FR Doc 03-5510
[Federal Register: March 7, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 45)]
[Notices]               
[Page 11142-11143]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr07mr03-132]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service

Notice of Inventory Completion: Walter Elwood Museum and the 
Greater Amsterdam School District, Amsterdam, NY

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, Sec. 5, of 
the completion of an inventory of human remains and associated funerary 
objects in the possession of Walter Elwood Museum, Amsterdam, NY, and 
in the control of the Greater Amsterdam School District, Amsterdam, NY. 
These human remains and associated funerary objects were removed from a 
site in Montgomery County, NY.
    This notice is published as part of the National Park Service's 
administrative responsibilities under NAGPRA, 25 U.S.C. 3003, Sec. 5 
(d)(3). The determinations within this notice are the sole 
responsibility of the museum, institution, or Federal agency that has 
control of these Native American human remains and associated funerary 
objects. The National Park Service is not responsible for the 
determinations within this notice.
    A detailed assessment of the human remains was made by the Walter 
Elwood Museum professional staff in consultation with representatives 
of the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation.
    In 1903 and 1904, human remains representing a minimum of four 
individuals were removed from the Wemp site (NYSM site [numsign]1100) 
near the hamlet of Fort Hunter in the town of Florida, Montgomery 
County, NY. The human remains were removed either by a farmer or a 
canal worker during gravel excavations to repair the Erie Canal, and 
subsequently were purchased by Mr. Max Reid. Mr. Reid's daughter, Mrs. 
Frazier Whitcomb, inherited the human remains from her father. In 1948, 
Mrs. Whitcomb donated the human remains to the Walter Elwood Museum. No 
known individuals were identified. The five associated funerary objects 
are pottery sherds.
    The pottery sherds represent types common during the Late Woodland 
period that preceded the historic Mohawk settlement at Fort Hunter. The 
burials excavated at the Wemp site were located on a gravel ridge east 
of Fort Hunter where Mohawk groups established one of two remaining 
villages in the Mohawk Valley in the

[[Page 11143]]

early 18th century. The historically documented ``Lower Mohawk 
Castle,'' also known as ``Tionondoroge'' or ``Tehandaloga,'' is 
generally assumed to be associated with a settlement located near the 
confluence of the Schoharie Creek and the Mohawk River, which included 
the Wemp site cemetery. The Mohawk people established the settlement 
around 1710 and most had abandoned it by 1776.
    Officials of the Walter Elwood Museum have determined that, 
pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001, Sec. 2 (9-10), the human remains listed 
above represent the physical remains of at least four individuals of 
Native American ancestry. Officials of the Walter Elwood Museum have 
also determined that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001, Sec. (3)(A), the five 
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 the death rite or ceremony. Lastly, officials of the Walter Elwood 
Museum have determined that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001, Sec. 2 (2), 
there is a relationship of shared group identity that can be reasonably 
traced between these Native American human remains and associated 
funerary objects and the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation.
    Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes itself to 
be culturally affiliated with these human remains and associated 
funerary objects should contact Ronald E. Limoncelli, Superintendent, 
Greater Amsterdam School District, 11 Liberty Street, Amsterdam, New 
York 12101, telephone (518) 843-5217, before April 7, 2003. 
Repatriation of these human remains and associated funerary objects to 
the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation may proceed after that date if no 
additional claimants come forward.
    The Walter Elwood Museum is responsible for notifying the Akwesasne 
Mohawk Nation that this notice has been published.

    Dated: January 24, 2003.
John Robbins,
Assistant Director, Cultural Resources Stewardship and Partnerships.
[FR Doc. 03-5510 Filed 3-6-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4310-70-S


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