[Federal Register: September 21, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 184)]
[Notices]
[Page 57208-57209]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr21se00-104]

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service

Notice of Intent to Repatriate Cultural Items from Grand Portage,
MN in the Possession of the Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, MN

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

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    Notice is hereby given under the Native American Graves Protection
and Repatriation Act, 43 CFR 10.10 (a)(3), of the intent to repatriate
cultural items in the possession of the Minnesota Historical Society
that meet the definition of ``sacred object'' and ``object of cultural
patrimony'' under Section 2 of the Act.
    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
museum, institution, or Federal agency that has control of these
cultural items. The National Park Service is not responsible for the
determinations within this notice.
    The 11 cultural items consist of 1 woven yarn bag, 2 hand drums, 2
birchbark scrolls, 2 drumsticks, 2 peace medals, and 2 British flags.
    In 1930, one hand drum and drumstick were collected by Frances
Densmore at Grand Portage, MN, specifically for the Minnesota
Historical Society. Accession records identify this hand drum and
drumstick as a Grand Medicine man's drum and stick. This hand drum has
been identified by representatives of the Grand Portage Band as having
been used in ceremonies at Grand Portage, MN.
    In 1931, a drumstick identified as a bent drumstick for use with
Ojibwe water drums was collected by Frances Densmore at Grand Portage,
MN, specifically for the Minnesota Historical Society.
    In 1962, two birchbark scrolls were donated to the Minnesota
Historical Society by William Bushman, then chairman of the Grand
Portage Band of Chippewa Indians. At the time of their acquisition, it
was noted that the scrolls were associated with ``Grand Medicine'' or
``Midewiwin'' and that they had been in the possession of the Bushman
family for many years.
    In 1984, a Midewiwin woven bag and hand drum were donated to the
Minnesota Historical Society by Mrs. Evelyn Albinson of Chanhassen, MN.
Mrs. Albinson's husband, Elmer Albinson, collected the items at Grand
Portage sometime between 1936-1970. Information with the yarn bag
indicates that it was used in Midewiwin ceremonies. The drum is
described in museum records as belonging to Chief Alec (Alex, Alexis)
Posey, a traditional religious leader of the Grand Portage Band of
Chippewa Indians.
    Extensive anthropological, ethnographic, oral history, and
historical documents indicate that these seven cultural items
associated with Midewiwin practices would be used only by traditional
religious leaders. In Ojibwe culture, objects used by members of the
Grand Medicine Society or in Midewiwin practices are part of the
traditional activities that have religious significance in the
continued observance of such ceremonies. These seven items have been
identified by representatives and elders of the Grand Portage Band,
Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota as Midewiwin items necessary for
the practice of traditional Native American religion by present-day
adherents.
    Based on the above-mentioned information, officials of the
Minnesota Historical Society have determined that, pursuant to 43 CFR
10.2 (d)(3), these seven cultural items are specific ceremonial objects
needed by traditional Native American religious leaders for the
practice of traditional Native American religions by their present-day
adherents. Officials of the Minnesota Historical Society also have
determined that, pursuant to 43 CFR 10.2 (e), there is a relationship
of shared group identity that can be reasonably traced between these
seven items and the Grand Portage Band, Minnesota Chippewa Tribe,
Minnesota.
    In August, 1979, two British peace medals and two Union Jack flags
were donated to the Minnesota Historical

[[Page 57209]]

Society by Mrs. John (Helen) Flatte and Mrs. Lucile Cook. Mrs. Flatte
is the recognized donor of the British peace medals and Mrs. Cook is
the recognized donor of the two Union Jack flags. Mrs. Flatte was
married to the last ``hereditary chief,'' Mr. John Flatte.
    Oral history presented by representatives of the Grand Portage
Band, Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota states that ``the medals have
been passed on as a hereditary assignment, which provided for one
individual of prominent status recognized as the 'first Chief' or
'Principal chief' of his own clan.'' The Ojibwe at Grand Portage
initially were organized into biological families and clans who claimed
descent from a common mythological ancestor such as the Pike, the
Moose, the Marten, or the Caribou. Often these bodies functioned as
bands and were under the acknowledged leadership of a clan chief or
``Headman.'' In the case of Mr. John Flatte as hereditary chief, this
is recognized as an affinity or consanguinity relationship with the
Maymaushkowaush (Crane Clan) family. These peace medals and flags are
the Grand Portage Band's communal property, and no individual had the
right to alienate or transfer these cultural items. In 1979, the people
of the Grand Portage Band were unaware that these peace medals and
flags had been presented to and received by the Minnesota Historical
Society.
    Based on the above-mentioned information, officials of the
Minnesota Historical Society have determined that, pursuant to 43 CFR
10.2 (d)(4), these four cultural items have ongoing historical,
traditional, and cultural importance central to the culture itself, and
could not have been alienated, appropriated, or conveyed by any
individual. Officials of the Minnesota Historical Society also have
determined that, pursuant to 43 CFR 10.2 (e), there is a relationship
of shared group identity that can be reasonably traced between these
four items and the Grand Portage Band, Minnesota Chippewa Tribe,
Minnesota.
    This notice has been sent to officials of the Grand Portage Band
and the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota. Representatives of any
other Indian tribe that believes itself to be culturally affiliated
with these objects should contact Marcia G. Anderson, Head of Museum
Collections/Chief Curator, Minnesota Historical Society, 345 Kellogg
Boulevard West, St. Paul, MN 55102-1906, telephone (651) 296-0150,
before October 23, 2000. Repatriation of these objects to the Grand
Portage Band, Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota may begin after that
date if no additional claimants come forward.

    Dated: September 6, 2000.
John Robbins,
Assistant Director, Cultural Resources Stewardship and Partnerships.
[FR Doc. 00-24253 Filed 9-20-00; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-70-F
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