Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sacred Objects To Be Returned to Native American Pueblo of Santa Ana

Officials of the Intermountain Region have determined that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(3)(C), the three 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 Intermountain Region 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 Pueblo of Santa Ana, New Mexico.

Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes itself to be culturally affiliated with the sacred objects should contact Dave Ruppert, NAGPRA Coordinator, NPS Intermountain Region, 12795 West Alameda Parkway, Lakewood, CO 80228, telephone (303) 969-2879, before August 22, 2008. Repatriation of the sacred objects to the Pueblo of Santa Ana, New Mexico may proceed after that date if no additional claimants come forward.

In 1994, the National Park Service assisted the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service with the investigation of a Migratory Bird Treaty Act violation. The evidence included a collection of Native American objects confiscated from the East-West Trading Post in Santa Fe, NM. Preliminary subject matter expert review of the collection indicated that the objects were historically significant and potentially subject to the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. The collection was accessioned in 2002 into the Southwest Regional Office collections, now called the Intermountain Region Office. The three cultural items covered in this notice are one bundle with carved bird, shell, and eagle feather; one bundle with eagle feathers; and one carved bird with beads.

Following adjudication of the case, a detailed assessment of the objects was made by Intermountain Region (IMIR) NAGPRA program staff in close collaboration with the IMIR Museum Services program staff and in consultation with representatives of potentially affiliated tribes. During consultation, representatives of the Pueblo of Santa Ana, New Mexico, identified the cultural items as specific ceremonial objects needed by traditional Pueblo of Santa Ana religious leaders for the practice of a traditional Native American religion by their present-day adherents. Oral tradition evidence presented by representatives of the Pueblo of Santa Ana, New Mexico, and the written repatriation request received by the Intermountain Region further articulated the ceremonial significance of the cultural items to the Pueblo of Santa Ana, New Mexico. Based on anthropological information, court case documentation, oral tradition, museum records, consultation evidence, and expert opinion, there is a cultural affiliation between the Pueblo of Santa Ana, New Mexico, and the three sacred objects.

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