The Milwaukee Public Museum's Anthropology department collections comprise over 400,000 objects.

Ethnographic material includes artifacts from indigenous North and South American groups, African and Pacific aboriginal peoples, and some Southeast Asian tribal groups. The archaeological collection includes artifacts from the Americas, Europe, and the Middle East.


The Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM) is committed to both the legal and ethical principles of the Native American Graves Protection & Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), a federal law that allows federally recognized tribes to reclaim human remains, associated funerary objects, unassociated funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony from museums, colleges, universities, and other institutions that receive federal funding.

The Museum has had a long history of working with Native American communities and individuals from across the country for more than 100 years. MPM actively works with Native American tribes and individuals to identify and repatriate the items covered by NAGPRA. We value and practice open communication and endeavor to develop and maintain respectful relationships before, during, and after the NAGPRA process. MPM also works with tribes and Native American individuals throughout the United States to respectfully and appropriately care for Native American ancestral remains and cultural items, assist tribes in their cultural heritage efforts, and promote access to collections and associated documentation for loans to tribal museums, research efforts, and public education and outreach programs.

Questions? Contact Dawn Scher Thomae.