NAGPRA Issues in Hawaii, 2016


(c) Copyright 2016, Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved

Coverage of NAGPRA-related topics in Hawaii first came to this website in 2003 when the national NAGPRA review committee decided to devote its national meeting to the Forbes Cave controversy. Forbes cave was the most intensively covered topic from 2003 to 2007. But other topics also came to public attention, including Bishop Museum, the Emerson collection repatriated and reburied at Kanupa Cave, the discovery of ancient bones during a major construction project at Ward Center (O'ahu), construction of a house built above burials at the shorefront at Naue, Ha'ena, Kaua'i; etc.

The Forbes cave controversy up until the NAGPRA Review Committee hearing in St. Paul, Minnesota, May 9-11, 2003 was originally described and documented at:
https://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/nagpraforbes.html

The conflict among Bishop Museum, Hui Malama, and several competing groups of claimants became so complex and contentious that the controversy was the primary focus of the semiannual national meeting of the NAGPRA Review Committee meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota May 9-11, 2003. A webpage was created to cover that meeting and followup events related to it. But the Forbes Cave controversy became increasingly complex and contentious, leading to public awareness of other related issues. By the end of 2004, the webpage focusing on the NAGPRA Review Committee meeting and its aftermath had become exceedingly large, at more than 250 pages with an index of 22 topics at the top. See:
https://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/nagpraforbesafterreview.html

That large webpage became so difficult to use that it was stopped on December 29, 2004; and a new webpage was created to collect news reports for NAGPRA issues in Hawai'i during year 2005. An index for 2005 appears at the beginning, and readers may then scroll down to find the detailed coverage of each topic. For coverage of NAGPRA issues in Hawai'i in 2005 (about 250 pages), see:
https://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/nagprahawaii2005.html

For year 2006 another new webpage was created, following the same general format. See:
https://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/nagprahawaii2006.html

For year 2007, another new webpage was created, following the same general format. See:
https://www.angelfire.com/planet/bigfiles40/nagprahawaii2007.html

For year 2008, another new webpage was created, following the same general format. See:
https://www.angelfire.com/planet/big60/nagprahawaii2008.html

For year 2009, another new webpage was created, following the same general format. See:
https://www.angelfire.com/big09a/nagprahawaii2009.html

For year 2010, another new webpage was created, following the same general format. See:
https://www.angelfire.com/big09a/nagprahawaii2010.html

For year 2011, another new webpage was created, following the same general format. See:
https://www.angelfire.com/big09/nagprahawaii2011.html

For year 2012, another new webpage was created, following the same general format. See:
https://www.angelfire.com/big09/nagprahawaii2012.html

For year 2013, another new webpage was created, following the same general format. See:
https://www.angelfire.com/big09/nagprahawaii2013.html

For year 2014, another new webpage was created, following the same general format. See:
https://www.angelfire.com/big09/nagprahawaii2014.html

For year 2015, another new webpage was created, following the same general format. See:
https://www.angelfire.com/big09/nagprahawaii2015.html

NOW BEGINS 2016


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LIST OF TOPICS FOR 2016: Full coverage of each topic follows the list; the list is in roughly chronological order, created as events unfold during 2015.

(1) January 7, 2016 notice in The Federal Register says UH Hilo has completed an inventory of human remains found in the 1950s at a sand dune site in Ka'u. But buried inside this notice is the fact that the human remains were found mixed in bags containing midden deposits -- i.e., either the bones were placed with other trash at the time of archeological work in the 1950s, and nobody complained about it; or else the ancient Hawaiians themselves discarded human bones with other garbage.

(2) Events on the U.S. mainland or in foreign nations involving issues similar to NAGPRA or to events in Hawaii.
(a) Chamorro protesters complain about failure of Historic Preservation Office to provide information about disposal of 332 human remains and artifacts uncovered on the construction grounds of the Saipan casino in Garapan.
http://www.saipantribune.com/index.php/advocates-slam-hpo-dcca/
(b) U.S. Supreme Court denies certiorari, thereby allowing 9th Circuit Court decision to stand, which orders 9,000 year old bones to be given to California tribe which claimed them.
(c) In Wisconsin a golf course is being expanded into a wetland shoreline area of sand dunes containing more than 25,000 Indian artifacts and a burial mound.
(d) Objections to a planned auction which includes 3 historically significant guns from the Wounded Knee massacre of 1890, and also includes a ceremonial pipe once owned by the legendary Lakota Chief Red Cloud which Red Cloud gifted to the grandfather of the man trying to sell it.
(e) Rosita Worl, former head of the NAGPRA Review Committee, editorializes in "Indian Country Today" that "After decades of delay, it is past time that the Ancient One [Kennewick Man] is returned to his Native American family."
(f) Protecting Sacred Objects Bill Introduced In U.S. Senate
(g) "Law Street" blog describes outcome of Kennewick Man dispute and explains the NAGPRA law.
(h) Effigy Mounds National Monument superintendent in 1990 hid Indian bones and burial artifacts in his home rather than return them to tribe as required by newly-passed NAGPRA law; bones and artifacts were repatriated about 25 years later.
(i) Creator of website in Paris that tracks market prices of indigenous art objects says "An item has no [spiritual] power: it is just a beautiful object." And moving at item out of its indigenous area probably takes away its spiritual dimension.
(j) Article in Yale Law Journal "Oral Tradition and the Kennewick Man" "focuses on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' summary rejection of the oral-tradition evidence introduced by Native American claimants in Bonnichsen v. United States which, as we now know, was ultimately more reliable than the then-available written historical and scientific records upon which the court relied."

(3) Officials have halted a road repair project on Maui's Kahekili Highway while they figure out how to best protect a nearby burial site.

(4) Skeletal remains unearthed last week at Old Kona Airport Park have been deemed an "inadvertent burial find."

(5) The Art Newspaper, London England, article about turmoil at Bishop Museum says severe staff cutbacks have resulted in many artifacts not being seen for several years, and access to scholars restricted; and there are fears that important artifacts might have gone missing [perhaps stolen or sold?], most notably including the 83 artifacts from Kawaihae (Forbes) Cave.

================

FULL TEXT OF ARTICLES FOR 2016

(1) January 7, 2016 notice in The Federal Register says UH Hilo has completed an inventory of human remains found in the 1950s at a sand dune site in Ka'u. But buried inside this notice is the fact that the human remains were found mixed in bags containing midden deposits -- i.e., either the bones were placed with other trash at the time of archeological work in the 1950s, and nobody complained about it; or else the ancient Hawaiians themselves discarded human bones with other garbage.

https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-01-07/pdf/2016-00055.pdf
Federal Register/Vol. 81, No. 4/Thursday, January 7, 2016/Notices 807

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service
[NPS–WASO–NAGPRA–19769; PPWOCRADN0–PCU00RP14.R50000]

Notice of Inventory Completion: University of Hawaii at Hilo, Hilo, HI

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice.

SUMMARY: The University of Hawaii at Hilo has completed an inventory of human remains in consultation with the appropriate Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations and has determined that there is a cultural affiliation between the human remains and present-day Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations. Lineal descendants or representatives of any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization not identified in this notice that wish to request transfer of control of these human remains should submit a written request to the University of Hawaii at Hilo. If no additional requestors come forward, transfer of control of the human remains to the lineal descendants, Indian tribes, or Native Hawaiian organizations stated in this notice may proceed.

