[Federal Register: May 20, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 97)]
[Notices]
[Page 35579-35580]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr20my02-106]

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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 Control of the U.S. Department
of the Interior, National Park Service, Statue of Liberty National
Monument, New York, NY

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

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    Notice is hereby given in accordance with provisions of the Native
American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), 43 CFR 10.9,
of the completion of the inventory of human remains and associated
funerary objects presently in the control of the U.S. Department of the
Interior, National Park Service, Statue of Liberty National Monument,
New York, NY.
     This notice is published as part of the National Park Service's
administrative responsibilities under NAGPRA, 43 CFR 10.2 (c). The
determinations within this notice are the sole responsibility of the
National Park unit that has control or possession of these Native
American human remains and associated funerary objects. The Manager,
National NAGPRA Program is not responsible for the determinations
within this notice.
    A detailed inventory and assessment of these human remains has been
made by National Park Service curatorial, anthropological, and
archeological staff; contracted specialists in physical anthropology;
and representatives of the Delaware Nation, Oklahoma and the Delaware
Tribe of Indians, Oklahoma. The National Park Service also consulted
with the Stockbridge-Munsee Community of Mohican Indians of Wisconsin
and the non-Federally recognized Delaware Nation Grand Council of
Oklahoma (consisting of representatives of the Delaware Nation and the
Delaware Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma, and the Moravian of the Thames
First Nation and the Munsee-Delaware Nation of Canada).
    In 1963, human remains representing a minimum of one individual
were recovered from Liberty Island (also known as Bedloe's Island),
during the restoration of Fort Wood. The human remains were recovered
from strata located four feet below the present ground level. No
associated funerary objects are present. The identity of this
individual could not be determined.
     Between 1985-1987, human remains representing a minimum of four
individuals were recovered from Ellis Island during restoration of the
main building of the Immigration Station. The human remains were
recovered at a depth of 3.5 to 4 feet below the present ground level
from both a prehistoric shell stratum and a disturbed area associated
with the prehistoric shell midden. It is believed that the disturbance
is related to construction of the Main Building that occurred in the
1890s. No items were found that appear to have been intentionally
placed with these human remains at the time of death. A sage bundle
placed at the site in 1987, and now in the monument's collections, was
intentionally placed near the human remains as part of a death rite or
ceremony of a culture. No known individuals were identified.
    In 1986, human remains representing a minimum of one individual
were recovered from another location on Ellis Island during
construction of a water line. The human remains were recovered from a
disturbed area believed to have been used as fill during the 20th
Century. No associated funerary objects are present. The identity of
this individual could not be determined.
    The remains of all six individuals were reviewed for indications of
Native American ancestry. Characteristics of the remains of two
individuals recovered during the renovation of the Immigration Station
and one individual recovered during the construction of the water line
are indicative of Native American ancestry. Traits indicative of non-
Native American ancestry were not noted on any of the remains recovered
from Ellis Island; and traits from the Liberty Island remains could not
be evaluated in this respect due to the lack of comparative data.
    The remains of five individuals appear to have been originally
associated with prehistoric shell middens. Remains of the four
individuals associated with the Immigration Station were recovered from
intact prehistoric shell matrices, and from disturbed oyster shell/sand
and clay contexts believed to have been obtained from prehistoric
strata underlying the Immigration Station. It is apparent from the
contexts and condition of archeological removals that the remains were
present while the area was still being used to procure shellfish.
    Previous archeological excavations have shown that shell middens
were commonly used as burial areas during the Middle Woodland (0 AD to
1000 AD) and Late Woodland (1000 AD to 1600) periods. The presence of
pottery in the Ellis Island strata suggests a similar time frame of
late Middle Woodland to Late Woodland occupation. A radiocarbon assay
of charcoal from the base of the Ellis Island shell midden dates
occupation of the lowest level of that site to A.D. 801-949. The human
remains recovered from the context of the shell middens on the two
islands are believed to have been interred between A.D. 801-1600.
    Historical documentation indicates that in A.D. 1600 the area
around Statue of Liberty National Monument was occupied by Algonquian-
speaking peoples, including the Munsee Delaware peoples. Archeological
excavations throughout the mid-Atlantic region reveal a continuity of
material

[[Page 35580]]

culture through time indicative of a relationship of shared group
identity between the Munsee Delaware peoples and the Middle Woodland
and Late Woodland period populations of the area. Representatives of
the Delaware Nation Grand Council have identified the Statue of Liberty
National Monument as being within the traditional territory of their
constituent tribes.
    Based on the above-mentioned information, the superintendent of
Statue of Liberty National Monument determined that, pursuant to 43 CFR
10.2 (d)(1), the human remains listed above represent the physical
remains of at least six individuals of Native American ancestry. The
superintendent of Statue of Liberty National Monument also determined
that, pursuant to 43CFR 10.2 (d)(2), the one item listed above is
reasonably believed to have been placed with or near individual human
remains as part of a death rite or ceremony. Lastly, the superintendent
of Statue of Liberty National Monument has determined that, pursuant to
43 CFR 10.2 (e), there is a relationship of shared group identity which
can be reasonably traced between these human remains and the associated
funerary object and the Delaware Nation, Oklahoma; the Delaware Tribe
of Indians, Oklahoma; and the Stockbridge-Munsee Community of Mohican
Indians of Wisconsin.
    This notice has been sent to officials of the Delaware Tribe of
Indians, Oklahoma; the Delaware Nation, Oklahoma; the Stockbridge-
Munsee Community of Mohican Indians of Wisconsin; and to officials of
the non-Federally recognized Delaware Nation Grand Council of Oklahoma.
Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes itself to be
culturally affiliated with these human remains should contact Diane H.
Dayson, Superintendent, Statue of Liberty National Monument, Liberty
Island, New York, NY 10004; telephone; (212) 363-7772, before June 19,
2002. Repatriation of the human remains and associated funerary object
to the Delaware Tribe of Indians, Oklahoma; Delaware Nation, Oklahoma;
and Stockbridge-Munsee Community of Mohican Indians of Wisconsin may
begin after that date if no additional claimants come forward.

    Dated: April 16, 2002.
Robert Stearns,
Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. 02-12559 Filed 5-17-02; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-70-S
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