FR Doc E6-13690
[Federal Register: August 18, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 160)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
National Park Service
Notice of Intent to Repatriate a Cultural Item: Thomas Burke
Memorial Washington State Museum, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.
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 a cultural item in the possession of the Thomas Burke
Memorial Washington State Museum (Burke Museum), University of
Washington, Seattle, WA, that meets the definition of ``object of
cultural patrimony'' 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
item. The National Park Service is not responsible for the
determinations in this notice.
The cultural item is a large stone sculpture (Burke catalog
152), referred to by the Chilliwack community, which includes
the Nooksack people, as the ``Stone T'ixwelatsa.'' The sculpture has
anthropomorphic and zoomorphic features carved and pecked into the
stone. The head includes large eyes and an open mouth with exaggerated
lips. The main body of the figure appears to be seated with flexed arms
and legs. A ridge with six protruding grooves is present on the back of
the figure, and a small circular depression is present on the top of
the head. The figure weighs over 100 pounds.
According to Chilliwack and Nooksack oral history, T'ixwelatsa was
a man turned into stone by the transformer Xa:ls. T'ixwelatsa was the
first male ancestor of the Chilliwack community. The Chilliwack
historically spoke a Nooksack related language. The Chilliwack share a
common ancestry and cultural connection with the Nooksack. The
sculpture is considered a transformation object that holds the spirit
of T'ixwelatsa, and Xa:ls gave the transformed stone form to
T'ixwelatsa's wife as the original caretaker. The stone T'ixwelatsa was
placed in front of the longhouse and cared for by the descendants of
T'ixwelatsa. At an unknown date, one of the subsequent caretakers
married into the neighboring Sumas tribe and took the stone with her as
part of her continuing caretaking responsibilities.
The cultural item is believed to have been removed from the Fraser
Plains, near Sumas, Whatcom County, WA, in 1892. It was donated to the
museum by the Young Naturalist Society (Burke Accn. 190). At
the time of removal from the Fraser Plains, the cultural item was
considered inalienable by a single individual and was removed without
the permission of the caretaker or Tixwelatsa's descendants.
The Nooksack Indian Tribe of Washington is considered a member of
the broader Chilliwack community, which includes both American and
Canadian Chilliwack communities. Ties between the Chilliwack
communities were artificially divided by the creation of the United
States and Canadian border in 1858. Despite this separation, the
Nooksack continue to maintain a strong relationship with the Canadian
Chilliwack community. The ``Stone T'ixwelatsa'' is culturally
affiliated with the Nooksack Indian Tribe of Washington, as part of the
Chilliwack community, based on religious, geographic, kinship, and oral
history information presented by the tribe. Evidence submitted during
consultation supports the central importance of this cultural item to
the cultural identity of the Nooksack Indian Tribe of Washington and
broader Chilliwack community. The cultural item is considered
collective property of the Chilliwack community and serves as a
significant part of the cultural model for education.
Officials of the Burke Museum have determined that, pursuant to 25
U.S.C. 3001 (3)(D), the cultural item described above has an ongoing
historical, traditional, or cultural importance central to the Native
American group or culture itself, rather than property owned by an
individual. Officials of the Burke Museum 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 object of cultural
patrimony and the Nooksack Indian Tribe of Washington.
Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes itself to
be culturally affiliated with the object of cultural patrimony should
contact Dr. Peter Lape, Burke Museum, Box 353010, Seattle, WA 98195,
telephone (206) 685-2282, before September 18, 2006. Repatriation of
the object of cultural patrimony to the Nooksack Indian Tribe of
Washington may proceed after that date if no additional claimants come
The Burke Museum is responsible for notifying the Nooksack Indian
Tribe of Washington that this notice has been published.
Dated: July 24, 2006
Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. E6-13690 Filed 8-17-06; 8:45 am]
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