[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 76 (Thursday, April 19, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 23504-23505]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-9471]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service

[2253-665]


Notice of Inventory Completion: Denver Museum of Nature & 
Science, Denver, CO

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Denver Museum of Nature & Science has completed an 
inventory of human remains and

[[Page 23505]]

associated funerary objects, in consultation with the appropriate 
Indian tribes, and has determined that there is a cultural affiliation 
between the human remains and associated funerary objects and present-
day Indian tribes. Representatives of any Indian tribe that believes 
itself to be culturally affiliated with the human remains and 
associated funerary objects may contact the Denver Museum of Nature & 
Science. Repatriation of the human remains and associated funerary 
objects to the Indian tribes stated below may occur if no additional 
claimants come forward.

DATES: Representatives of any Indian tribe that believes it has a 
cultural affiliation with the human remains and associated funerary 
objects should contact the Denver Museum of Nature & Science at the 
address below by May 21, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh, Denver Museum of Nature & 
Science, 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO 80204, telephone (303) 370-
6378.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 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 Denver Museum of 
Nature & Science, Denver, CO. The human remains and associated funerary 
objects were removed from Kern County, CA.
    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.

Consultation

    A detailed assessment of the human remains was made by the Denver 
Museum of Nature & Science professional staff in consultation with 
representatives of the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians of 
California; Santa Rosa Indian Community of the Santa Rosa Rancheria, 
California; Table Mountain Rancheria of California; and Tule River 
Indian Tribe of the Tule River Reservation, California (hereafter 
referred to as ``The Tribes'').

History and Description of the Remains

    Sometime between 1928 and 1934, human remains representing, at 
minimum, four individuals were removed from burial contexts in the area 
of Buena Vista Lake, Kern County, CA. Mr. George E. Smith and/or Mrs. 
Ethel Smith may have collected the human remains and associated 
funerary objects in 1928, while digging and privately collecting in the 
Buena Vista Lake vicinity, or sometime between 1933 and 1934 while Mr. 
Smith was working on an archeological excavation with Dr. W. D. Strong 
of the Smithsonian Institution at Buena Vista Lake. In 1951, Mary W. A. 
Crane and Francis V. Crane purchased the human remains and associated 
funerary objects from Mr. Smith's small museum in California. In 1983, 
the Cranes donated the human remains to the Denver Museum of Nature & 
Science (then called the Denver Museum of Natural History) and the 
museum accessioned them into the collection that same year. Two 
individuals are represented by cranial fragments (AC.2155). One 
individual is represented by two fragments of a thoracic vertebra, 
bonded together with an obsidian point between them (AC.2156). One 
individual is represented by two worn adult molars (AC.2183A) and is 
associated with a shell necklace (AC.2183B). No known individuals were 
identified. The two associated funerary objects are a projectile point 
and a shell necklace.
    Museum records originally documented these four individuals as 
``California Indians.'' In 1994, the museum incorrectly affiliated the 
remains with the Yurok Tribe, though paperwork suggests they might have 
also been affiliated with the Mi'Wuk or Yokut. In 2003, the museum 
determined that the remains were ``culturally unidentifiable.'' On 
February 25, 2008, the museum published a Notice of Inventory 
Completion (73 FR 10054-10055) affiliating other human remains and 
associated funerary objects from the Smiths' Buena Vista excavations 
with The Tribes. In 2011, new research and consultation on the remains 
determined that these human remains also came from the Smiths' 
collection efforts at Buena Vista Lake.
    Based on provenience, museum records, research and consultation 
with tribal representatives, the human remains and associated funerary 
objects are determined to be Native American. The Buena Vista Lake 
vicinity and the Native American town of Tulamniu are in the territory 
occupied during the early historic period by the Southern Valley 
Yokuts, now known as the Tule River Indian Tribe of the Tule River 
Reservation, California. During consultation, representatives of the 
Tule River Indian Tribe of the Tule River Reservation, California, 
confirmed the historic presence of their ancestors in the Buena Vista 
Lake area and claimed a relationship of shared group identity with the 
human remains. Additionally, in consultations, and with support of 
anthropological evidence, tribal representatives emphasized that the 
Buena Vista Lake vicinity relates to the Yokut people, the ancestors of 
The Tribes. These tribes confirmed the historic presence of their 
ancestors in the Buena Vista Lake area and asserted a relationship of 
shared group identity with the human remains.

Determinations Made by the Denver Museum of Nature & Science

    Officials of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science have determined 
that:
     Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(9), the human remains described 
above represent the physical remains of four individuals of Native 
American ancestry.
     Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(3)(A), the two 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.
     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 Tribes.

Additional Requestors and Disposition

    Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes itself to 
be culturally affiliated with the human remains and associated funerary 
objects should contact Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh, Denver Museum of 
Nature & Science, 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO 80204, telephone 
(303) 370-6378, before May 21, 2012. Repatriation of the human remains 
and associated funerary objects to The Tribes may proceed after that 
date if no additional claimants come forward.
    The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is responsible for notifying 
The Tribes that this notice has been published.

    Dated: April 12, 2012.
David Tarler,
Acting Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. 2012-9471 Filed 4-18-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-50-P






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