[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 45 (Wednesday, March 7, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 13626-13627]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-5577]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service

[2253-665]


Notice of Inventory Completion: Maxey Museum, Whitman College, 
Walla Walla, WA

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: Maxey Museum has completed an inventory of human remains and 
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 Maxey Museum. 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 Maxey Museum at the address below by April 6, 
2012.

[[Page 13627]]


ADDRESSES: Gary Rollefson, Maxey Museum, Whitman College, 345 Boyer 
Avenue, Walla Walla, WA 99362, telephone (509) 527-4938.

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 Maxey Museum. The 
human remains and associated funerary objects were removed from the 
general vicinity of the Snake River and Columbia River in the Columbia 
River Plateau, in the counties of Walla Walla, Benton, Franklin, and 
Columbia, WA, and Umatilla, OR.
    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 Maxey Museum 
professional staff in consultation with representatives of the 
Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, Washington; 
Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, Washington; 
Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation, Oregon; Confederated 
Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon; Nez Perce Tribe, 
Idaho (previously listed as Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho) (hereafter 
referred to as ``The Tribes''); and the Wanapum Band, a non-Federally 
recognized Indian group (hereafter referred to as ``The Indian 
Group'').

History and Description of the Remains

    In the early to middle 20th century, human remains representing, at 
minimum, six individuals were removed from an unknown location near the 
confluence of the Columbia River and Snake River in the counties of 
Walla Walla, Benton, Franklin, and Columbia, WA, and Umatilla, OR. The 
four burials contained the remains of five adults and one child. No 
known individuals were identified. The accession also contains 26 
associated funerary objects, consisting of: 3 envelopes with writing; 1 
lot of small pieces of leather belt or harness; 1 lot of charcoal 
pieces; 3 metal bells; 1 pipe stem; 1 piece of iron; 1 envelope with no 
writing; 1 chert flake; 1 lot of animal teeth; 1 partially burnt 
fragment of wood; 1 corroded (non-human) fragment, substance and use 
unknown; 1 copper ring; 1 copper bell; 3 metal wheel gears; 1 lot of 
metal rings from a pipe stem; 1 lot of glass beads strung on cotton; 1 
large animal tooth; and 3 copper bracelets.
    In 1998, the human remains and associated funerary objects listed 
above were discovered in a large box in a storage closet in Memorial 
Hall, the main administrative building of Whitman College, and 
subsequently moved to Maxey Museum at Whitman College. Since the time 
of Maxey Museum's acquisition, the human remains and associated 
funerary objects were not removed from the box or intermingled with 
other collections, nor were the objects displayed. Envelopes found in 
the box read: ``Robert Grant, Field Representative, Whitman College, 
Walla Walla.'' Many of the associated funerary objects are personal 
items, and others are objects typical to cremation burials. All of the 
objects are typical funerary objects found on the Columbia River 
Plateau.
    Although minimal provenance information exists for these objects, 
Whitman College was involved with many excavations along the Columbia 
River from Plymouth, WA, to Richland, WA, and along the Snake River in 
the first half of the 20th century, as well as receiving donated 
remains and funerary objects from inadvertent discoveries in the area. 
Through consultation with The Tribes and The Indian Group and an 
assessment of the objects as representative funerary objects commonly 
found in Columbia River Plateau burials, it is asserted that this 
collection of associated funerary objects belongs to the human remains 
in the box.
    Based on traditional lifeways, past and present, The Tribes and The 
Indian Group are direct descendant communities of the native people 
that jointly used the lower Snake and Columbia rivers. As aboriginal 
lifeways were being extinguished by Euro-American settlement of the 
Pacific Northwest, treaties were negotiated and signed with the native 
communities during the expansion of Washington and Oregon territories. 
The native peoples in these territories were removed from the shores of 
the Columbia and Snake rivers to the Colville, Umatilla, Warm Springs, 
Yakama and Nez Perce reservations. The Wanapum Band was removed from 
the rivers as well but was not put on a reservation of their own. 
Cultural affiliation is further reinforced by living, enrolled members 
of The Tribes and The Indian Group that have documented ancestors 
buried along the lower Snake and Columbia rivers.

Determinations Made by Maxey Museum

    Officials of Maxey Museum have determined that:
     Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(9), the human remains described 
in this notice represent the physical remains of six individuals of 
Native American ancestry.
     Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(3)(A), the 26 associated 
funerary 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 to The Tribes 
and The Indian Group.

Additional Requestors and Disposition

    Representatives of any Indian tribe that believes itself to be 
culturally affiliated with the human remains and associated funerary 
objects should contact Gary Rollefson, Maxey Museum, Whitman College, 
Walla Walla, WA 99362, telephone (509) 527-4938, before April 6, 2012. 
Repatriation of the human remains and associated funerary objects to 
The Tribes and The Indian Group may proceed after that date if no 
additional claimants come forward.
    Maxey Museum is responsible for notifying The Tribes and The Indian 
Group that this notice has been published.

    Dated: March 2, 2012.
Sherry Hutt,
Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. 2012-5577 Filed 3-6-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-50-P






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