FR Doc E9-16024[Federal Register: July 7, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 128)]
[Notices]               
[Page 32186-32187]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr07jy09-86]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service
 
Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of Agriculture, 
Forest Service, Tongass National Forest, Chatham Area, Juneau, AK

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, of the 
completion of an inventory of human remains and associated funerary 
objects in the possession of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest 
Service, Tongass National Forest, Chatham Area, Juneau, AK. The human 
remains and associated funerary objects were removed from sites near 
Yakutat, Southeast Alaska.
    This notice is published as part of the National Park Service's 
administrative responsibilities under NAGPRA, 25 U.S.C. 3003 (d)(3). 
The determinations in this notice are the sole responsibility of the 
museum, institution, or Federal agency that has control of the Native 
American human remains and associated funerary objects. The National 
Park Service is not responsible for the determinations in this notice.
    A detailed assessment of the human remains was made by U.S. 
Department of Agriculture, Forest Service professional staff in 
consultation with representatives of the Central Council of the Tlingit 
& Haida Indian Tribes; Sealaska Corporation; Sealaska Heritage 
Foundation; Yak-Tat Kwaan, Incorporated; and Yakutat Tlingit Tribe.
    In 1988, human remains representing a minimum of five individuals 
were removed from Shallow Water Town near Yakutat, AK, during an 
excavation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service (49 
YAK 020). The excavation was part of a mitigation plan for the 
anticipated flooding which was to occur with the blocking of Russell 
Fjord by the Hubbard Glacier. Blockage of the Fjord was anticipated to 
force the Situk River to flood the valley bottom and wash out the site. 
No known individuals were identified. The six associated funerary 
objects are one bone button fragment and a minimum of five melted blue 
glass beads.
    The human remains represent five separate cremations, and are 
assumed to be five separate individuals. The individuals are reasonably 
believed to be Yakutat Tlingit because the area is the traditional 
territory of the Teqwedi, specifically the Bear House Clan. Oral 
traditions of the Yakutat Tlingit confirm their affiliation with this 
site. Descendants of the Yakutat Tlingit are members of the Yakutat 
Tlingit Tribe. A charcoal sample associated with Cremation 1 was 
radiocarbon dated to 250 60 BP, which yields a corrected date of A.D. 
1480 to 1955. The carbon date for Cremation 5 of 270 70 BP yields a 
corrected date of A.D. 1450 to 1955.
    In 1988, human remains representing a minimum of one individual 
were removed from Diyaguna'Et near Yakutat, AK, by the U.S. Department 
of Agriculture, Forest Service (49 YAK 019). The excavation was part of 
a mitigation plan for the anticipated flooding which was to occur with 
the blocking of Russell Fjord by the Hubbard Glacier. Blockage of the 
Fjord was anticipated to force the Situk River to flood the valley 
bottom and wash out the site. No known individual was identified. The 
four associated funerary objects are one white glass bead, one rolled 
copper earring, and two rolled copper earrings entwined by black human 
hair.
    The human remains were determined to be Native American based on 
observable dental traits. The individual

[[Page 32187]]

is reasonably believed to be Yakutat Tlingit, as the area is the 
traditional territory of the Teqwedi, specifically the Bear House Clan. 
Oral traditions of the Yakutat Tlingit confirm their affiliation with 
this site. Descendants of the Yakutat Tlingit are members of the 
Yakutat Tlingit Tribe. Charcoal samples taken from above and below the 
skeletal remains were dated and determined to be 130 50 BP (calibrated 
to A.D. 1650 to 1950) and 380 100 BP (calibrated to A.D. 1329 to 1955).
    Officials of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service 
have determined that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (9-10), the human 
remains described above represent the physical remains of six 
individuals of Native American ancestry. Officials of the U.S. 
Department of Agriculture, Forest Service also have determined that, 
pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (3)(A), the 10 objects described 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 U.S. Department of Agriculture, 
Forest Service have determined that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (2), 
there is a relationship of shared group identity that can be reasonably 
traced between the Native American human remains and associated 
funerary objects and the Yakutat Tlingit Tribe.
    Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes itself to 
be culturally affiliated with the human remains and associated funerary 
objects should contact Forrest Cole, Forest Supervisor, Tongass 
National Forest, Federal Building, Ketchikan, AK 99901-6591, telephone 
(907) 225-6200, before August 6, 2009. Repatriation of the human 
remains and associated funerary objects to the Yakutat Tlingit Tribe 
may proceed after that date if no additional claimants come forward.
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service is responsible 
for notifying the Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes; 
Sealaska Corporation; Sealaska Heritage Foundation; Yak-Tat Kwaan, 
Incorporated; and Yakutat Tlingit Tribe that this notice has been 
published.

    Dated: June 15, 2009
Sherry Hutt,
Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. E9-16024 Filed 7-6-09; 8:45 am]

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