Voluntary Returns Program

The ATADA Voluntary Returns Program

An overview of the ATADA Voluntary Returns Program has been published on the ArtDaily.com website. 

If you are not familiar with the program, please visit the Voluntary Returns page on our website for an in-depth look at how it works and why we think this community based approach is the best and most efficient method for the return of sacred and ceremonial objects. 

The ATADA Voluntary Returns Program is a community-based initiative designed to bring sacred and highly valued ceremonial objects to Native American tribes. Returns take place through a consultative process in which ATADA representatives work directly with tribal community and spiritual leaders. The program evolved through the recognition by art dealers and private collectors that certain objects, although legal to own, had great importance to tribal communities, and that their return could invigorate and enhance tribal community life.

Recent Press Coverage of ATADA's Voluntary Returns Program

Native America Calling: Thursday, June 8, 2017 — Auction house ignores pleas to stop damaging sale

In this broadcast from June 8, ATADA Legal Committee member, Vanessa Elmore discusses ATADA's efforts continue the dialogue and help resolve the issues surrounding objects of cultural patrimony. 


Audio courtesy of: Native America Calling

In this episode of New Mexico in Focus, Robert Gallegos (Founding Board Member and Legal Committee Member), talks about the new directions ATADA is taking with tribal objects of cultural patrimony.

Video Courtesy of: New Mexico in Focus, a production of New Mexico PBS.