[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 229 (Tuesday, November 29, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 73663-73664]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-30624]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

[2253-665]

National Park Service


Notice of Intent To Repatriate Cultural Items: Washington State 
University, Museum of Anthropology, Pullman, WA

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Washington State University, Museum of Anthropology (WSU), 
in consultation with the appropriate Indian tribes, has determined that 
the cultural items meet the definition of unassociated funerary objects 
and repatriation to the Indian tribes stated below may occur if no 
additional claimants come forward. Representatives of any Indian tribe 
that believes itself to be culturally affiliated with the cultural 
items may contact WSU.

DATES: Representatives of any Indian tribe that believes it has a 
cultural affiliation with the cultural items should contact WSU at the 
address below by December 29, 2011.

ADDRESSES: Mary Collins, Director, Washington State University, Museum 
of Anthropology, Pullman, WA 99164-4910, telephone (509) 335-4314.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Notice is here given in accordance with the 
Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), 25 
U.S.C. 3005, of the intent to repatriate cultural items in the 
possession of WSU that meet the definition of unassociated funerary 
objects under 25 U.S.C. 3001.
    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 cultural items. The National Park Service is not responsible 
for the determinations in this notice.

History and Description of the Cultural Items

    In the 1960s, WSU transferred its ethnographic collection from the 
Conner Museum to the Museum of Anthropology. In June of 2011, the 
curator of collections at the Conner Museum found four unassociated 
funerary items in the museum storage area and transferred them to the 
Museum of Anthropology. The items include two brass bracelets, one 
necklace of brass and shell beads, and one antler digging stick handle. 
Of the four objects, the digging stick handle was the only item with 
documentation; it has a label indicating it was accessioned into the 
Conner Museum in 1924. All of the items show clear evidence of having 
been buried for some period of time and all are object types common to 
historic and proto-historic period burials along the Lower Snake River 
region of Washington State.
    Beginning in the 1960s, Roderick Sprague, Professor Emeritus at the 
University of Idaho, began assembling a comparative collection of trade 
beads from archeological (mostly burial) sites along the Lower Snake 
River. In 2003, Dr. Sprague turned the collection over to the Museum of 
Anthropology. Most of the specimens in the collection were identified 
as to their site of origin; however, there are 66 lots of glass and 
metal bead specimens which have lost their site provenience labels and 
are assumed to have come from burial sites along the Lower Snake River.
    In 2003, seven items were found at WSU, stored with the materials 
from 45AS9, and were determined to be from an unknown site. The seven 
items include: 1 button, 1 natural stone, 1 metal nut, 1 lot of glass 
beads, and 3 lots of shell beads. The exact site provenience of these 
items is not known, nor is it known when the items were acquired by 
WSU. Only one of the items, the natural stone, is labeled as having a 
burial association; however, the items resemble funerary objects 
commonly found in burials on the Lower Snake River.

[[Page 73664]]

    In 1992, while performing an inventory and rehabilitation of the 
archeological collection from site 45FR40, a number of items labeled as 
coming from burial associations were identified. The records of the 
1957 excavation at the site do not report any burial excavations and so 
it was determined that the site provenience of these items is unknown. 
The 16 cultural items include 1 button, 8 unidentified historic items, 
1 lot of animal fur, 2 lots of plant remains, 1 lot of bone beads, 1 
lot of stone beads, 1 lot of bag residue, and 1 lot of mammal remains. 
Although the exact site provenience is not known, it is believed that 
given the storage association with site 45FR40 and the history of 
excavations at other sites along the Lower Snake River during the 1950s 
through 1970s these items probably come from a burial site along the 
Lower Snake River.
    The Lower Snake River region of southeastern WA is known to have 
included parts of the traditional territories of a number of Native 
American groups whose descendents now comprise members of the 
Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, Washington; Nez Perce 
Tribe, Idaho; Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation, Oregon; 
Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon, 
Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, Washington 
(hereinafter referred to as ``The Tribes''); and the Wanapum Band, a 
non-Federally recognized Indian group (hereinafter referred to as ``The 
Indian Group'').

Determinations Made by Washington State University, Department of 
Anthropology

    Officials of WSU have determined that:
     Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(3)(B), the 93 items 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 and is believed, by a preponderance of the 
evidence, to have been removed from a specific burial site of a Native 
American individual.
     Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(2), there is a relationship of 
shared group identity that can be reasonably traced between the 
unassociated funerary objects, The Tribes, and The Indian Group.

Additional Requestors and Disposition

    Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes itself to 
be culturally affiliated with the cultural items should contact Mary 
Collins, Director of the Museum of Anthropology at Washington State 
University, Pullman, WA 99163, (509) 335-4314, before December 29, 
2011. Repatriation of the 93 unassociated funerary objects to The 
Tribes and The Indian Group may proceed after that date if no 
additional claimants come forward.
    The Washington State University, Museum of Anthropology is 
responsible for notifying The Tribes and The Indian Group that this 
notice has been published.

    Dated: November 22, 2011.
Sherry Hutt,
Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. 2011-30624 Filed 11-28-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4312-50-P







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