DATES: Lineal descendants or representatives of any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization not identified in this notice that wish to request transfer of control of these human remains should submit a written request with information in support of the request to the University of Hawaii at Hilo at the address in this notice by February 8, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Peter R. Mills, Department of Anthropology, Social Sciences Division, 200 W. Kawili Street, Hilo, HI 96720–4091.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Notice is here given in accordance with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), 25 U.S.C. 3003, of the completion of an inventory of human remains under the control of the University of Hawaii at Hilo, Hilo, HI. The human remains were removed from Kama'iloa Pu'u'eo, Kau'i District, Hawai'i Island, HI. 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 Native American human remains. The National Park Service is not responsible for the determinations in this notice.

Consultation
A detailed assessment of the human remains was made by the University of Hawaii at Hilo professional staff, in consultation with representatives of The Hawai'i Island Burial Council, Department of Hawaiian Homelands, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Hui Malama i Na Kupuna o Hawai'i Nei, Aha Moku Advisory Committee, and the Hawaiian Civic Club of Ka'u.

History and Description of the Remains
In the 1950s, human remains representing, at minimum, three individuals were removed from the Pu'u Ali'i Sand Dune Site (site H1) in Kamau'oa Pu'u'eo ahupua'a, in the district of Ka'u , Hawai'i Island, State of Hawai'i, under the direction of Professor William Bonk at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. These human remains were identified in bags of midden deposit in the summer of 2014, which had been stored with the other excavated material from the site at University of Hawaii at Hilo until the present time. No known individuals were identified. No associated funerary objects are present.
The Pu'u Ali'i Sand Dune site is a Native Hawaiian fishing village and cemetery dating to pre-European contact.

Determinations Made by the University of Hawaii at Hilo
Officials of the University of Hawaii at Hilo have determined that:
* Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(9), the human remains described in this notice represent the physical remains of three individuals of Native American ancestry.
* Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(2), there is a relationship of shared group identity that can be reasonably traced between the Native American human remains and Aha Moku Advisory Committee (Moku o Keawe), the Hawaiian Civic Club of Ka'u, and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

Additional Requestors and Disposition
Lineal descendants or representatives of any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization not identified in this notice that wish to request transfer of control of these human remains should submit a written request with information in support of the request to Peter R. Mills, Department of Anthropology, Social Sciences Division, 200 W. Kawili Street, Hilo, HI 96720–4091, by February 8, 2016. After that date, if no additional requestors have come forward, transfer of control of the human remains to Aha Moku Advisory Committee (Moku o Keawe), the Hawaiian Civic Club of Ka'u, and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs may proceed.
The University of Hawaii at Hilo is responsible for notifying the The Hawai'i Island Burial Council, Department of Hawaiian Homelands, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Aha Moku Advisory Committee, and the Hawaiian Civic Club of Ka'u that this notice has been published.

Dated: December 11, 2015.
Amberleigh Malone,
Acting Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. 2016–00055 Filed 1–6–16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4312–50–P


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(2) Events on the U.S. mainland or in foreign nations involving issues similar to NAGPRA or to events in Hawaii.
(a) Chamorro protesters complain about failure of Historic Preservation Office to provide information about disposal of 332 human remains and artifacts uncovered on the construction grounds of the Saipan casino in Garapan.
(b) U.S. Supreme Court denies certiorari, thereby allowing 9th Circuit Court decision to stand, which orders 9,000 year old bones to be given to California tribe which claimed them.
(c) In Wisconsin a golf course is being expanded into a wetland shoreline area of sand dunes containing more than 25,000 Indian artifacts and a burial mound.
(d) Objections to a planned auction which includes 3 historically significant guns from the Wounded Knee massacre of 1890, and also includes a ceremonial pipe once owned by the legendary Lakota Chief Red Cloud which Red Cloud gifted to the grandfather of the man trying to sell it.
(e) Rosita Worl, former head of the NAGPRA Review Committee, editorializes in "Indian Country Today" that "After decades of delay, it is past time that the Ancient One [Kennewick Man] is returned to his Native American family."
(f) Protecting Sacred Objects Bill Introduced In U.S. Senate
(g) "Law Street" blog describes outcome of Kennewick Man dispute and explains the NAGPRA law.
(h) Effigy Mounds National Monument superintendent in 1990 hid Indian bones and burial artifacts in his home rather than return them to tribe as required by newly-passed NAGPRA law; bones and artifacts were repatriated about 25 years later.
(i) Creator of website in Paris that tracks market prices of indigenous art objects says "An item has no [spiritual] power: it is just a beautiful object." And moving at item out of its indigenous area probably takes away its spiritual dimension.
(j) Article in Yale Law Journal "Oral Tradition and the Kennewick Man" "focuses on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' summary rejection of the oral-tradition evidence introduced by Native American claimants in Bonnichsen v. United States which, as we now know, was ultimately more reliable than the then-available written historical and scientific records upon which the court relied."

http://www.saipantribune.com/index.php/advocates-slam-hpo-dcca/
Saipan Tribune [Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands], January 19, 2016

FOR LACK OF TRANSPARENCY IN DISPOSAL OF ANCIENT REMAINS:
Advocates slam HPO, DCCA
Calls for resignation of Kani, Ogumoro

By Dennis B. Chan

Chamorro cultural advocates slammed yesterday government leaders overseeing the disposal of 332 human remains and artifacts uncovered on the construction grounds of the Saipan casino in Garapan, complaining that they have tried and tried to obtain information from the local Historic Preservation Office on the "disposition and whereabouts" of these remains but with no success.

In a letter to the HPO and the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, the Matua Council for Chamorro Advancement called for the resignation of HPO director and State Historic Preservation officer Mertie Kani and Department of Community and Cultural Affairs Secretary Laura Ogumoro for allegedly not taking the lead on the disposition of these remains.

The council also tries to paint these two government offices as unacceptably inactive in regards to the repatriation and re-internment of another 263 remains and artifacts discovered on this old Samoa Housing site by previous archaeologists 17 years ago.

Saipan Tribune failed to obtain comments from HPO, DCCA, and the Saipan casino, Best Sunshine International, Ltd., after receiving a copy of the council's letter late afternoon yesterday.

The Matua council has repeatedly cried their dismay over the construction of a 14-story casino resort towering over the heart of Garapan and built on grounds the advocates believe is an ancient Chamorro burial site. Last February, HPO approved the casino's archaeological project to enter 18 burial sites and exhume the remains of ancient Chamorros.

In her letter, council president Liana Hofscheneider writes for a "technical report" for Anaguan, the ancient site. She said the letter serves as a third time it has been requested. The report was due to HPO -- after an extension given -- last Nov. 30.

"…We need to have the information regarding the disposition and whereabouts of the 332 human remains and artifacts immediately as these historical resources are not your or the government to unilaterally dispense," or for the location to "be kept in secrecy."

"These historical resources rightfully belong to our people, the Chamorros," Hofschneider said.

Other complaints

The letter goes on to urge that HPO rescind an agreement between them and the casino's hired archaeologists to "borrow for one year or more the human remains, and artifacts, and anything found" at the site. This includes shipping the remains off-island, Matua claims.

The council also says the reason of "a lack of funding" to recover the previous 263 remains uncovered on site in the late 1990s was unacceptable.

"It has been over 17 years since our ancestors have waited to be given the honor and respect to be reinterred to their resting place," Hofschneider said. This means it has been "17 years of budget requests that your office should have taken initiative" on. "The lack of funding excuse to this fiasco does not qualify as a reason to justify your neglect of duty."

