[Federal Register: October 9, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 195)]
[Notices]
[Page 51471-51472]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr09oc01-138]

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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, Jean Lafitte
National Historical Park and Preserve, New Orleans, LA

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, Jean Lafitte National Historical Park
and Preserve, New Orleans, LA.
    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. The Assistant Director, Cultural
Resources Stewardship and Partnerships is not responsible for the
determinations within this notice.
    A detailed assessment of the human remains and associated funerary
objects was made by National Park Service professional staff in
consultation with representatives of the Alabama-Coushatta Tribes of
Texas; Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana; Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma;
Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana; Jena Band of Choctaw Indians, Louisiana;
Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, Mississippi; and Tunica-Biloxi
Indian Tribe of Louisiana.
    In 1981, human remains representing one individual were collected
from a small shell midden/burial mound site along the banks of Bayou
des Familles, in the Barataria Preserve unit of Jean Lafitte National
Historical Park and Preserve. The human remains were collected during
an archeological site survey project conducted by the University of New
Orleans. No known individual was identified. The 74 associated funerary
objects are 21 fragments of a Baytown Plain ceramic vessel, 39 shells,
and 13 animal bones. Based on the ceramics and the site layout, these
human remains and associated funerary objects are likely to date to the
Mississippian period (A.D. 1200-1600).
    Archeological evidence does not indicate any major population
shifts in

[[Page 51472]]

the Barataria Basin area during the Mississippian period, which is
corroborated by linguistic analyses. Historical records indicate that
in 1543 Luis Moscoso de Alvardo, a member of the Hernando de Soto
expedition, encountered the Indian tribes along the lower Mississippi
River near the Barataria site that have been tentatively identified as
the Chawasha, Washa, or Quinapisa. The Chawasha and Washa people were
identified as living in the area as late as 1738. The declining
population of both tribes was probably absorbed by the Chitimacha.
Representatives of the Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana indicate that they
consider the Barataria Basin area as part of their homeland. The
Quinapisa are not known to be associated with any present-day Federally
recognized Indian tribe.
    Though the primary area of Biloxi settlement prior to 1700 was
probably along the Mississippi Sound to the east, Pierre Le Moyne
Iberville and other French explorers and colonists encountered the
Biloxi along the lower Mississippi River and used them as guides in the
late 17th century. By the early 1700s, Louis Antoine Juchereau de St.
Denis had induced the Biloxi to relocate their settlements to
Louisiana, between New Orleans and Lake Pontchartain.
    At the same time, the Tunica had settled as far south as the area
of Baton Rouge, LA. In 1779, Spanish authorities granted land to the
Tunica near Marksville, LA. Through intermarriage, the Tunica absorbed
some of the Biloxi. The Tunica-Biloxi Indian Tribe of Louisiana was
acknowledged by the Department of the Interior in 1980.
    The Chitimacha, Chawasha, Washa, and Tunica languages are in the
Gulf language grouping. The Biloxi language is a member of the
unrelated Siouan language family.
    Based on the above-mentioned information, the superintendent of
Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve has 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 superintendent of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park
and Preserve has determined that, pursuant to 43 CFR 10.2 (d)(2), the
74 objects listed 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. The superintendent of Jean Lafitte
National Historical Park and Preserve also has 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 Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana and Tunica-Biloxi
Indian Tribe of Louisiana.
    This notice has been sent to officials of the Alabama-Coushatta
Tribes of Texas; Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town, Oklahoma; Chitimacha
Tribe of Louisiana; Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma; Coushatta Tribe of
Louisiana; Jena Band of Choctaw Indians, Louisiana; Mississippi Band of
Choctaw Indians, Mississippi; and Tunica-Biloxi Indian Tribe of
Louisiana. Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes
itself to be culturally affiliated with these human remains and
associated funerary objects should contact Geraldine Smith,
Superintendent, Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, 365
Canal Street, Suite 2400, New Orleans, LA 70130-1142, telephone (504)
589-3882, before November 8, 2001. Repatriation of the human remains
and associated funerary objects to the Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana
and Tunica-Biloxi Indian Tribe of Louisiana may begin after that date
if no additional claimants come forward.

    Dated: June 29, 2001.
John Robbins,
Assistant Director, Cultural Resources Stewardship and Partnerships.
[FR Doc. 01-25160 Filed 10-5-01; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-70-S
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