FR Doc E6-7200
[Federal Register: May 11, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 91)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Notice of Intent to Repatriate a Cultural Item: Minnesota
Historical Society, St. Paul, MN
AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.
Notice is here given in accordance with the Native American Graves
Protection and Repatriation Act, 25 U.S.C. 3005, of the intent to
repatriate a cultural item in the possession of the Minnesota
Historical Society, St. Paul, MN, that meets the definition of "sacred
object" 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 one cultural item is a tree-dweller effigy figure
(6277.1). It is approximately 6 inches in height carved from
birch or possibly poplar of a male figure in Santee Sioux style. Inked
on the back of the figure with a quill pen nib is ". . . 200 years in
the Wabasha family."
In 1922, the cultural item was acquired by the Minnesota Historical
Society as a gift from the estate of Stephen Jewett, vice-president of
the Security Bank of Faribault, Faribault, MN. The cultural item came
into the collections wrapped in a sheet of Mueller & Faribault Real
Estate and Financial Agents letterhead with handwritten comments by W.
R. Faribault. It is not known how Mr. Faribault acquired the cultural
The cultural item is specifically documented in Plains Indian
Sculpture: A Traditional Art from America's Heartland by John C. Ewers,
which states that the cultural item ". . . must be the oldest Tree-
Dweller in any museum collection." Mr. Ewers also notes that the
"Santee Sioux respected the supernatural powers of Canhotdan, the
Tree-Dweller, to help or harm the hunter." Further documentation also
notes that ". . . the owners of these images are able to make them
dance magically during the rites of the (Medicine Dance) society . . .."
During consultation, a family genealogy was presented showing that
Mr. Ernest Wabasha (Wabasha VI) is a lineal descendant. Other direct
descendants of the Wabasha line are Mr. Wabasha's children and
grandchildren: Cheyanne St. John, Forrest St. John, Leonard Wabasha,
Theresa Wabasha, and Winona Wabasha. This claim is also supported by
members of the extended Wabasha family: Vera Hutter and Ernestine Ryan-
Wabasha (sisters); and Jeanine Hutter, Kathy Ferdig, and Yvonne Hutter
(nieces). It is believed the tree-dweller effigy figure may have been
released by an individual or group that did not have the authority to
alienate such an object from the Wabasha family or it may have been
released to provide temporary protection for the object, as many
members of the Wabasha family were held in the Fort Snelling internment
camp in 1853, and many personal possessions were confiscated from
tribal members at that time.
Mr. Ernest Wabasha (Wabasha VI) is the recognized hereditary Chief
of the Dakota People and of the Wabasha (Mdewakanton Dakota) family, as
well as keeper of the sacred bundle of the Wabasha family that
originally owned the cultural item. Mr. Wabasha has identified the
cultural item as necessary for the continued practice of traditional
Dakota ceremonies by present-day adherents and has claimed them as a
lineal descendant. Furthermore, Mr. Wabasha has communicated to the
Minnesota Historical Society that the cultural item is needed for the
practice of on-going ceremonial and religious traditions.
Officials of the Minnesota Historical Society have determined that,
pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (3)(C), the cultural item described above is
a specific ceremonial object needed by traditional Native American
religious leaders for the practice of traditional Native American
religions by their present-day adherents. Officials of the Minnesota
Historical Society have also determined, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3005
(a)(5)(A), that Mr. Ernest Wabasha (Wabasha VI) can trace his ancestry
directly and without interruption by means of the traditional kinship
system of the Dakota and common law system of descent to
a known Native American individual who controlled this cultural item.
Any other lineal descendant or representatives of any other Indian
tribe that believes itself to be culturally affiliated with the sacred
object should contact Marcia G. Anderson, NAGPRA Representative,
Minnesota Historical Society, 345 Kellogg Boulevard West, St. Paul, MN
55102, telephone (651) 296-0150, before June 12, 2006. Repatriation of
the sacred object to Mr. Ernest Wabasha (Wabasha VI) may proceed after
that date if no additional claimants come forward.
Minnesota Historical Society is responsible for notifying Kathy
Ferdig, Jeanine Hutter, Vera Hutter, Yvonne Hutter, Ernestine Ryan-
Wabasha, Cheyanne St. John, Forrest St. John, Elroy Wabasha, Ernest
Wabasha (Wabasha VI), Joseph Wabasha, Leonard Wabasha, Theresa Wabasha,
Winona Wabasha, Lower Sioux Indian Community in the State of Minnesota,
and Santee Sioux Nation, Nebraska that this notice has been published.
Dated: May 1, 2006
Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. E6-7200 Filed 5-10-06; 8:45 am]
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