She said to give authority and disposition of the 332 remains to the casino archaeologists furthers "the insult to this issue."

In calling for Kani's resignation, the council also asks why office archaeologists Eric Lash and Jennings Bunn resigned in a span of six months in 2015, and why historian Ray Muna resigned also.

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http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2016/02/13/landmark-judgment-returns-remains-tribe
Indian Country Today, February 13, 2016

Landmark Judgment Returns Remains to Tribe

by Cynthia-Lou Coleman Emery, PhD

The US Supreme Court has declined to weigh in on a lower court ruling that will, in effect, allow ancient bones to be returned to American Indians in California.

The judgment means a landmark legal decision recognizes the authority of Native tribes to assume control over ancestors and artifacts, despite claims by scientists that returning the 9,000-year-old bones to the tribes is a "tragedy and a disgrace."

The case at hand involves two skeletons -- a woman and a man -- discovered on state property in San Diego in 1976. Since then, the bones had been the subject of empirical study until local tribes requested the bones be returned.

Science writer Carl Zimmer notes that tribes went to court in 2006 to have the skeletons returned.

Several scientists sued to have control over the bones, but lost their battle on two fronts: a district court rejected their claims in 2012, and a federal court upheld the decision to repatriate the skeletons to tribes in 2014.

In January 2016, the US Supreme Court declined to hear the case, thus upholding the lower court decision that would allow the bones to return home.

What makes the case doubly significant is that Kennewick Man, the ancient skeleton discovered in the Northwest Pacific in 1996, has yet to be repatriated to tribes despite the finding in 2015 that The Ancient One's DNA matches that of Colville tribal members'.

The scientific discovery of the DNA match, covered widely in the popular press on the heels of the April report in Nature -- one of science's most prized journals -- has armed American Indian tribes with the empirical gravitas to make a claim for the return of ancestors.

The new data, in concert with the 1990 Federal law that enables the return of artifacts and human remains to tribes (the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act) should empower Native Americans to invoke their sovereignty, which affords tribes dominion over their property, laws, values, mores and customs.

Yet some scientists continue to up-end NAGPRA by claiming their interests trump those of the tribes.

One of the professors who challenged the court's initial decision to return the bones to tribes said: "To have them [the two skeletons] slip through our fingers this way is a tremendous loss for science."

Similarly the lawyer representing the scientists responded to the Supreme Court's decision to refuse to hear the case by calling the judgment a "tragedy and a disgrace -- a tragedy for science, and a disgrace for the court."

Ironically news consumers need to dig for viewpoints from Indian perspectives, and few reporters explain to readers that federally recognized tribes are sovereign nations: they signed treaties with representatives of the United States that their rights and freedoms, and cultures and traditions, would be honored and protected by laws.

But when perspectives come to loggerheads over discovery of ancient bones -- when Indian knowledge systems meet Western knowledge systems -- then tribal views are diminished in favor of mainstream values.

And scientific pursuits are valued by politicians, courts and mainstream press over Indian concerns.

In the case of Kennewick Man's bones, the Umatilla spokesman -- Armand Minthorn -- told the press repeatedly that cultural tradition requires that the skeleton be returned to the earth.

Such views are marginalized as quaint or silly: hardly salutary when compared with the needs of Scientific Progress. But when the argument plays out in terms of sovereignty and self-determination, the contention over ancient bones becomes a political one.

So it's not about which viewpoints are more rational or empirical; rather, the argument centers on who gets to make decisions about the provenance of ancient remains. And since legislation has been in place for 26 years to return found and stolen objects to tribal governments, it make sense that Native Americans -- not Western scientists -- should determine how best to manage their artifacts.

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http://thepoliticalenvironment.blogspot.com/2016/05/proposed-kohler-golf-course-laden-with.html?m=1

The Political Environment A forum, news and archiving service about politics and the environment in Wisconsin. And elsewhere.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Proposed Kohler golf course laden with Native American artifacts

You'd think the discovery reported by the Journal Sentinel Sunday
http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/thousands-of-indian-artifacts-on-site-of-kohler-golf-course-b99720400z1-378532785.html

of more than 25,000 Native American artifacts and additional important historical items spread across a 247-acre wooded, wetland and dune-rich site ticketed for a high-end golf course along Lake Michigan would finally put an end to that already-controversial proposal.
http://thepoliticalenvironment.blogspot.com/2014/07/more-media-about-kohler-golf-course-on.html

After all, the property is known to contain at least one native effigy or burial mound - - noted not long ago when the state nearly passed a law to allow development on such sites.
http://thepoliticalenvironment.blogspot.com/2016/01/special-interest-wi-bulldozer-finds.html

But don't jump to such a logical conclusion because we're talking about Scott Walker's special interest-managed Wisconsin, and a property owner - - the politically powerful Herbert Kohler, Jr. - - a hefty Walker donor.

The golf course proposal is under review by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the same agency which would have to give up several acres of public land to the project because it abuts Kohler Andrae State Park which the golf course planners say they need.

Don't assume that the DNR would fight to keep the popular state park intact, because the DNR is as we speak selling off 10,000 acres - - as directed by the Legislature and Walker - - which it owns and holds for the people. And is also proposing more logging on state park land - - furthering Walker's private-sector driven agenda.

Walker has remade the Wisconsin DNR into something of a state-sponsored chamber of commerce and rewarded real estate interests with legislation and permissions to encroach into waterways, wetlands and shorelines formerly protected by state law and overseen by the DNR in the public interest

More plans are in the works to steer control of land and water to private interests - - the overlap among state agencies is continual and deep - - and even includes the State Supreme Court and its much-criticized conflict-of-interest rules.

Walker also signed a bill into law that made it easier for schools to retain their Native American logos and mascots,
http://thepoliticalenvironment.blogspot.com/2013/12/on-race-based-names-walker-has-no.html
and created a wolf hunting season, despite the cultural importance of the animal to the state's Ojibwa tribes, which became the nation's only sanctioned wolf hunt in which hunters were allowed to use their dogs.
http://thepoliticalenvironment.blogspot.com/2014/07/hunters-can-loose-dogs-on-wi-wolves.html

And pushed hard for an open-pit iron mine near Lake Superior that, if built, would have threatened Ojibwe drinking water supplies and traditional wild rice-growing estuaries downstream from 35 years and up to 21 miles of blasting and excavation.

The iron mine's owner also routed a secret $700,000 donation to Walker's 2012 recall campaign - - so I'd say that Walker and his DNR management team will probably justify shoehorning the golf course somehow onto the site rather than treat it as the sacred land we now know it is.

I also think the need for a permit for the golf course project from the US Army Corp of Engineers got even more unlikely now that there is evidence that the acreage is hallowed ground which should be honored, studied and preserved, not turned into mowed and fertilized fairways, with a clubhouse and parking lot, too.

This all becomes a test for the soul and reputation of the Wisconsin DNR, and the entire state government's relationship with its people.

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http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_WOUNDED_KNEE_AUCTION?SITE=ILBLO&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

Pantagraph.com -- News from Associated Press
June 4, 2016 [** widely republished in newspapers, including Honolulu Star-Advertiser of June 5, 2016]

Planned auction of items from reservations raises questions

By REGINA GARCIA CANO
Associated Press

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) -- Tribal leaders are questioning the ethical and legal implications of an auction featuring more than 100 items collected on two Native American reservations, including guns from the site of the 1890 Wounded Knee massacre and a ceremonial pipe that belonged to one of the most respected tribal chiefs.

