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Notice

Notice of Intent to Repatriate Cultural Items: U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement, Albuquerque, NM

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AGENCY:

National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION:

Notice.

Notice is here given in accordance with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), 43 CFR 10.8 (f), of the intent to repatriate cultural items in the possession of the U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement, Albuquerque, NM, that meet the definitions of sacred objects and cultural patrimony 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 within 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 within this notice.

The 20 cultural items are 2 pairs of small painted wooden paddles that are tied together with attached feathers, 2 wooden figures carved in the shape of birds, 1 decorated piece of wood or mongko, 14 stones that are carved in the shape of various animals and contained in leather bags, and 1 flat wooden figurine approximately 8 inches high.

During 1999 and 2000, the U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement, Albuquerque, NM, participated in an undercover investigation of several individuals believed to be engaged in the illegal trafficking of Native American cultural items. Federal agents purchased or seized several cultural items as part of the investigation. On September 10, 2002, Joshua Baer and Thomas Cavaliere each pled guilty to three counts of illegal trafficking of Native American cultural items obtained in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1170 (b). On January 3 and February 12, 2003, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico ordered that all items seized during the investigation be forfeited to the U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement, Albuquerque, NM, and repatriated to the culturally affiliated Indian tribes. The 20 cultural items are part of the items forfeited to the U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement, Albuquerque, NM.

The U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement, Albuquerque, NM, prepared a summary of the cultural items obtained during the investigation. The U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement, Albuquerque, NM, also consulted with representatives of the Hopi Tribe of Arizona; Navajo Nation, Arizona, New Mexico & Utah; Pueblo of Acoma, New Mexico; Pueblo of Jemez, New Mexico; Pueblo of Laguna, New Mexico; Pueblo of Santo Domingo, New Mexico; and Zuni Tribe of the Zuni Reservation, New Mexico.Representatives of the Hopi Tribe of Arizona identified the 20 cultural items as ceremonial objects needed for the practice of traditional religion. They identified the wooden paddles as needed to safeguard livestock. They identified the two wooden birds as altar figures. They identified the mongko as needed for ceremonies conducted by the Two Horn Society. They identified the 14 carved stones as beings used to treat a variety of ailments. They identified the flat wooden figurine as being worn in a particular religious ceremony. The representatives of the Hopi Tribe of Arizona identified all 20 cultural items as being of central importance to the Hopi Tribe of Arizona and its religious societies. The representatives of the Hopi Tribe of Arizona identified all 20 cultural items as communal property of the pueblo as a whole that could not be sold or given away by an individual.

Officials of the U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement, Albuquerque, NM, have determined that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (3)(C), the 20 cultural items 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 U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement, Albuquerque, NM, have determined that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (3)(D), the 20 cultural items also have ongoing historical, traditional, or cultural importance central to a Native American group or culture itself, rather than property owned by an individual. Officials of the U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement, Albuquerque, NM, 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 20 sacred objects/objects of cultural patrimony and the Hopi Tribe of Arizona.

Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes itself to be culturally affiliated with the sacred objects/objects of cultural patrimony should contact Special Agent Lucinda D. Schroeder, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4901 Paseo Del Norte, Albuquerque, NM 87113, telephone (505) 828-3064, before August 4, 2003. Repatriation of the sacred objects/objects of cultural patrimony to the Hopi Tribe of Arizona may proceed after that date if no additional claimants come forward.

The U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement, Albuquerque, NM, is responsible for notifying the Hopi Tribe of Arizona; Navajo Nation, Arizona, New Mexico & Utah; Pueblo of Acoma, New Mexico; Pueblo of Jemez, New Mexico; Pueblo of Laguna, New Mexico; Pueblo of Santo Domingo, New Mexico; and Zuni Tribe of the Zuni Reservation, New Mexico that this notice has been published.

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Dated: May 27, 2003.

John Robbins,

Assistant Director, Cultural Resources.

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[FR Doc. 03-16806 Filed 7-2-03; 8:45 am]

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