FR Doc E9-29290[Federal Register: December 9, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 235)]
[Page 65141]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []



National Park Service
Notice of Intent to Repatriate Cultural Items: Paul H. Karshner 
Memorial Museum, Puyallup, WA

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

    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 possession of the Paul H. Karshner 
Memorial Museum, Puyallup, WA, that meets 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 1937, two unassociated funerary objects were removed from a 
grave in Alaska, by Dr. Warner and Mrs. Ella Karshner while on a 
tourist cruise of southeast Alaska, and donated to the Paul H. Karshner 
Memorial Museum in 1938 (Catalog No. 1938.01.1-71). The objects are 
described in museum records as, "2 strings of old Russian beads from 
an Alaskan grave. Probably used in barter with Indians when Alaska 
belonged to Russia." The two necklaces are composed of glass beads of 
various colors. One necklace has faceted blue and round red beads (26" 
long); the other necklace has blue, green, white, red, black, and 
yellow round beads (66" long).
    While there is no record of the exact location the funerary objects 
were obtained, the museum has a letter written by Mrs. Karshner 
describing the couple's 1937 Alaskan cruise on the SS Cordova, an 
Alaska Steamship Company (ASC) vessel. On their cruise, she noted they 
stopped for two weeks at Klawock, located on the west side of Prince of 
Wales Island. A 1936 Alaska Steamship Company route map confirms 
Klawock was a stop along their Seattle-Skagway-Sitka route. All of the 
other items donated by the Karshners from their 1937 Alaskan cruise 
were recorded as collected from southeast Alaska. Based on this 
evidence, the museum considers the objects to have been removed from a 
location along the Alaska Steamship Company's Seattle-Skagway-Sitka 
route in southeast Alaska.
    The museum consulted with the Sealaska Corporation regarding these 
unassociated funerary objects. In 1971, the Sealaska Corporation was 
formed under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, and its 
shareholders include Native residents of southeast Alaska and Native 
people who originated from southeast Alaska. Southeast Alaska is within 
the traditional territory of the Tlingit and Haida Alaskan Native 
groups (De Laguna 1990: 203-228; Whorl 1990:149-158 in Handbook of 
North American Indians, Vol. 7, Northwest Coast). Consultation evidence 
presented by the Sealaska Corporation supports the use of Russian trade 
beads among Alaskan Native Tlingit people as early as 1741, when the 
first contact between Tlingit people and Russians occurred (Dauenhauer, 
2008). The beads became a symbol of wealth for Tlingit people who owned 
them, and it was a common practice among the Tlingit to inter beads 
with their deceased.
    Officials of the Paul H. Karshner Memorial Museum have determined 
that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (3)(B), the two 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 a preponderance of the 
evidence, to have been removed from a specific burial site of an Native 
American individual. Officials of the Paul H. Karshner Memorial 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 unassociated funerary objects and the Sealaska Corporation.
    Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes itself to 
be culturally affiliated with the unassociated funerary objects should 
contact Dr. Jay Reifel, Assistant Superintendent, Puyallup School 
District, telephone (253) 840-8971, or Ms. Beth Bestrom, Curator, Paul 
H. Karshner Memorial Museum, 309 4th St. NE, Puyallup, WA 98372, 
telephone (253) 841-8748, before January 8, 2010. Repatriation of the 
unassociated funerary objects to the Sealaska Corporation may proceed 
after that date if no additional claimants come forward.
    The Paul H. Karshner Memorial Museum is responsible for notifying 
the Sealaska Corporation that this notice has been published.

    Dated: October 29, 2009.
Richard C. Waldbauer,
Acting Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. E9-29290 Filed 12-8-09; 8:45 am]


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