Bidding for items gathered from the late 1880s through the early 1900s on South Dakota's Pine Ridge and Rosebud Indian Reservations opens June 11 through Dallas-based Heritage Auctions. Similar auctions have spurred condemnation by many Native American tribes whose leaders believe sacred and ceremonial items, such as pipes, should be returned to the tribes, and most recently, prompted the federal government to intervene.

Three guns to be auctioned were salvaged from the site of the Wounded Knee massacre, where on Dec. 29, 1890, about 300 Native American men, women and children were killed by the 7th Cavalry in the final battle of the American Indian Wars. And at the center of the collection is a ceremonial pipe once owned by the legendary Lakota Chief Red Cloud.

"I find it very insulting," said Trina Lone Hill, the historic preservation officer for the Oglala Sioux Tribe. "It was a massacre; it wasn't just a skirmish. It was women and children being killed."

The entire collection belongs to Paul Rathbun, a Colorado resident whose grandfather and great-grandmother gathered the items back when the family owned a general store near Pine Ridge, a sprawling expanse of badlands on southwestern South Dakota and home to the Oglala Sioux. Rathbun said the items have been "sitting in trunks or plastic containers," and he hopes they will end up in the hands of a group or individual who can properly take care of them.

"I'm just a regular person; I don't have a vault or really I guess I don't have the means to care for it the way it should be," Rathbun said. "And there's, of course, a bit of an economic factor."

He added that the collection "has not been a secret over the years" for the tribe, and added that none of the items "were purchased at a disadvantage or taken" from tribal members.

The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, enacted in 1990, allows tribes to reclaim human remains and objects that are sacred, funerary or of exceptional cultural or historical importance from federally funded museums and research institutions. On Monday, an auction house in Paris withdrew from sale a ceremonial shield from a Native American community in New Mexico, days after the Department of Interior had asked French authorities to prevent the sale.

Rathbun said his grandfather and great-grandmother salvaged the three guns after they arrived at the site of the Wounded Knee massacre and found many of their Native American friends dead. The collection's description explains that Rathbun's grandfather, Raymond, as a teen developed a friendship with Chief Red Cloud, an Oglala Lakota who signed the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty peace agreement with the United States. Red Cloud gifted to Raymond the ceremonial pipe heading to auction.

However, Lone Hill said, a ceremonial pipe should never be auctioned because it is considered a sacred item. While the auction house's consultants have concluded that the collection can be auctioned, Lone Hill said the tribe will consult with its own attorneys to try to determine whether federal law could prevent the sale.

"I would object to the sale," Lone Hill said. "It would be like me selling any item of the pope, any possession of his or anything from the church. They would say it is a heresy."

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http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2016/07/11/bring-ancient-one-home
Indian Country Today, July 11, 2016

Bring the Ancient One Home

Rosita Kaa háni Worl

The threads of history, culture and ancestry form a timeless and unbreakable weave in Native American life. The elders who came before us are as relevant today as they were thousands of years ago. Their wisdom, knowledge and beliefs guide and center us, forming the fabric upon which we live our modern lives.

That is why the prompt return of The Ancient One is so important to our people.

Sometimes called the "Kennewick Man," our ancestor was found in 1996 near Kennewick, Washington along the Colombia River. He is 9,000 years old. But fully twenty-years after his discovery, we remain unable to properly bury him.

Instead, The Ancient One was subject to a long and costly legal battle between his Native descendants and those who wished to control his remains for scientific study.

The court case lasted for eight years and consumed over $5 million in taxpayer funds before being decided by a federal court in San Francisco on behalf of the scientists.

The scientists mistakenly argued that The Ancient One was of Pacific Islander ancestry, and, as a result, prevented The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) from being enforced. NAGPRA requires human remains removed from Native homelands be returned to the lineal descendants.

Since that ruling, however, The Ancient One's Native American ancestry has been conclusively established, confirming what we have known and argued.

DNA analysis performed by an independent team of researchers at Stanford University and the University of Copenhagen in 2015, and subsequently confirmed by another group of scientists from the University of Chicago in 2016, proved The Ancient One is related to modern-day tribes of the Pacific Northwest.

He is a member of our family.

We don't expect everyone to understand the deep honor and respect we bestow upon our 9,000 year old ancestor and the spiritual relationships we maintain with our ancestors. . But we believe everyone can understand that our Ancient One deserves a prompt and respectful burial just like any beloved family member.

Unfortunately, we've learned through two decades of painful experience that a single person can sue, preventing NAGPRA from being enforced and mire this case in the courts almost indefinitely. There is no guarantee the law will prevail and that is why we need Congress to act.

Introduced by Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), the Bring the Ancient One Home Act has bipartisan and bicameral support ranging from Rep. Don Young (R-AK) to Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID). The bill simply enforces current law and calls upon the Army Corps of Engineers, who have legal custody of the Ancient One, to facilitate his immediate return to his native family and to complete a process twenty years overdue.

Importantly, the Army Corps agrees with the scientific consensus.

Brig. Gen. Scott A. Spellmon, commander of the Corps' Northwestern Division, said, "I am confident that our review and analysis of new skeletal, statistical and genetic evidence have convincingly led to a Native American Determination."

After decades of delay, it is past time that the Ancient One is returned to his Native American family.

The Bring the Ancient One Home Act is a unique opportunity for Congress to enforce existing law, correct the mistakes of the past twenty years and weave an important thread of Native American history back into our modern lives.

Rosita Kaa háni Worl, Ph.D., is the president of the Sealaska Heritage Institute and former chair of the NAGPRA Review Committee.

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http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2016/08/07/protecting-sacred-objects-bill-introduced-senate-165391
Indian Country Today, August 7, 2016

Protecting Sacred Objects Bill Introduced In Senate

by Rick Kearns

Preventing the exportation and sale of sacred objects and creating harsher penalties for these and related crimes are the goals of the recently introduced Safeguard Tribal Objects of Patrimony (STOP) Act that has bipartisan and tribal support.

On July 6, United States Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) announced the introduction of the STOP Act at a press conference in Washington, D.C.

"The STOP Act will increase penalties for stealing and illegally trafficking tribal cultural patrimony. It will also prohibit exporting these objects and create a tribal working group to help federal agencies better understand the scope of the problem and how to solve it. I am proud to work with tribes in New Mexico and across Indian country to craft this legislation," said Heinrich.

The bill would increase the penalties for criminal violations of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), raising the maximum prison time to 10 years instead of five; give two years of amnesty for returning illegally acquired objects; ask the U.S. Government Accountability Office for a report on illegally trafficked objects; and form a tribal working group for implementing the report's recommendations.

The STOP Act would also prohibit the export of any object obtained in violation of NAGPRA, the Archaeological Resources Protection Act, or the Antiquities Act.

The introduction of the bill comes five weeks after a controversial sale of sacred tribal objects at the EVE Auction House in Paris, France on May 31.

While the sale of an Acoma shield was halted due to reports that it may have been stolen other sacred objects were sold at the auction despite numerous efforts by U.S. and tribal officials to stop the process and remove the contested items. (On July 28, the Office of the Attorney General of New Mexico said it was seeking a warrant for the return of the shield. The EVE Auction House and French authorities have not yet responded to the announcement.)

RELATED: Paris Auction Update: Acoma Shield Pulled, Attendance Low Amid Protests
https://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2016/05/31/paris-auction-update-acoma-shield-pulled-attendance-low-amid-protests-164657

In response to the requests, according to Heinrich and other sources, the French government "cited the lack of an explicit export prohibition as an impediment to enforcement of NAGPRA and related laws overseas."

