[Federal Register: June 16, 1997 (Volume 62, Number 115)]
[Notices]
[Page 32652]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr16jn97-95]

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service

Notice of Inventory Completion for Native American Human Remains
and Associated Funerary Objects in the Possession of Sitka National
Historical Park, National Park Service, Sitka, AK

AGENCY: National Park Service

ACTION: Notice

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    Notice is hereby given in accordance with provisions of the Native
American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), 25 U.S.C.
3003(d), of the completion of an inventory of human remains and
associated funerary objects in the possession of Sitka National
Historical Park, National Park Service, Sitka, AK.
    A detailed assessment of the human remains and associated funerary
objects was made by professional staff of the National Park Service in
consultation with representatives of the Sitka Tribe of Alaska and the
Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Tribes of Alaska. Representatives
of Shee Atika, Incorporated and Sealaska Heritage Foundation have been
kept aware of the formal correspondence and consultation results.
    In 1958 cremated human remains representing one individual were
illegally removed from a burial cave in the Siginaka Islands by
National Park Service and University of Alaska personnel following a
discussion of the site with Tlingit elders. No known individuals were
identified. The 22 associated funerary objects include seventeen wood
fragments, four spruce rope fragments, and one hammered copper band.
    The cave from which the human remains and associated funerary
objects were recovered was identified as a burial site used by Tlingit
people following the 1802 Battle of Old Sitka. Documentary evidence,
including testimony of Tlingit elders, indicates that the Siginaka
Islands are within the territory traditionally used by the Sitka
Tlingit. Documentary evidence also indicates that the practice of
cremating human remains in the Sitka area was abandoned by the resident
Tlingit population after ca. 1880 AD. The exact date of the burial is
unknown; however, based on these factors and the presence of the
hammered copper band, the remains are likely to date to the 19th
century.
    Based on the above-mentioned information, officials of the National
Park Service have determined that, pursuant to 43 CFR 10.2 (d)(1), the
human remains listed above represent the physical remains of a minimum
of one individual of Native American ancestry. Officials of the
National Park Service have also determined that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C.
3001 (3)(A), the 22 objects listed above are reasonably believed to
have been placed with or near individual human remains at the time of
death or later as part of a death rite or ceremony. Lastly, officials
of the National Park Service have determined that, pursuant to 25
U.S.C. 3001 (2), there is a relationship of shared group identity which
can be reasonably traced between these Native American human remains
and associated funerary objects and the Sitka Tribe of Alaska.
    This notice has been sent to officials of the Sitka Tribe of
Alaska, Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Tribes of Alaska, Shee
Atika, Incorporated, and Sealaska Heritage Foundation. Representatives
of any other Indian tribe that believes itself to be culturally
affiliated with these human remains and associated funerary objects
should contact Superintendent Gary Gauthier, Sitka National Historical
Park, 106 Metlakatla Street, Sitka, Alaska, 99835, telephone (907) 747-
6281, before July 16, 1997. Repatriation of the human remains and
associated funerary objects to the Sitka Tribe of Alaska may begin
after that date if no additional claimants come forward.
Dated: June 6, 1997.
Francis P. McManamon,
Departmental Consulting Archeologist,
Manager, Archeology and Ethnography Program.
[FR Doc. 97-15681 Filed 6-13-97; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-70-F

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