FR Doc E7-4728
[Federal Register: March 15, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 50)]
[Notices]               
[Page 12189-12190]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr15mr07-85]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service
 
Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of the Interior, 
National Park Service, Fort Union National Monument, Watrous, NM


AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.
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    Notice is here given in accordance with the Native American Graves 
Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), 25 U.S.C. 3003, of the 
completion of an inventory of human remains and associated funerary 
objects in the possession and control of the U.S. Department of the 
Interior, National Park Service, Fort Union National Monument, Watrous, 
NM. The human remains and cultural items were removed from an area near 
the fort in Mora County, NM.
    This notice is published as part of the National Park Service's 
administrative responsibilities under NAGPRA, 25 U.S.C. 3003 (d)(3). 
The determinations in this notice are the sole responsibility of the 
superintendent, Fort Union National Monument.
    A detailed assessment of the human remains and associated funerary 
objects was made by Fort Union National Monument professional staff in 
consultation with representatives of the Arapaho Tribe of the Wind 
River Reservation, Wyoming; Comanche Nation, Oklahoma; Fort McDowell 
Yavapai Nation, Arizona; Jicarilla Apache Nation, New Mexico; Mescalero 
Apache Tribe of the Mescalero Reservation, New Mexico; Navajo Nation, 
Arizona, New Mexico & Utah; and Ute Mountain Tribe of the Ute Mountain 
Reservation, Colorado, New Mexico & Utah.

[[Page 12190]]

    The Apache Tribe of Oklahoma; Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma; 
Fort Sill Apache Tribe of Oklahoma; Kiowa Indian Tribe of Oklahoma; 
Northern Cheyenne Tribe of the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation, 
Montana; San Carlos Apache Tribe of the San Carlos Reservation, 
Arizona; Southern Ute Indian Tribe of the Southern Ute Reservation, 
Colorado; Tonto Apache Tribe of Arizona; Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah 
& Ouray Reservation, Utah; White Mountain Apache Tribe of the Fort 
Apache Reservation, Arizona; and Yavapai-Apache Nation of the Camp 
Verde Indian Reservation, Arizona were contacted for consultation 
purposes but did not attend the consultation meetings.
    In 1958, human remains representing a minimum of four individuals 
were removed from Fort Union National Monument in Mora County, NM, 
during the construction of park housing. No known individuals were 
identified. All but 10 of the approximately 40 artifacts found with the 
human remains have been lost or have disintegrated. The 10 surviving 
associated funerary objects are 1 turquoise bead, 1 shell bead, 1 
fragmentary shell bead, 1 leather fragment, 2 pieces of fabric, 1 
fragment of bark, 2 fragments of rotted leather, and 1 fragment of 
material that is either rotted leather or metal. Most of the objects 
are only identifiable by consulting the park's museum catalog cards.
    Based on skeletal and artifactual analysis, it appears that the 
four men were beaten, shot, dragged using leather straps found with the 
bodies, and buried in a grave approximately 18 inches deep. The mass 
grave was located immediately adjacent to where the Santa Fe Trail 
entered Fort Union. The men were laid out in an orderly fashion, 
oriented to the southeast. Most items of value appear to have been 
removed from the bodies. Buttons and the caliber of bullets used to 
kill the men indicate that the murders took place sometime between the 
years of 1863 and 1872. At the request of officials of Fort Union 
National Monument, a cultural affiliation report was prepared in 2006 
in an effort to determine cultural affiliation by examining all 
available evidence.
    Officials of Fort Union National Monument have determined that, 
pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (9-10), the human remains described above 
represent the physical remains of four individuals of Native American 
ancestry. Officials of Fort Union National Monument also have 
determined that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (3)(A), the ten objects 
described above are reasonably believed to have been placed with or 
near individual human remains at the time of death or later as part of 
the death rite or ceremony. Lastly, officials of Fort Union National 
Monument have determined that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (2), a 
relationship of shared group identity cannot reasonably be traced 
between the Native American human remains and associated funerary 
objects and any present-day Indian tribe.
    The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review 
Committee (Review Committee) is responsible for recommending specific 
actions for disposition of culturally unidentifiable human remains. In 
October 2006, Fort Union National Monument requested that the Review 
Committee recommend repatriation of the four culturally unidentifiable 
human remains and ten associated funerary objects to the Jicarilla 
Apache Nation, New Mexico and Ute Mountain Tribe of the Ute Mountain 
Reservation, Colorado, New Mexico & Utah as co-claimants because the 
human remains and cultural items were found within the tribes' 
aboriginal and historical territory. The Review Committee considered 
the proposal at its November 2006 meeting, and recommended disposition 
of the human remains and associated funerary objects to the Jicarilla 
Apache Nation, New Mexico and Ute Mountain Tribe of the Ute Mountain 
Reservation, Colorado, New Mexico & Utah. The National Park Service 
intends to convey the ten associated funerary objects to the tribes 
pursuant to 16 U.S.C. 18f-2.
    A December 12, 2006, letter from the Designated Federal Official, 
writing on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior, recommended 
disposition of the physical remains of four culturally unidentifiable 
individuals and ten associated funerary objects to the Jicarilla Apache 
Nation, New Mexico and Ute Mountain Tribe of the Ute Mountain 
Reservation, Colorado, New Mexico & Utah contingent on the publication 
of a Notice of Inventory Completion in the Federal Register. This 
notice fulfills that requirement.
    Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes itself to 
be culturally affiliated with the human remains and associated funerary 
objects should contact Marie Frias Sauter, superintendent, Fort Union 
National Monument, P.O. Box 127, Watrous, NM 87753, telephone (505) 
425-8025, before April 16, 2007. Disposition of the human remains and 
associated funerary objects to the Jicarilla Apache Nation, New Mexico 
and Ute Mountain Tribe of the Ute Mountain Reservation, Colorado, New 
Mexico & Utah may proceed after that date if no additional claimants 
come forward.
    Fort Union National Monument is responsible for notifying the 
Arapaho Tribe of the Wind River Reservation, Wyoming; Comanche Nation, 
Oklahoma; Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Arizona; Jicarilla Apache 
Nation, New Mexico; Mescalero Apache Tribe of the Mescalero 
Reservation, New Mexico; Navajo Nation, Arizona, New Mexico & Utah; and 
Ute Mountain Tribe of the Ute Mountain Reservation, Colorado, New 
Mexico & Utah that this notice has been published.

    Dated: February 8, 2007.
Sherry Hutt,
Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. E7-4728 Filed 3-14-07; 8:45 am]

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