FR Doc E8-15901[Federal Register: July 14, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 135)]
[Notices]               
[Page 40370-40371]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr14jy08-93]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service
 
Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of the Interior, 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 7, Anchorage, 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 the Interior, U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 7, Anchorage, AK. The human remains 
and associated funerary objects were removed from Michigan Rock Cave, 
near Tanaga Island, Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, AK.
    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. Fish 
and Wildlife Service, Region 7 professional staff with assistance from 
the Alaska State Office of History and Archaeology, in consultation 
with representatives of the Aleut Corporation; Native Village of Atka, 
represented by the Atka IRA Council and Atxam Corporation; and Unangan 
Repatriation Commission, a non-federally recognized Native Alaskan 
group.
    In 1950, human remains representing a minimum of three individuals 
were removed from the Michigan Rock Cave on a small islet off of Tanaga 
Island in the Aleutian Islands, Unit of the Alaska Maritime National 
Wildlife Refuge, AK, by Dr. Theodore P. Bank II, during permitted 
archeological excavations. The human remains were taken by Dr. Bank to 
the University of Michigan where they were curated until his death, at 
which time they were sent to the University of Alaska Fairbanks. U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service was later notified of the existence of the 
human remains and after consultation with the Aleut Corporation, the 
human remains were sent to The Museum of the Aleutians in Unalaska, AK. 
No known individuals were identified. The 21 associated funerary 
objects are 14 wooden bidarka pieces, 2 pieces of matting, 1 piece of 
birch bark, 1 bone implement, 1 foreshaft with remnant of iron point, 1 
large mammal bulla, and 1 basalt blade.
    There are no radiocarbon dates available for the human remains. All 
known dated cave burials from the Aleutians are younger than 2,000 
years old (Black 1982, pg 24; Black 2003, pg 36; Hayes 2002). The 
burial context and physical traits of the human remains are consistent 
with those observed for pre-contact Aleut populations.

[[Page 40371]]

    The Unangan Repatriation Commission, a non-federally recognized 
Native Alaskan group, provided the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with 
a list of cultural affiliation for islands and corresponding village 
corporations and tribal entities. No corporation or tribe specifically 
claims Tanaga Island. Cultural affiliation of Aleut ancestors from 
unclaimed islands lies with the Aleut Corporation, the regional 
corporation representing all Aleut people. After Russian contact with 
the Aleutians began in A.D. 1751, the population declined 
precipitously. By the 1790s, many of the Aleuts were concentrated in a 
small number of regional centers. For the western Aleutians, most were 
removed to the Native Village of Atka. Therefore, based on historical 
records, geographic location, and information presented during 
consultation, it is reasonably determined that the descendants of 
Tanaga Island are members of the present-day Aleut Corporation and 
Native Village of Atka.
    Officials of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 7 have 
determined that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (9-10), the human remains 
described above represent the physical remains of three individuals of 
Native American ancestry. Officials of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, Region 7 also have determined that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 
(3)(A), the 21 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. Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 7 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 Aleut Corporation 
and Native Village of Atka.
    Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes itself to 
be culturally affiliated with the human remains and associated funerary 
objects should contact Debra Corbett, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
1011 East Tudor Road, Anchorage, AK 99503, telephone (907) 786-3399, 
before August 13, 2008. Repatriation of the human remains and 
associated funerary objects to the Aleut Corporation and Native Village 
of Atka may proceed after that date if no additional claimants come 
forward.
    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 7 is responsible for 
notifying the Aleut Corporation; Aleutian/Pribilof Islands Association, 
Inc.; Atxam Corporation; and Native Village of Atka that this notice 
has been published.

    Dated: June 5, 2008
Sherry Hutt,
Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. E8-15901 Filed 7-11-08; 8:45 am]

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