IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study of African American burial grounds, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
African American Burial Grounds Study Act.
In this Act:
The term burial ground means any natural or prepared physical location, whether originally below, on, or above the surface of the earth, into which human remains are deposited as a part of the death rite or ceremony of a culture.
The term Secretary means the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Director of the National Park Service.
African American burial grounds study
The Secretary shall conduct a study of ways to identify, interpret, preserve, and record unmarked, previously abandoned, underserved, or other burial grounds relating to the historic African American experience.
In conducting the study under subsection (a), the Secretary shall consider—
ways to engage with descendant, local, and other communities historically associated with identified burial grounds by geography, genealogy, or culture;
appropriate processes to identify locations of unmarked and unrecorded African American burial grounds with appropriate consideration for the privacy and safety of the burial grounds;
alternatives for providing in a public database, as appropriate, the locations of, and information on, recorded and unrecorded African American burial grounds;
alternatives for commemorating and interpreting African American burial grounds; and
best practices for preserving burial ground landscapes and caring for artifacts.
Not later than 3 years after the date on which funds are first made available to carry out the study under subsection (a), the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate and the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives a report describing—
the findings of the study; and
any recommendations of the Secretary.
Passed the Senate December 20, 2020.