The STOP Act, if passed, would prohibit the sale and exportation of sacred objects and human remains. A few days after Heinrich introduced the bill Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) announced he would co-sponsor the legislation and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) also voiced support.

Tribal leaders from the Pueblo of Acoma and Navajo Nation pushed for the bills passage which was also endorsed by the Jicarilla Apache Nation, Santa Ana, Isleta, Zuni, Laguna, Nambé, Jemez, and Ohkay Owingeh as well as the All Pueblo Council of Governors, the National Congress of American Indians, and the United South and Eastern Tribes Sovereignty Protection Fund.

"We are hoping that it will begin to close the doors on the sales of these items in Europe," said Pueblo of Acoma Governor Kurt Riley. Riley and other leaders helped Heinrich develop the STOP Act bill.

"It's very difficult once it leaves the pueblo to do anything because we don't have, oftentimes, the internal wherewithal as far as policing and investigation," Riley said.

"The Pueblo of Acoma has firsthand experience with the illegal removal and trafficking of our cultural objects and the uphill battle that comes with seeking their repatriation," Riley added.

"On behalf of the Navajo Nation Council, I would like to thank Senator Heinrich for introducing this bill. The Navajo Nation has consistently sought to repatriate sacred objects, as well as protect our sacred sites, land, culture, language, and way of life," said Speaker of the Navajo Nation Council Delegate LoRenzo Bates.

"This legislation strengthens that position and allows tribes the confidence that their traditions and way of life are surely protected," Bates stated.

Meanwhile the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs will first examine the Stop Act legislation before being introduced to the full Senate. The dates for the beginning of the process were not available at press time.

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http://lawstreetmedia.com/issues/entertainment-and-culture/stolen-identities-repatriation-indigenous-artifacts/
Law Street, August 22, 2016

Stolen Identities: The Repatriation of Indigenous Artifacts

By Jillian Sequeira

Earlier this year a legal battle that spanned twenty years concluded in a major victory for Native American tribes in Washington. "Kennewick Man" -- the remains of a 9,000 year old skeleton discovered in 1996 -- is considered one of the most important archaeological finds in North American history. The skeleton was found on federal land but multiple Native American tribes argued that the skeleton, which was officially determined to be Native American in 2015, belonged on tribal land. Under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), Native American tribes are allowed to determine what to do with Native remains -- either burying them in a traditional ceremony or displaying them in museum exhibits. Thanks to NAGPRA, many Native American artifacts have been brought back to tribal lands but after centuries of removal -- both by individuals and archaeological missions -- the work of repatriation has only just begun. Certain museums, most notably the Smithsonian Institution, have striven to catalog and repatriate collections but museums across the United States, and the world, are still in possession of contested artifacts. Take a look at the current state of repatriation.

WHAT IS NAGPRA?

NAGPRA, enacted in 1990 after being introduced by noted conservationist Morris Udall, requires organizations that receive federal funding to return Native American cultural artifacts to lineal descendants and affiliated tribes. Federal grant money is dedicated to repatriating artifacts, which can be human remains, sacred objects, or personal possessions. Some sacred objects are still used in modern-day ceremonies so they can be especially important for preserving the heritage of the tribes. Museums are required to keep an up-to-date inventory of all artifacts so that tribes can track them down and initiate the repatriation process. Furthermore, NAGPRA requires that Native American and Native Hawaiian organizations are notified by archaeologists whenever they find or expect to find indigenous cultural items (or when such items are unexpectedly discovered on federal or tribal lands). NAGPRA is incredibly important in the context of disturbing burial grounds. Native American graves were frequently unmarked and there was no protection under state or federal law regarding their exhumation.

NAGPRA also criminalizes the trafficking of Native American remains (without right of possession/legal ownership). In 2003, the FBI returned a host of stolen Native American artifacts valued at over $400,000 on the black market to eight tribes. A well-known art gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico had been selling the artifacts out of a back room by the gallery owner and a prominent art dealer. NAGPRA was augmented by the National Museum of the American Indian Act Amendments of 1996, which extends repatriation to include "unassociated" objects that are not tied to a particular tribe. The National Museum of the American Indian operates a six-step process for repatriation which has led to the repatriation of more than 2,000 objects to 100 different Native communities throughout North and South America.

WHY KENNEWICK MAN MATTERS

Multiple tribes, including the Umatilla, Colville, Yakima, Wanapum and Nez Perce tribes, have all claimed the remains of Kennewick Man as their own. The remains were found on Umatilla ancestral land, but that does not guarantee that the skeleton was actually of Umatilla descent as multiple tribes visited that land. The tribes have advocated for the skeleton's immediate reburial, claiming that holding him in a laboratory and museum environment is disrespectful to his memory. Scientists and archaeologists argue that they can learn a great deal from his remains, as his is one of the oldest and most complete skeletons ever discovered on the continent. The first scientists to study the skeleton argued that it lacked "Native American characteristics" which infuriated tribal advocates. Umatilla trustee and religious leader Armand Minthorn told Archaeology that

If this individual is truly over 9,000 years old, that only substantiates our belief that he is Native American. From our oral histories, we know that our people have been part of this land since the beginning of time...We already know our history

The tribes' assertion that the skeleton was Native American was often considered to be suspect until a 2015 DNA study found that Kennewick Man's genome was more closely related to modern Native Americans than any other modern human demographic. The DNA testing was not specific enough to confirm a specific tribe but the groups that have claimed ownership over the skeleton agreed to band together for his burial.

Over the years, Kennewick Man became not only an important artifact but a symbol of the Native American battle for credibility in repatriation. Advocates hope the repatriation of Kennewick Man will hopefully set a precedent for future cases, both in the United States and abroad.

REPATRIATION FAILURES AT THE BRITISH MUSEUM

Native Americans are not the only indigenous groups who seek to reclaim their history through repatriation. The British Museum, which houses some of the most incredible collections of artifacts in the world, has frequently been criticized for its failure to return objects to the governments of former British colonies.

Artifacts from India, Africa, and Australia have become contested since the end of colonialism, as indigenous groups argue that they deserve to display their heritage in their own museums. India has asked for the return of the Kohinoor Diamond, Greece has requested the Elgin Marbles. and the statue Hoa Hakananai'a still stands in the British Museum rather than its ancestral home of Rapa Nui (Easter Island). The British Museum has launched some repatriation efforts, but is still in possession of thousands upon thousands of contested artifacts. Earlier this year, the British Museum launched an exhibition entitled Indigenous Australia: Enduring Civilisation which stirred controversy over the museum's ownership of over 6,000 artifacts that were acquired from Indigenous Australian populations during the colonial era. That community is divided in their reaction to the exhibition: some claim that the British preserved objects that otherwise would have been lost or destroyed while others argue that the artifacts, which were often stolen during violent periods of repression, should be sent back to Australia. There are plans for the exhibition to travel to Canberra in November, but the artifacts will be sent under the 2013 Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan Act, which blocks the repatriation process while the artifacts are on Australian soil. Shane Mortimer, an elder of the Ngambri people, stated that

If the Ngambri people went to England, killed 90 percent of the population and everything else that is indigenous to England and sent the crown jewels back to Ngambri Country as a prize exhibit ... what would the remaining 10 percent of English people have to say about that? The exhibition should not proceed without the permission of the owners of all of the items.

