Introductory title image for the National Park Service, U.S. Department of Interior and the National Center for Cultural Resources to include the official arrowhead of the National Park ServiceImage of the official National Park Service arrowhead and a link to ParkNet The National NAGPRA title image on a green background with an historic image of native baskets next to water and reed-type river grass - image by Edward S. Curtis, courtesy of NPS Resources for navigation image bar including tribes, museums, agencies, public and press linksimage for tribes linkimage for museums linkimage for agencies linkimage for public linkimage for press link

Native American Graves Protection and

Repatriation Review Committee

Dispute Findings


Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review Committee Findings and Recommendations Regarding Human Remains and Associated Funerary Objects from Spirit Cave in Nevada
April 10, 2002

[Federal Register: April 10, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 69)]
[Notices]
[Page 17463]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr10ap02-110]

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service


Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review
Committee Findings and Recommendations Regarding Human Remains and
Associated Funerary Objects from Spirit Cave in Nevada

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review
Committee: Findings and Recommendations.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

After full and careful consideration of the information and
statements submitted by the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe and the U.S.
Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Nevada State
Office, and evidence presented by representatives of the Fallon Paiute-
Shoshone Tribe at the November 17-19, 2001, meeting of the Native
American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review Committee (review
committee), six out of the seven review committee members find that the
preponderance of the evidence indicates a relationship of shared group
identity which can be reasonably traced between the present day Fallon
Paiute-Shoshone Tribe and the human remains and associated funerary
objects from Spirit Cave in Nevada.
This set of human remains, currently under the control of the
Nevada State Office, consists of a mummified skeleton and associated
funerary objects identified as ``Burial Number 2,'' excavated by S.M.
Wheeler and Georgia N. Wheeler in 1940 from Spirit Cave, Nevada.
During its November 17-19, 2001, meeting, the review committee
considered a dispute brought by the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe
against the Nevada State Office. The issues leading to the dispute were
as follows:
1. On June 26, 2000, the Nevada State Office determined that human
remains from Spirit Cave in Nevada (Spirit Cave remains), were not
culturally affiliated with any modern individual, Indian tribe, or
other group; and
2. The Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe disputed the Nevada State
Office's determination, and asked the review committee to review and
make findings related to:
a. The cultural affiliation of certain Native American human
remains and associated funerary objects removed from Spirit Cave in
Nevada (specifically that, despite some gaps in the record, there is
compelling evidence to support the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe's claim
of cultural affiliation with the early Holocene occupants of the
western Great Basin, including the Spirit Cave remains); and
b. The return of such human remains and objects to the Fallon
Paiute-Shoshone Tribe.
The review committee reviewed documents provided by the Fallon
Paiute-Shoshone Tribe and the Nevada State Office, and heard oral
presentations by individuals on behalf of the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone
Tribe regarding the cultural affiliation of Native American human
remains from Spirit Cave in Nevada.
After full and careful consideration of the provided information
by all review committee members, six out of the seven review committee
members find that:
1. The review committee does not believe that the Nevada State
Office has given fair and objective consideration and assessment of all
the available information and evidence in this case; and
2. The review committee finds that the preponderance of the
evidence indicates a relationship of shared group identity which can be
reasonably traced between the present-day Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe
and the human remains and associated funerary objects from Spirit Cave
in Nevada.
Based on these findings, the review committee, by a six to one
vote, recommends that the Nevada State Office repatriate the Spirit
Cave human remains and associated funerary objects to the Fallon
Paiute-Shoshone Tribe.
The review committee directed the Designated Federal Official to
communicate its findings on this dispute to the representatives of the
two affected parties, the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe and the Nevada
State Office, as well as other appropriate officials within the
Department of the Interior.
The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act directs
the Secretary of the Interior to establish and maintain an advisory
committee composed of seven private citizens nominated by Indian
tribes, Native Hawaiian organizations, and national museum
organizations and scientific organizations (25 U.S.C. 3006). The
responsibilities of the review committee include reviewing and making
findings related to the identity or cultural affiliation of Native
American human remains or other cultural items, or to the return of
human remains or other cultural items; and facilitating the resolution
of disputes among Indian tribes, Native Hawaiian organizations, or
lineal descendants and Federal agencies or museums relating to the
return of human remains and other cultural items.
This notice is published as part of the National Park Service's
administrative responsibilities under NAGPRA, 25 U.S.C. 3006 (g). These
findings and recommendations do not necessarily represent the views of
the National Park Service or Secretary of the Interior. The National
Park Service and the Secretary of the Interior have not taken a
position on these matters.

Dated: March 13, 2002.
Armand Minthorn,
Chair, Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review
Committee.
[FR Doc. 02-8577 Filed 4-9-02; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-70-S

 

 
Home
Frequently Asked Questions
Law and Regulations
Online Databases
Grants
Training
Notices
Documents and Publications
Review Committee
Special Topics
Contact National NAGPRA
navigation bar image with links to ParkNet, Links to the Past, FOIA, Privacy, Disclaimer and FirstGov Image link to ParkNet, the National Park Service websiteimage link to Links to the Past, the National Park Service's Cultural Resources websiteImage link to the National Park Service's Freedom of Information Act Image link to the National Park Service's Privacy PolicyImage link to the National Park Service's Disclaimer, Liability and Ownership notice Image link to the U.S. Government's FirstGov official web portalImage link for First GovImage link for NPS Search EngineImage link for ParknetImage link for Links to the PastImage link for FOIA PrivacyImage link for Disclaimer

PMM