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Press Release California

CSU Appoints Collections Manager to Support the Preservation of Native American Peoples’ Heritage, Artifacts and Tribal Culture



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California State University, the nation's largest four-year public university, has named Adriane Tafoya as its new project manager for the California Native American Graves Protection​ and Repatriation Act (CalNAGPRA). In this role, she will work with culturally affiliated tribes throughout the state to identify and repatriate the remains of their ancestors and other cultural items.

Tafoya will assist all 23 campuses within the CSU system in complying with CalNAGPRA and with the requirements of Assembly Bill 275, especially in regard to producing new inventories of all of the Native American collections held by each campus. 

CalNAGPRA, which was passed in 2001, requires all agencies and museums that receive state funding and have possession or control over collections of California Native American human remains, cultural items, and funerary objects to inventory those remains and objects for repatriation to the appropriate California Indian Tribe. AB 275, a bill passed in 2020, further defined and clarified the repatriation process and also required state agencies to designate a liaison to engage and consult with California Native American tribes.  

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Adriane Tafoya, a member of the Tejon Indian Tribe,
will assist with the CSU's CalNAGPRA compliance.

Tafoya will work out of the Chico State Office of Tribal Relations and​​​ report to University President Gayle Hutchinson, who serves as the CSU's Presidential Advisor for its Native American Initiative. 

Tafoya is currently the senior collections manager at the McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and serves on UT's NAGPRA Committee. She is a California native and member of the Tejon Indian Tribe (Kitanemuk). Her experience includes NAGPRA duties in California and Tennessee. She has been working in the museum collections field for more than 20 years and has held collections manager positions in art and history museums, university museums, and private collections. 

“The CSU has thousands of collections to inventory. Adriane's strong experience in project management and museum studies education, and her passion for the important work of CalNAGPRA make her a great fit to take on this work," said Rachel McBride-Praetorius, the director of Tribal Relations at Chico State.  

Tafoya earned a Bachelor of Arts in art from Chico State and a Master of Arts in museum studies from John F. Kennedy University. She is currently working with students to finish museum curation projects at the University of Tennessee and will start with the CSU on June 1.​ 


About California State University, Chico

California State University, Chico is the second-oldest institution in the 23-campus CSU system, the nation's largest public university system. Founded in 1887, Chico State enrolls approximately 17,000 students and serves as the comprehensive university of the North State, the 12-county region where the campus is located. The campus is consistently ranked as one of the best regional public universities in the Western United States and recognized for its quality of education, affordability, value, and alumni success. Its mission includes enduring commitments to academic distinction, transformative student experiences, prominent scholarship and innovation, and a culture of excellence and accountability. With strategic priorities of equity, diversity, and inclusion; civic and global engagement; and resilient and sustainable systems, Chico State is working to solve the unprecedented global challenges of the 21st century.

​About the California State University

​The California State University​  is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 477,000 students and 56,000 faculty and staff. Nearly 40 percent of the CSU's undergraduate students transfer from California Community Colleges. Created in 1960, the mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of California. With its commitment to quality, opportunity and student success, the CSU is renowned for superb teaching, innovative research and for producing job-ready graduates. Each year, the CSU awards more than 132,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 4 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter​.​