CONCLUSION

The repatriation of artifacts and human remains is a battle that has been fought for decades yet is far from over. Certain archaeologists argue that artifacts need to be preserved in major museums in order to share history with future generations. The idea that a skeleton discovered on an archaeological dig might be buried once again (according to tribal custom) is seen as irresponsible and distasteful. However, advocates for the Native population believe that repatriating artifacts will do much more to preserve culture than holding them in a museum and that the burial of human remains is a sign of respect.

There is no doubt that museums are invaluable to preserving our history but we cannot ignore the fact that a majority of their collections were taken without permission and artifacts are essentially being held hostage under the guise of preservation. There are museums that have engaged in extensive repatriation–the National Museum of the American Indian, for example, has fewer than 300 human remains in its collection, most of which have yet to be claimed by South American tribes–so the process is clearly feasible. Repatriation is a reaction to theft, not preservation, and indigenous tribes deserve support as they try to reclaim their history.

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http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2016/08/22/whos-got-bones-timeline-reveals-park-service-employees-covered-theft-ancient-remains
Indian Country Today, August 22, 2016

Who's Got the Bones? Timeline Reveals Park Service Employees Covered Up Theft of Ancient Remains

by Frank Hopper

It's like something out of a Stephen King story. An aging National Park Service superintendent steals the remains of hundreds of ancient medicine men and leaders and sticks them under a workbench in his garage in cardboard boxes. It's 1990 and NAGPRA, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, is about to go into effect. The superintendent suspects the remains will have to be returned to the Native tribes in the area because of NAGPRA. He's not worried about that so much, but he fears also having to return the funerary objects that were buried with them thousands of years ago, objects now on display in the park's museum. He hides the bones in his garage.

Then, after sitting there for years, the bones suddenly come to life and possess the park superintendent, taking control of his body and forcing him to start killing people.

Ok, so, that last part didn't really happen. But the first part did, according to a timeline prepared by current Effigy Mounds National Monument superintendent Jim Nepstad. The timeline shows how approximately 2,200 human bone fragments where stolen from the park's museum collection and hidden in former superintendent Thomas Munson's garage for over 20 years while park employees and several state agencies half-heartedly searched for them.

The timeline reads like testimony from the 1973 Senate Watergate Hearings, with letters, phone conversations and in-person meetings being documented between park administration, the Office of the State Archaeologist, the Midwest Archeological Center and the Midwest Regional Office of the National Park Service. Boiled down to its essential elements, the timeline sounds more like a government version of the Abbott and Costello routine "Who's on first?"

"Who's got the bones?" "I don't know. I thought you had ‘em." "No, we sent them to you." "Are you sure? Our records say we sent them to you." "Ok, let me check. Nope. We definitely don't have them. Seems like I remember sending them to Lincoln, Nebraska." And so on... for years!

But it doesn't stop there. The timeline shows how reports and studies were authorized that investigated the missing bones. At one point a "Curatorial Strike Team" was formed to review park records. The strike team looked over documents provided to them by the park and found nothing that explained where the bones were. It was later revealed that key documents were withheld from the team by unnamed park employees.

Then in August 2000, all investigation into the missing bones just seemed to stop. The timeline shows no activity until 2011. In April of that year, Patt Murphy, who at the time was the NAGPRA coordinator of the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, requested to see a copy of the park's "NAGPRA inventory," the list of Native items in the park's possession that are required to be entered into the Federal Register.

This apparently triggered a lot of anxiety and whispering among park employees. One of them, Administrative Technician Sharon Greener, approached Nepstad, who had just started working at the park the previous January.

"Mr. Superintendent, I feel I must tell you that a cancer is growing on the park..."

Ok, well, she didn't actually say that. But like White House counsel John Dean in 1973, Greener supposedly informed her boss of the seriousness of the park's involvement in the missing bones issue. She presented him with two separate reports from 1998 "both of which contained numerous mentions of missing human remains," according to the timeline.

Nepstad began making inquiries. He assigned Park Law Enforcement Officer Bob Palmer to investigate. On April 27, 2011, Palmer visited former Park Superintendent Thomas Munson at his home, asking if he had any information on the missing bones. The timeline states Munson provided no further information and said the remains were sent to the Midwest Archeological Center years before.

The timeline doesn't state whether or not Munson's pants immediately burst into flames, but it wouldn't be surprising if they did, considering that the bones were right in Munson's garage.

Meanwhile, Greener confided to a co-worker that she was nervous about the missing bones. When asked why, she revealed she had boxed up two sets of human bone fragments in 1990 at Munson's request and helped him carry them out to Munson's car where they placed them in the trunk.

What did the co-worker, Administrative Assistant Theresa Wilson, do with this vital piece of information? Nothing. She told no one, saying later she thought Greener had confided her secret to many others and she thought they had reported it.

So the investigation continued. Nepstad, ordered an inventory be conducted of the park's entire collection, which was done and, surprise surprise, turned up no bones.

With the heat turned up, Palmer again visited Munson at his home and impressed on him the gravity of the issue. Munson buckled, giving Palmer one box of the stolen remains that he said he found. He told Palmer there weren't anymore and his pants immediately caught fire. (Ok, ok, not really.)

A new team was formed to investigate the missing bones, this time led by Special Agent Barland-Liles of the National Park Service Midwest Regional Office.

On May 16, 2012, Barland-Liles leaned on Greener for information. After a lengthy attempt to extract the truth, Greener admitted to helping Munson take the bones out to his car in 1990.

Barland-Liles went to Munson's residence the next day, explaining what Greener told him and demanding permission to search Munson's house. Munson's wife Linda, bless her heart, signed a consent to search and there in Munson's garage, in a beat-up cardboard box sitting on the ground beneath a workbench, was the remaining set of Native bones.

Munson eventually received one year of home detention and nearly copy12,000 in fines and restitution for stealing the bones and for the damage caused by his disrespectful storage of them. Greener was fired by the Park Service in June 2013 and was then reinstated a year later after a successful appeal. No one was ever charged for helping cover up the issue of the missing bones.

The unsung hero in all this is Murphy, whose initial request to view the park's NAGPRA inventory resulted in a renewed investigation and the eventual discovery of the bones.

The spirits of those ancient medicine men and leaders whose bones were once buried in the Effigy Mounds at the park never did possess anyone and make them start killing people. Instead they blessed the mind of Murphy, causing him to find an answer to the question, "Who's got the bones?" Without that blessing, they'd probably still be in Munson's garage.

RELATED: Home Detention for Park Service Grave Robber
http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2016/07/14/home-detention-park-service-grave-robber-165143

RELATED: National Park Services Grave Robber Will Pay Restitution and Serve Probation
http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2016/01/04/national-park-services-grave-robber-will-pay-restitution-and-serve-probation-162943

RELATED: National Park Services Grave Robber: Man Pleads Guilty to Stealing Remains
http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/12/21/national-park-services-grave-robber-man-pleads-guilty-stealing-remains-162834

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http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2016/10/19/paris-native-arts-website-creator-items-have-no-power-just-beautiful-objects-166146
Indian Country Today, October 19, 2016

Paris-based Native Arts website creator Aurelien Cuenot - founder of Artkhade, a website dedicated to Indigenous Arts says says Indigenous Art items have no power.
Creator: 'Items Have No Power: Just Beautiful Objects'

by Dominique Godrèche

The 15th International Tribal Art Fair took place in Paris in September, which coinciding with that, Paris-based Native Arts archivist Aurelien Cuenot presented Artkhade, a website dedicated to Indigenous Arts he created in 2012.

