FR Doc E9-27235[Federal Register: November 13, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 218)]
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: The Oregon
Historical Society, Portland, OR
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 control of The Oregon Historical
Society (Society), Portland, OR, that meets the definition of
"unassociated funerary 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 object is a Jefferson Peace Medal, dated 1801 (84-84)
(the "Medal"). It is 5.5 cm in diameter and constructed of two pieces
of silver fastened together with a collar. On the obverse is a likeness
of President Thomas Jefferson with the legend, "Th. Jefferson
President of the U.S. A.D. 1801". On the reverse are clasped hands, a
crossed tomahawk and peace pipe, and the words "Peace and
Friendship". The Medal has a hole and crack running vertically across
the face, affecting both sides.
The Medal was given by Major Edwin McNeill to Winslow B. Ayer. Ayer
was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Society on December 31, 1898,
and presented the Medal to the Society on June 17, 1899. The Society
accepted the Medal and recorded the donation (Himes, circa 1910). The
Society adopted an intact version of the verso design of the Jefferson
Peace Medal series as the Society's corporate seal.
The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Oregon,
has made a claim for the Medal under NAGPRA, stating their belief that
the Medal is an unassociated funerary object from a grave located on an
island in the Columbia River, at or near the mouth of the Walla Walla
River. Available information concerning the original provenience of the
Medal is limited and conflicting. One early account states that the
Medal was found on the Nez Perce Indian Reservation (OHS Proceedings,
1899). This account makes no reference to the specific location of the
discovery beyond the Nez Perce Indian Reservation or the identity of
the person who collected it. Another later, more detailed account
indicates that the Medal was found on an island in the Columbia River
near Wallula, WA. This account does not identify a specific island, and
makes no mention of any graves in the area. Representatives of the
Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation have stated that
various documented accounts demonstrate that islands in the Columbia
River were used for burials.
Available information indicates that Meriwether Lewis and William
Clark presented Jefferson Peace Medals to major and minor chiefs along
their overland journey to the Pacific Coast. Lewis and Clark both
mentioned in their journals that at least four medals of the same
dimensions as the Society's Medal were given in friendship to the local
tribes in the vicinity of present-day Wallula, WA, during their
expedition between October 15 and October 20, 1805, and during the
return voyage between April 27 and April 30, 1806. One such medal was
presented to a Walla Walla chief named Yelleppit or Yelept on
October 19, 1805, while Lewis
and Clark were at their camp at the mouth of the Walla Walla River, on
the Columbia River. Since one account indicates that the Medal was
found on an island in the Columbia River in the vicinity of present-day
Wallula, WA, and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian
Reservation has stated that various islands in the Columbia River were
used as burial sites by the Walla Walla, the Medal could have been
interred with the body of Chief Yelept or another unnamed Chief
of the Walla Walla Tribe. Therefore, the Medal may be an unassociated
funerary object. No other tribal group in the region has expressed an
interest in obtaining this Medal. The Society has determined that it
would be appropriate to transfer possession of the Medal to the
Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.
Based on the recorded discovery site and consultation with
representatives of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian
Reservation, officials of the Oregon Historical Society reasonably
believe that the Medal is an unassociated funerary object, pursuant to
25 U.S.C. 3001 (3)(B). Officials of the Oregon Historical Society 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 object and the Confederated Tribes of
the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Oregon.
Representatives of any Indian Tribe that believes that the Medal is
a cultural item affiliated with that Tribe should contact Marsha
Takayanagi Matthews, Director of Museum Collections, The Oregon
Historical Society, 1200 S.W. Park Ave., Portland, OR 97205-2483,
telephone (503) 306-5200, before December 14, 2009. Repatriation of the
Medal to the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation,
Oregon may proceed after that date if no additional claimants come
The Society is responsible for notifying the Confederated Tribes of
the Colville Reservation, Washington; Confederated Tribes of the
Umatilla Indian Reservation, Oregon; and the Nez Perce Tribe, Idaho
that this notice has been published.
Dated: October 22, 2009.
Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. E9-27235 Filed 11-12-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4312-50-S
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