FR Doc E8-21010[Federal Register: September 10, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 176)]
[Notices]               
[Page 52677]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr10se08-63]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service
 
Notice of Intent To Repatriate Cultural Items: U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers, Portland District, Portland, OR and Museum of Anthropology, 
Washington State University, Pullman, WA

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. 3005, of the intent 
to repatriate cultural items in the control of the U.S. Department of 
Defense, Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District, Portland, OR, and 
in the possession of the Museum of Anthropology, Washington State 
University, Pullman, WA, 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 cultural 
items. The National Park Service is not responsible for the 
determinations in this notice.
    In 1982, human remains of one Native American individual and 
funerary objects were found eroding out of a streamside terrace and 
mixed in adjacent back dirt piles from site 35-MW-32, also known as the 
Willow Creek Lake Site, in Morrow County, OR. The site is located 
immediately west of the confluence between Willow Creek and Balm Fork, 
near Heppner, OR. The human remains, cultural items, and a large 
concentration of butchered animal bones were first observed by an 
employee who was working on a nearby channeling and surface grading 
project related to Willow Creek Dam construction at the Willow Creek 
Lake Project area. It is undetermined if the human remains and cultural 
items came from an isolated burial or if the construction activity 
disturbed the edge of a larger burial ground. The human remains and 
cultural items were assessed on-site by archeologists and personnel 
from the University of Idaho, Moscow, ID. The Army Corps of Engineers, 
Walla Walla District, then collected and transferred the human remains 
and cultural items for further analysis to the University of Idaho, 
Laboratory of Anthropology. The human remains and funerary objects were 
later transferred to the Museum of Anthropology, Washington State 
University for temporary curation until the responsible agency and 
repository could be identified and contacted.
    In 1984, the human remains were repatriated to the Confederated 
Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Oregon and reburied in 
Mission, OR. The funerary objects remained at the museum. The 51 
unassociated funerary objects are 1 cobble pestle handle, 4 fragments 
of a worked bone awl, 40 pieces of chert debitage, 1 piece of basalt 
debitage, 2 pressed glassware fragments, and 3 square nails.
    Various Native American groups were known to follow Willow Creek 
and Balm Fork during travels to and from the mountainous areas. 
Although no dates of occupation were obtained by the researchers, the 
burial pattern observed within 35-WS-32 is consistent with the customs 
of Columbia Plateau Native American groups. Ethnographic and museum 
records indicate that the cultural items are consistent with cultural 
items typically found in context with burials characteristic of the 
Mid-Columbia River Basin. Oral histories and published ethnographic 
documentation indicate that site 35-MW-32 is located within the 
traditional territory of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian 
Reservation, Oregon. In particular, some ethnographic accounts place 
the site area within Umatilla and Cayuse home ranges during the 
equestrian period. Based on provenience, officials of the U.S. Army 
Corps of Engineers, Portland District reasonably believe the 
unassociated funerary objects are culturally affiliated with the 
Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Oregon.
    Officials of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District 
have determined that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (3)(B), the 51 
cultural 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 are believed, by 
preponderance of the evidence, to have been removed from a specific 
burial site of a Native American individual. Officials of the U.S. Army 
Corps of Engineers, Portland District have also 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 unassociated 
funerary objects and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian 
Reservation, Oregon.
    Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes itself to 
be culturally affiliated with the unassociated funerary objects should 
contact Daniel Mulligan, NAGPRA Coordinator, Environmental Resources 
Branch, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District, P.O. Box 2946, 
Portland, OR 97208-2946, telephone (503) 808-4768, before October 10, 
2008. Repatriation of the unassociated funerary objects to the 
Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Oregon may 
proceed after that date if no additional claimants come forward.
    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District is responsible 
for notifying the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian 
Reservation, Oregon that this notice has been published.

    Dated: August 18, 2008
Sherry Hutt,
Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. E8-21010 Filed 9-9-08; 8:45 am]

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