Artkhade has a database of auction results and information for tribal art from all over the world. The new website now allows for instant searches by name, geography or culture as well as its sales history.

Aurelien sat down with Indian Country Today to explain how he views his website as a unique tool for professionals, but also anyone concerned with Native traditional arts.

What is the situation of the Indigenous art markets in Europe?

Paris is the center of Indigenous art for most of the collectors and dealers in the world. Historically, the first auctions took place in London, and then the Salle Drouot has been very active since the 50’s. Sotheby’s and Christie’s Indigenous art departments are in Paris; and not by accident, Paris being at the heart of Indigenous arts, and “Parcours des Mondes” the biggest fair for Native traditional arts.

How does your site work?

The site works like a tree with many branches, allowing a precise and extensive research, by continents, areas, villages, rivers…I write the name of the item in its original culture, and add the village it comes from, to be the most specific. Regarding the history of the sales, I follow the catalogues information.

Do the graphics showing the value of the piece over the years allow the collectors to carefully keep track of the financial history of a piece?

Yes; and, private museums. Not in France though, the only country not to sell art items since museums are public; so traditionally, museum pieces are not for sale.

Given the present debates about the sales of Native American sacred pieces and their claims, does this site complicate the work of some auction houses?

No. It facilitates the transparency. The auctions use my site: we have more information now than four years ago, the descriptions are longer, and experts more qualified. But there are less and less items of that kind.

The same goes for pre-Columbian art: the states calling justice have destroyed those markets, so those items are not sold anymore.

But a Tlingit mask starting at $56,000 in 2015, is sold for $378,400 one year later: does it not show the market still active?

Those prices apply for masterpieces in the top ten. It does not represent the average market, where 90% is worth less than $5,600.

Inuit art includes a lot of tools: would they be considered ethnographic, versus their masks, and in which category would a Native American bag or headdress fall?

Masks are more valued than daily tools, which should be more precisely defined, though. But a headdress would not be classified as art, because it corresponds to clothing, as well as Moccasins, bags…All ethnographic. A Katsina would belong to the art category.

Who does that categorization, and how does an item become classified as a masterpiece?

The market establishes the categorization: when a hundred persons agree on the unique beauty of a Tlingit mask, it is defined as a master piece. But such pieces are very rare.

How many Native American items are included in your site?

Six thousand; from Alaska, the Northwest Coast, and the Southwest.

Which criteria identify an item as authentic?

The pre-contact defines the authenticity: it refers to the time before the White’s influence on the culture, when an item loses its purity. A pre-contact item dated before the presence of the Western culture is more valuable.

Does the pre-contact concept apply to all colonized areas, or how is the pre-contact of an object defined?

Yes. But dates vary according to the geographic areas: so, what matters is the concept of pre-contact. It can be defined according to the materials, for example. Very few experts know how to define the pre-contact. But it is a common concept among art dealers, as the piece has lost its original style, and became westernized.

Some of the sacred indigenous items listed in Artkhade, created by Aurelien Cuenot Some of the sacred indigenous items listed in Artkhade, created by Aurelien Cuenot So, regarding the Native American items sold recently in public auctions, and the claim of Native American peoples who consider those pieces sacred and essential to their traditional rites: is the notion of sacredness, or rite, present among the buyers, together with the pre-contact concept?

No; as when removed from their original places, many of those items lose that dimension.

Moving an item from one place to another takes away its sacred dimension?

Probably…But I am not into that. I just look at the aesthetic of the piece. As for me, an item has no power: it is just a beautiful object.

Artkhade - The auctions database of ancient arts - www.artkhade.com

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https://turtletalk.wordpress.com/2016/12/07/cathay-smith-oral-tradition-and-the-kennewick-man/
Turtle Talk, December 7, 2016 Posted by Matthew L.M. Fletcher

Cathay Smith: "Oral Tradition and the Kennewick Man"

Cathay Y.N. Smith has published "Oral Tradition and the Kennewick Man" (PDF) in the Yale Law Journal Forum.
http://www.yalelawjournal.org/forum/oral-tradition-and-the-kennewick-man

An excerpt:

On the eve of the upcoming repatriation of the Kennewick Man, this Essay focuses on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' summary rejection of the oral-tradition13 evidence introduced by Native American claimants in Bonnichsen v. United States which, as we now know, was ultimately more reliable than the then-available written historical and scientific records upon which the court relied. Courts disadvantage Native American claimants when they summarily reject oral-tradition evidence and prohibit "a major source of their knowledge, transmitted orally, across time, and in a distinctive style, [from being] meaningfully ... entered as evidence, with the same consideration as written historical evidence."14 Furthermore, courts' inconsistent treatment of oral tradition also results in uncertainty and deprives Native American claimants of clear guidelines on what evidence they should or should not submit to prove their claims. This Essay suggests four factors for courts to consider on a case-by-case basis in the future to evaluate the probative value of oral-tradition evidence. It then proceeds to examine the inconsistent treatment of oral tradition evidence by U.S. courts, and urges courts to employ a balanced approach and adopt the factors offered in this Essay when evaluating Native American oral tradition in legal cases involving Native Americans claimants.


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(3) Officials have halted a road repair project on Maui's Kahekili Highway while they figure out how to best protect a nearby burial site.

http://www.staradvertiser.com/breaking-news/road-repair-project-stalls-over-burial-site-concerns/
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, January 25, 2016, Breaking news at 6:14 AM

Road repair project stalls over burial site concerns

Associated Press

WAILUKU » Officials have halted a road repair project on Maui's Kahekili Highway while they figure out how to best protect a nearby burial site.

The Maui News reports that project coordinators discussed the site Wednesday with the Maui Lanai Islands Burial Council, which plans to make a decision on a burial treatment plan in February.

"The issue of ancestral bones is going to become more relevant as more development takes place on this island," said council Chairwoman Kapulani Antonio. "We understand that the land is for the living, but we also have to respect our ancestral kupuna."

In 2010, the county had planned to reconstruct and resurface pavement on about 1,100 feet of the highway when they were alerted to a burial site in the area, said project archaeologist Erik Fredericksen.

A public burial notice states that a survey confirmed a cave was located west of the highway near Kahakuloa. Vegetation grew over the cave, and a rock wall built by a resident protected its entrance, Fredericksen said.

"According to (a resident), there are several burials inside," Fredericksen said. He could not see the remains, but he said it's typical in these types of investigations to rely on community testimony.

Project coordinators told the council about the burial site a few years ago, but they wanted to bring the matter to the attention of new council members.

The initial proposal of the burial treatment plan, Fredericksen said, is to build a buffer 20 feet in diameter around the site. The burial council's decision on Feb. 17 will be sent to the State Historic Preservation Division for review.


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(4) Skeletal remains unearthed last week at Old Kona Airport Park have been deemed an "inadvertent burial find."

http://www.westhawaiitoday.com/news/local-news/unearthed-iwi-discovered-old-kona-airport-park
West Hawaii Today [Kona].

Unearthed iwi discovered at Old Kona Airport Park

Published July 11, 2016 - 9:02pm [Then presumably in print edition July 12]

By Chelsea Jensen West Hawaii Today

KAILUA-KONA -- Skeletal remains unearthed last week at Old Kona Airport Park have been deemed an "inadvertent burial find."

