FR Doc E8-21009[Federal Register: September 10, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 176)]
[Notices]               
[Page 52678-52679]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr10se08-65]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service
 
Notice of Inventory Completion: Michigan Historical Center, 
Lansing, MI

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 in the control of the 
Michigan Historical Center, Lansing, MI. The human remains were removed 
from Cheboygan County, MI.
    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. The National Park Service is not responsible 
for the determinations in this notice.
    A detailed assessment of the human remains was made by Michigan 
Historical Center professional staff in consultation with 
representatives of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, 
Michigan.
    In 1992, human remains representing a minimum of one individual 
were removed from the Village of Mackinaw City in Cheboygan County, MI. 
The human remains were unearthed during a water main project on land 
owned by the Village of Mackinaw City, and were removed by the Mackinaw 
City Police. Subsequently, archeologists from the Michigan Historical 
Center and physical anthropologist Dr. David Barondess, of Wayne State 
University, Detroit, MI, were called to investigate. They identified 
the remaining portion of the burial pit in the trench wall, and 
recovered a few additional bones. After his analysis was complete, Dr. 
Barondess transferred the bones to the Michigan Historical Center at 
the request of the Village. No known individual was identified. No 
associated funerary objects are present.
    At an unknown time, but likely in 1992, human remains representing 
a minimum of one individual were removed from the Village of Mackinaw 
City in Cheboygan County, MI, by an unidentified employee of the 
company constructing the water main. The construction worker gave the 
human remains to a student at Kirtland Community College. In early 
1993, a professor at the college transferred the human remains to the 
Michigan Historical Center. No known individual was identified. No 
associated funerary objects are present.
    About 30 feet away from the first individual's grave, along the 
water main, was a cache of artifacts of both French and Native 
manufacture dating to the late 17th or early 18th century. The 
artifacts are similar to those found at French, Odawa, and Huron/
Wyandotte sites at the Straits of Mackinac during that period. As these 
artifacts were not in direct association with the human remains, they 
are not considered to be funerary objects. Other than a few modern 
items and one small chert flake, no artifacts from earlier or later 
cultural periods were found in the vicinity, despite intensive 
examination by trained archeologists of the utility trench spoil dirt. 
There were no traces of coffin hardware or coffin wood, and no shroud 
pins or clothing buttons. For these reasons, the human remains most 
likely date to the same period as the cache pit, i.e. the late 17th or 
early 18th century.
    Both sets of human remains were identified as Native American by 
Dr. Barondess, who stated that their condition was consistent with 
being buried "several hundred years ago." The ethnic identification 
was based on morphological attributes of the skulls and condition of 
the teeth. The

[[Page 52679]]

identification of the human remains as Native American is consistent 
with observed burial practices, such as a burial in a pit without 
evidence of a coffin, the lack of buttons or other artifacts indicative 
of Euro-American clothing, and morphological characteristics.
    Mackinaw City is located on the south side of the Straits of 
Mackinac. During this period, the French had missions, traders, and a 
military presence at the Straits. During the late 17th and early 18th 
century, the Odawa were known to inhabit both sides of the Straits, as 
documented by French missionary and military records. At this time, 
Huron/Wyandotte refugees, fleeing attacks by the Iroquois, also lived 
on the north side of the Straits, at present day St. Ignace. The Sault 
Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians resided on the north side of the 
Straits as well. A band of Chippewa was reported at times in the 
Cheboygan area. Other tribes were known to pass through the area, often 
stopping to trade. Although the tribal affiliation of the human remains 
found at Mackinaw City is not scientifically certain, the remains are 
likely culturally affiliated with the Odawa, as they were the tribe 
most commonly reported in the Mackinaw City area during the period in 
question. The Odawa who lived at what is now Mackinaw City moved to 
Little Traverse Bay in the 1740s, and their descendants are members of 
the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, Michigan, based in what 
is now Emmet County.
    The Village of Mackinaw City transferred the human remains found in 
the water main trench to the Michigan Historical Center with the 
understanding that the Center would arrange for reburial after studies 
were complete. The Center entered into consultation with the Little 
Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians in the spring of 2008. The tribe 
has provided the Michigan Historical Center with documentation of their 
continuous presence in the Straits of Mackinac area for at least 350 
years. The NAGPRA coordinators of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of 
Chippewa Indians of Michigan and Wyandotte Nation, Oklahoma have sent 
the Michigan Historical Center letters of support for repatriation of 
the human remains removed from Mackinaw City to the Little Traverse Bay 
Bands of Odawa Indians, Michigan.
    Officials of the Michigan Historical Center have determined that, 
pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (9-10), the human remains described above 
represent the physical remains of two individuals of Native American 
ancestry. Officials of the Michigan Historical Center also 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 the Little Traverse Bay 
Bands of Odawa Indians, Michigan.
    Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes itself to 
be culturally affiliated with the human remains should contact Barbara 
Mead, Michigan Historical Center, P.O. Box 30740, Lansing, MI 48909-
8240, telephone (517) 373-6416, before October 10, 2008. Repatriation 
of the human remains to the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians, 
Michigan may proceed after that date if no additional claimants come 
forward.
    The Michigan Historical Center is responsible for notifying the 
Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, Michigan; Sault Ste. Marie 
Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Michigan; and Wyandotte Nation, Oklahoma 
that this notice has been published.

    Dated: August 20, 2008
Sherry Hutt,
Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. E8-21009 Filed 9-9-08; 8:45 am]

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