FR Doc E7-24645
[Federal Register: December 19, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 243)]
[Notices]               
[Page 71946]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr19de07-103]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service
 
Notice of Intent to Repatriate Cultural Items: Amerind Foundation 
Museum, Amerind Foundation, Inc., Dragoon, AZ

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.
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    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 Amerind 
Foundation Museum, Amerind Foundation, Inc., Dragoon, AZ, that meet the 
definition of "sacred 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.
    The 140 objects include 38 painted wooden hoops; 17 painted wooden 
wands; 17 miscellaneous mask-making raw materials (sticks, feathers, 
leather); 16 "bowed crosses;" 16 ceremonial Gaan masks; 9 painted 
wooden crosses; 7 plant stem bundles (sage, fir, bear grass); 5 painted 
wooden staves; 5 wooden drumsticks; 4 painted "headed" sticks; 3 
wooden bullroars; 1 metal tulapai strainer; 1 metal bread cooker; and 1 
eagle feather bundle. The cultural items are from the William Neil 
Smith Apache Collection. The collection is well documented by 
photographs and journals, and supplemented by interviews conducted with 
Mr. Smith by the staff of the Arizona State Museum in Tucson.
    In the spring of 1942, the 140 cultural items were removed from 
caves in the vicinity of Canyon Day on the Fort Apache Reservation in 
eastern Arizona by William Neil Smith, a collector from Tucson, AZ. In 
October 1942, the collection was loaned by Mr. Smith to the Arizona 
State Museum on the condition that it would be returned when Mr. Smith 
was released from active duty in the military. From 1944 to 1945, 
letters were exchanged between the director of the Arizona State 
Museum, superintendent of the Fort Apache Reservation, and Chair of the 
Fort Apache Tribal Council, and it was determined at that time that the 
collections were removed illegally. On October 1, 1945, the Fort Apache 
Tribal Council voted unanimously to donate the entire collection to the 
Arizona State Museum, to use them as the museum saw fit. Accordingly, 
the collection was accessioned into the permanent collection of the 
Arizona State Museum, and there are no further entries on the 
collection in the Arizona State Museum files until 1959.
    In November 1959, in response to a request from Mr. Smith to 
reclaim his 1942 loan from the Arizona State Museum, museum staff 
informed Mr. Smith that the Apache ceremonial objects had been donated 
to the museum by the Apache Tribal Council and, therefore, would not be 
returned. However, the collection was returned to Mr. Smith. On 
November 11, 1963, the collection was sold in its entirety to a member 
of the Amerind Foundation Board of Directors. The member donated the 
materials to the Amerind Foundation where it was accessioned into the 
foundation's permanent collection (Accession Nos. 4499-4583). In April 
1966, the Arizona State Museum provided the Amerind with copies of 
photographs, catalog cards, and other records pertaining to the 
cultural items.
    In June 2005, the Amerind Foundation consulted with tribal 
representatives of the San Carlos Apache Tribe of the San Carlos 
Reservation, Arizona; Tonto Apache Tribe of Arizona; White Mountain 
Apache Tribe of the Fort Apache Reservation, Arizona; and Yavapai-
Apache Nation of the Camp Verde Indian Reservation, Arizona.
    In August 2005, the White Mountain Apache Tribe of the Fort Apache 
Reservation, Arizona formally requested the return of all materials in 
the collection as sacred objects for the practice of traditional Native 
American religion by their present-day adherents. The cultural items 
were originally made and used by Western Apache religious leaders 
during the annual ceremonial cycle. These ceremonial activities remain 
an important part of White Mountain Apache daily life. According to 
White Mountain Apache cultural tradition, once the objects were used 
they were to be curated according to traditional religious practices 
and never used or seen again by humans. In 2006, the Amerind Foundation 
Board of Directors voted unanimously to treat the William Neil Smith 
Collection as stolen property and to return all 140 cultural items to 
the White Mountain Apache Tribe of the Fort Apache Reservation, 
Arizona.
    Officials of the Amerind Foundation Museum have determined that, 
pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (3)(C), the 140 cultural items described 
above are specific ceremonial objects needed by traditional Native 
American religious leaders for the practice of traditional Native 
American religions by their present-day adherents. Officials of the 
Amerind Foundation 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 sacred objects and the White 
Mountain Apache Tribe of the Fort Apache Reservation, Arizona.
    Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes itself to 
be culturally affiliated with the sacred objects should contact Dr. 
John A. Ware, Executive Director, Amerind Foundation Museum, Amerind 
Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 400, 2100 North Amerind Road, Dragoon, AZ 
85609, telephone (520) 586-3666, before January 18, 2008. Repatriation 
of the sacred objects to the White Mountain Apache Tribe of the Fort 
Apache Reservation, Arizona may proceed after that date if no 
additional claimants come forward.
    The Amerind Foundation is responsible for notifying the San Carlos 
Apache Tribe of the San Carlos Reservation, Arizona; Tonto Apache Tribe 
of Arizona; White Mountain Apache Tribe of the Fort Apache Reservation, 
Arizona; and Yavapai-Apache Nation of the Camp Verde Indian 
Reservation, Arizona that this notice has been published.

    Dated: November 6, 2007
Sherry Hutt,
Manger, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. E7-24645 Filed 12-18-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4312-50-S


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