A man, who asked not to be identified, said he came across the skeletal remains around 1:30 p.m. July 6 along the shoreline of Old Kona Airport Park. The man, who walks the shoreline almost every day, said it appeared inclement weather the night before had removed a lot of sand and unearthed the remains, which appeared to have been, at some point, placed with care within a circular rock pattern.

West Hawaii Today is not providing any additional details on the find, including its exact location, to protect the remains and out of respect for descendants. Iwi, the bones of the dead, are considered a cherished possession and were hidden, guarded, respected, and venerated.

The man told West Hawaii Today he immediately contacted police, who took the report and forwarded it to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Historic Preservation Division, which is handling the find, according to DLNR spokeswoman Deborah Ward.

She said a Hawaii Island burial sites specialist and the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement responded to the site. They are now in "consultation with descendants of the area." No additional information was immediately available.

Old Kona Airport Park is situated on land and shoreline rich with cultural history. According to a cultural impact assessment completed in August 2010 for the Kailua Park master plan, documented sites within the park include habitation sites, multiple burial and re-interment sites, numerous agriculture and activity areas, lava tube shelters and petroglyphs and papamu, which is where the checkers-like game of konane was played.

Makaeo is both the name of the coastline between Kukailimoku Point and Pawai Bay and a fishing village that occupied the area until the airport's construction in 1948. A radiocarbon date of 1410-1665 AD was obtained from an agricultural feature in an adjacent parcel indicating use of the area during the pre-Contact period.

"Based upon numerous previous exposures of burials in the beach sands, the Project area is likely to contain substantial additional burials -- as yet undiscovered and undocumented -- located in the sand dunes and beach areas makai (seaward) of the existing runway," the assessment reads.

The management of burial sites over 50 years old falls under the state Historic Preservation Division. According to the division's website, 98 percent of burial cases handled by the division relate to native Hawaiian skeletal remains.

Any skeletal remains accidentally discovered must be reported to the division, as well as local police, according to the division. If remains are estimated at less than 50 years old, they fall under the jurisdiction of local police.

If a person discovers a burial site they should stop activity in the immediate area and leave the remains in place before contacting SHPD at 692-8015 and police. For nonemergencies, Hawaii Island police can be reached at 935-3311.


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(5) The Art Newspaper, London England, article about turmoil at Bishop Museum says severe staff cutbacks have resulted in many artifacts not being seen for several years, and access to scholars restricted; and there are fears that important artifacts might have gone missing [perhaps stolen or sold?], most notably including the 83 artifacts from Kawaihae (Forbes) Cave.

http://theartnewspaper.com/news/museums/turmoil-at-honolulu-s-bishop-museum-/

The Art Newspaper [London, England], International edition, July 25, 2016

Turmoil at Honolulu's Bishop Museum
Fears abound for the collection-rich, cash-poor Hawaiian institution

by GEORGINA ADAM

The Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum in Hawaii, which holds the world's largest and most important collection of cultural artefacts and natural history specimens from the Pacific Basin and Oceania, has seen some challenging times. Following a scandal over the alleged misuse of funds by its former director, the institution's finances remain perilous and researchers claim that much of the collection is inaccessible, leading to fears that some pieces might have disappeared.

Founded in 1889 by a local businessman, Charles Bishop, in memory of his wife, Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the private museum is a non-profit institution that relies primarily on earned revenue and contributions to sustain its programmes.

According to the museum's latest publicly available audited financial statements, from 2014, it has long-term debt of more than $7.5m. (A spokesman for the museum says: "As a private institution, the museum does not discuss its financial details.")

The museum's former director and chief executive Blair Collis implemented a controversial restructuring plan to balance the museum's books after he took over in 2011. But he stepped down in May after it emerged that there was questionable spending on his museum credit card. (Collins could not be reached for comment.) A search is on for his successor; the interim chief executive is LindaLee Kuuleilani Farm.

According to the Munich-based art dealer Daniel Blau, who has published books on Pacific culture, "access to the archives has been obstructed and in some cases even made impossible", despite repeated requests. Most of the museum's research staff has now gone, he says, after the museum converted them into contractors who were responsible for their own funding.

Meanwhile, some precious items in the collection have not been seen publicly for years, in particular a group of 83 native Hawaiian artefacts. The objects -- including wooden statuettes, tools and carved bowls -- were the subject of a complex custody battle after they were uncovered in caves in Kawaihae in the early 20th century. In 2000, the museum handed over the so-called "Forbes cave" artefacts to an association of native Hawaiians, who reburied them. But they were returned to the museum in 2006 as part of a settlement. According to local press reports, a number of Hawaiian organisations continue to maintain a claim to the objects.

Asked about lack of access to the collections, the museum spokesman says: "Bishop Museum's collections consist of more than 25 million items, including over 22 million biological specimens and more than two million cultural artefacts, derived from a legacy of research spanning more than 125 years. While not all collection items are on display, the museum leverages in-house exhibits and other avenues to showcase different artefacts as relevant opportunities arise." He denied that there was any plan "presently" to raise funds by selling some of the artefacts.


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Send comments or questions to:
Ken_Conklin@yahoo.com

LINKS

The Forbes cave controversy up until the NAGPRA Review Committee hearing in St. Paul, Minnesota, May 9-11, 2003 was originally described and documented at:
https://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/nagpraforbes.html

The conflict among Bishop Museum, Hui Malama, and several competing groups of claimants became so complex and contentious that the controversy was the primary focus of the semiannual national meeting of the NAGPRA Review Committee meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota May 9-11, 2003. A webpage was created to cover that meeting and followup events related to it. But the Forbes Cave controversy became increasingly complex and contentious, leading to public awareness of other related issues. By the end of 2004, the webpage focusing on the NAGPRA Review Committee meeting and its aftermath had become exceedingly large, at more than 250 pages with an index of 22 topics at the top. See:
https://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/nagpraforbesafterreview.html

This present webpage covers only the year 2016.

For coverage of events in 2005 (about 250 pages), see:

https://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/nagprahawaii2005.html

For year 2006 (about 150 pages), see:
https://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/nagprahawaii2006.html

For year 2007, another new webpage was created, following the same general format. See:
https://www.angelfire.com/planet/bigfiles40/nagprahawaii2007.html

For year 2008, another new webpage was created, following the same general format. See:
https://www.angelfire.com/planet/big60/nagprahawaii2008.html

For year 2009, another new webpage was created, following the same general format. See:
https://www.angelfire.com/big09a/nagprahawaii2009.html

For year 2010, another new webpage was created, following the same general format. See:
https://www.angelfire.com/big09a/nagprahawaii2010.html

For year 2011, another new webpage was created, following the same general format. See:
https://www.angelfire.com/big09/nagprahawaii2011.html

For year 2012, another new webpage was created, following the same general format. See:
https://www.angelfire.com/big09/nagprahawaii2012.html

For year 2013, another new webpage was created, following the same general format. See:
https://www.angelfire.com/big09/nagprahawaii2013.html

For year 2014, another new webpage was created, following the same general format. See:
https://www.angelfire.com/big09/nagprahawaii2014.html

For year 2015, another new webpage was created, following the same general format. See:
https://www.angelfire.com/big09/nagprahawaii2015.html

GO BACK TO: NAGPRA (Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act) as applied to Hawai'i -- Mokapu, Honokahua, Bishop Museum Ka'ai; Providence Museum Spear Rest; Forbes Cave Artifacts; the Hui Malama organization

OR

GO BACK TO OTHER TOPICS ON THIS WEBSITE