[Federal Register: March 9, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 47)]
[Notices]
[Page 14204-14205]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr09mr01-95]

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service

Notice of Inventory Completion for Native American Human Remains
and Associated Funerary Objects in the Possession of the U.S.
Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Knife River Indian
Villages National Historical Site, Stanton, ND.

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

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    Notice is hereby given in accordance with provisions of the Native
American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), 43 CFR 10.9,
of the completion of an inventory of human remains and associated
funerary objects in the possession of the U.S. Department of the
Interior, National Park Service, Knife River Indian Villages National
Historical Site, Stanton, ND. This notice is published as part of the
National Park Service's administrative responsibilities under NAGPRA,
43 CFR 10.2 (c). The determinations within this notice are the sole
responsibility of the National Park Service unit that has control or
possession of these Native American human remains and associated
funerary objects. The Assistant Director, Cultural Resources
Stewardship and Partnerships, is not responsible for the determinations
within this notice.
    A detailed assessment and inventory of the human remains and
associated funerary objects was made by National Park Service
professional staff in consultation with the Three Affiliated Tribes of
the Fort Berthold Reservation, North Dakota. Additionally, Dr. Randall
R. Skelton, University of Montana, Department of Anthropology,
performed a physical anthropological examination of the human remains
at the request of the Montana Division of Forensic Sciences.
    Prior to coming into the possession of the Knife River Indian
Villages National Historical Site, the human remains at issue were
comprised of a single skull, lower jaw, and eight teeth.
    Documentary evidence indicates that in October 2000 Agent Reed
Scott, Montana Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), received a
telephone call from the Broadwater County Sheriff's Office reporting
that a human skull had been found in the closet of a rented residence
in Townsend, MT. On October 16, 2000, Agent Scott took custody of the
skull and signed it over to DCI Agent Will Cordes on October 17, 2000,
who transported the remains to the Montana Division of Forensic
Sciences. On October 18, 2000, Agent Scott contacted the owner of the
residence, Mrs. Bevan Carson, and was informed by her that the Carson
family received the skull around 1990 from Forest Kreiger, now
deceased, of Stanton, ND. Agent Scott then contacted Mr. Kreiger's son,
Jesse Kreiger, who stated that his father had moved to their farm in
Stanton, ND, during the 1950s and while farming had located a number of
bones. Jesse Kreiger had no recollection of this specific human skull;
however, he stated that tribal burial grounds had been located on or
near the Kreiger properties. He also indicated that his father's farm
was near or part of the Knife River Indian Village National Historic
Site. On October 20, 2000, Agent Scott contacted Pam Piatz, Jesse
Kreiger's sister, of Stanton, ND. Mrs. Piatz recalled that human
remains had been on her family's farm and that the human skull at issue
had either been exhumed by her father while he was farming or ranching,
or had been unearthed by a fox. On October 20, 2000, Agent Scott
received a report from Dr. Skelton, who had been asked to examine the
skull by the Montana Division of Forensic Sciences. The report
indicated that the skull represents a male individual with an age
ranging between 26 and 83 years and who possessed prehistoric Native
American physical characteristics. On October 30, 2000, Agent Scott had
the human skull transported to the Mercer County Sheriff's Office in
Stanton, ND.
    On October 31, 2000, Major Colin Peterson, Mercer County Sheriff's
Department, contacted John A. Moeykens at Knife River Indian Villages
National Historical Site, and informed him about the human remains'
recent recovery and background. After taking custody of the skull on
November 13, 2000, Mr. Moeykens conducted a follow-up investigation.
Upon contacting Jesse Kreiger and Mrs. Piatz, Mr. Moeykens was informed
that the Kreiger family had bought their property in the vicinity of
the park in approximately 1958. Further, except for the known Native
American burial sites, most of the lands had been farmed during the
early 1960s. According to Jesse Kreiger and Mrs. Piatz, their father
unearthed Native American artifacts and human remains while farming,
but they had no specific recollection of the human skull at issue. They
also stated that the Carsons had resided in the Stanton, ND, area for
about one year, possibly in the 1960s, and occasionally returned for
visits. Jesse Kreiger and Mrs. Piatz did not believe the skull could
have been given to the Carsons in 1990 and that Mrs. Carson was
confused about this date. Rather, they believe that the Carsons would
have obtained the remains 30 years ago if they were recovered from
their father's land.
    On November 13, 2000, human remains representing one individual
were received by and taken into the possession of Knife River Indian
Villages National Historical Site. These human remains, which are
comprised of a single skull, lower jaw, and eight teeth, were delivered
with documentary evidence to Knife River Indian Villages National
Historical Site by Major Colin Peterson of the Mercer County Sheriff's
Department, Stanton, ND. Supporting documentation indicates that the
skull was removed 10 to 30 years ago from

[[Page 14205]]

private land adjacent to Knife River Indian Villages National
Historical Site. Although the date of exhumation is not known, it most
likely occurred before the National Park Service acquired the private
land from which it was removed. No known individual was identified. No
associated funerary objects are present.
    Based upon an anthroposcopic assessment, Dr. Skelton identified
these human remains as Native American. On the basis of documentary,
testimonial, and geographic evidence, the human remains described above
are reasonably believed to have been removed 10 to 30 years ago from
private land adjacent to Knife River Indian Villages National
Historical Site. Further, it is reasonably believed that the remains
were exhumed from a slope above Big Hidatsa Village, where Native
American burials are known to exist. The Hidatsa is one of the three
tribes that comprise the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold
Reservation (Arikara, Hidatsa, and Mandan).
    Based on the above-mentioned information, the Knife River Indian
Villages National Historical Site superintendent determined that,
pursuant to 43 CFR 10.2 (d)(1), the human remains listed above
represent the physical remains of one individual of Native American
ancestry. The Knife River Indian Villages National Historical Site
superintendent also determined that, pursuant to 43 CFR 10.2 (e), there
is a relationship of shared group identity that can be reasonably
traced between these Native American human remains and the Three
Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation, North Dakota.
    This notice has been sent to officials of the Three Affiliated
Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation, North Dakota. Representatives
of any other Indian tribe that believes itself to be culturally
affiliated with these human remains should contact Lisa Eckert,
Superintendent, Knife River Indian Villages National Historical Site,
P.O. Box 9, Stanton, ND 58571, telephone (701) 745-3309, before April
9, 2001. Repatriation of the human remains to the Three Affiliated
Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation, North Dakota will begin after
that date if no additional claimants come forward.

    Dated: February 14, 2001.
John Robbins,
Assistant Director, Cultural Resources Stewardship and Partnerships.
[FR Doc. 01-5945 Filed 3-8-01; 8:45 am]
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