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Native American Graves Protection and

Repatriation Review Committee

Dispute Findings


Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review Committee Findings and Recommendations Regarding Cultural Items in the Possession of the Denver Art Museum
September 12, 2002

[Federal Register: September 12, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 177)]
[Notices]
[Page 57836-57837]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr12se02-95]

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service

Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review
Committee Findings and Recommendations Regarding Cultural Items in the
Possession of the Denver Art Museum

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

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After full and careful consideration of the information and
statements submitted and presented by the Denver Art Museum and the
Western Apache NAGPRA Working Group at the May 31-June 2, 2002, meeting
of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review
Committee, the review committee finds that this information is
sufficient to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the
seven cultural items are sacred objects and objects of cultural
patrimony that meet the definitions of ``sacred objects'' and ``objects
of cultural patrimony'' under NAGPRA 25 U.S.C. 3001. It also finds that
these cultural items are culturally affiliated with the constituent
tribes of the Western Apache NAGPRA Working Group. The Western Apache
NAGPRA Working Group is composed of the authorized representatives of
the Fort McDowell Mohave-Apache Indian Community of the Fort McDowell
Indian Reservation, Arizona, San Carlos Apache Tribe of the San Carlos
Reservation, Arizona, the Tonto Apache Tribe of Arizona, the White
Mountain Apache Tribe of the Fort Apache Reservation, Arizona, and the
Yavapai-Apache Nation of the Camp Verde Indian Reservation, Arizona.
The seven cultural items are a Dilzini medicine cord and pouch, a
Dilzini wooden doll, two caps, and three Dilzini Gaan masks.
The review committee recognizes that the Denver Art Museum engaged
in good faith consultation with the Western Apache NAGPRA Working Group
for several years. An impasse seemed to have developed in the
consultation process. Officials of the Denver Art Museum felt that the
information provided was not sufficient to meet the standard of NAGPRA
and requested additional information. The Western Apache NAGPRA Working
Group felt that the information it had provided was sufficient and that
it was unable to provide additional sensitive religious information.
The Western Apache NAGPRA Working Group requested the assistance of the
review committee in resolving the dispute.
During its May 31-June 2, 2002, meeting, the review committee
considered the written information provided by both parties. In
addition, the review committee was able to question both parties and
obtain additional information regarding the identity and cultural
affiliation of the seven items.
The review committee concurs with the Denver Art Museum that
sufficient evidence is available to support the following
determinations of cultural affiliation:1.The Dilzini medicine cord and
pouch (accession number 1936.216.1) is culturally affiliated with the
White Mountain Apache Tribe of the Fort Apache Reservation,
Arizona.2.The Dilzini wooden doll (accession number 1936.216.2) is
culturally affiliated with the White Mountain Apache Tribe of the Fort
Apache Reservation, Arizona.3.The cap (accession number 1946.215) is
culturally affiliated with the San Carlos Apache Tribe of the San
Carlos Reservation, Arizona.4.The Dilzini Gaan mask (accession number
1947.256) is culturally affiliated with the White Mountain Apache Tribe
of the Fort Apache Reservation, Arizona.5.Dilzini Gaan Mask (accession
number 1947.257) is culturally affiliated with the San Carlos Apache
Tribe of the San Carlos Reservation, Arizona.6.The Dilzini Gaan mask
(accession number 1947.258) is culturally affiliated with the White
Mountain Apache Tribe of the Fort Apache Reservation, Arizona.
Oral testimony provided at the review committee meeting regarding
the seventh item, a second cap (accession number 19417.1749), indicated
that the symbols on the cap represent an Apache sacred site. Oral
tradition provided at the meeting indicates that the cap was associated
with a medicine man from Cibeque, AZ.
The review committee finds that the evidence that the two parties
provided to the review committee in advance of the review committee
meeting, along with additional information that they provided at the
meeting, is sufficient to support a determination that the seven items
are objects that are specific ceremonial items that are needed by
traditional Native American religious leaders for the practice of
traditional Native American religions by their present-day adherents.
Mr. Levi DeHose and Mr. Carlyle Russell were identified as traditional
Apache religious leaders responsible for the performance of specific
healing ceremonies. The seven items were identified as being needed for
the conduct of these specific healing ceremonies, and the items must be
returned to their resting place in order to continue the healing
process.
The review committee finds that the evidence that the two parties
provided

[[Page 57837]]

in advance of the review committee meeting, along with additional
information that they provided at the meeting, is sufficient to support
a determination that the seven items have ongoing historical,
traditional, or cultural importance central to the Apache themselves,
rather than property owned by an individual tribal member. Information
provided at the meeting indicated that the continuing use of the seven
items was necessary for the continuation of the healing process for
present and future generations. The serious social problems and wide-
scale suffering among the Western Apache were attributed to the
alienation of these and other ceremonial items from their resting
places. The return of these items to their resting places will be
beneficial to the health of the Apache people.
The review committee also reaffirms the importance of ongoing, good
faith consultation between the parties as the most effective means for
finding repatriation solutions and precluding disputes.Based on these
findings, the review committee recommends that the Denver Art Museum
consider the oral testimony provided by the Western Apache NAGPRA
Working Group, consult with the anthropological literature, re-evaluate
the determination for repatriation, and inform the review committee of
the museum's findings within the next 90 days.
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 the Secretary of the Interior. The
National Park Service and the Secretary of the Interior have not taken
a position on these matters.

Dated: July 16, 2002
Armand Minthorn
Chair, Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review
Committee.
[FR Doc. 02-23128 Filed 9-11-02; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-70-S

 

 
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