail to make a recommendation, or the landowner or his or her authorized representative rejects the recommendation of the descendants and the mediation provided for in subdivision (k) of Section 5097.94, if invoked, fails to provide measures acceptable to the landowner, the landowner or his or her authorized representative shall reinter the human remains and items associated with Native American human remains with appropriate dignity on the property in a location not subject to further and future subsurface disturbance. To protect these sites, the landowner shall do one or more of the following:

(1) Record the site with the commission or the appropriate Information Center.

(2) Utilize an open-space or conservation zoning designation or easement.

(3) Record a document with the county in which the property is located. The document shall be titled “Notice of Reinterment of Native American Remains” and shall include a legal description of the property, the name of the owner of the property, and the owner’s acknowledged signature, in addition to any other information required by this section. The document shall be indexed as a notice under the name of the owner.

(f) Upon the discovery of multiple Native American human remains during a ground disturbing land development activity, the landowner may agree that additional conferral with the descendants is necessary to consider culturally appropriate treatment of multiple Native American human remains. Culturally appropriate treatment of the discovery may be ascertained from a review of the site utilizing cultural and archaeological standards. Where the parties are unable to agree on the appropriate treatment measures the human remains and items associated and buried with Native American human remains shall be reinterred with appropriate dignity, pursuant to subdivision (e).

(g) Notwithstanding Section 5097.9, this section, including those actions taken by the landowner or his or her authorized representative to implement this section and any action taken to implement an agreement developed pursuant to subdivision (l) of Section 5097.94, shall be exempt from the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000)).

(h) Notwithstanding Section 30244, this section, including those actions taken by the landowner or his or her authorized representative to implement this section and any action taken to implement an agreement developed pursuant to subdivision (l) of Section 5097.94, shall be exempt from the requirements of the California Coastal Act of 1976 (Division 20 (commencing with Section 30000)).

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 208, Sec. 6. (SB 833) Effective January 1, 2010.)

5097.99.
  

(a) No person shall obtain or possess any Native American artifacts or human remains which are taken from a Native American grave or cairn on or after January 1, 1984, except as otherwise provided by law or in accordance with an agreement reached pursuant to subdivision (l) of Section 5097.94 or pursuant to Section 5097.98.

(b) Any person who knowingly or willfully obtains or possesses any Native American artifacts or human remains which are taken from a Native American grave or cairn after January 1, 1988, except as otherwise provided by law or in accordance with an agreement reached pursuant to subdivision (l) of Section 5097.94 or pursuant to Section 5097.98, is guilty of a felony which is punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code.

(c) Any person who removes, without authority of law, any Native American artifacts or human remains from a Native American grave or cairn with an intent to sell or dissect or with malice or wantonness is guilty of a felony which is punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 15, Sec. 557. (AB 109) Effective April 4, 2011. Operative October 1, 2011, by Sec. 636 of Ch. 15, as amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 39, Sec. 68.)

5097.991.
  

It is the policy of the state that Native American remains and associated grave artifacts shall be repatriated.

(Added by Stats. 1991, Ch. 370, Sec. 2.)

PRCPublic Resources Code - PRC