[Federal Register: January 19, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 12)]
[Page 2542-2543]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of Draft Report of Findings Under the 
Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act on a Feathered 
Headdress in the Possession of the Department of the Interior, Fish and 
Wildlife Service, Washington, DC

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given in accordance with provisions of the 
Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) of the 
availability of the Report of Findings on a feathered headdress in the 
possession of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and in the 
control of the Department of the Interior (DOI). This notice is given 
so that the Service may continue to fulfill its obligations under 
NAGPRA by distributing its findings for review by all interested 
parties. Copies of this report have already been provided to the 
requesting Tribes.

DATES: We must receive comments by February 20, 2007.

ADDRESSES: Please submit written comments to the Assistant Director, 
National Wildlife Refuge System, 1849 C Street, NW., Washington, DC 
20240, attention: Eugene Marino or by FAX (703) 358-2517.

Archaeologist, (703) 358-2173.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The object in question is a feathered 
headdress that was forfeited to the United States Government in 
November 2001 as part of a guilty plea agreement resulting from an 
attempt to sell it in violation of Sections 703 and 707(a) of the 
Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 U.S.C. 703-711). After consulting with 
various parties, the United States District Court for the Eastern 
District of Pennsylvania ruled that the forfeited object would be 
turned over to the Department of the Interior for care and disposition 
under the Native Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), 25 
U.S.C. 3001, et seq., and as codified in 43 CFR 10.8. The headdress is 
ornamented with golden eagle feathers and is now under the control of 
the DOI and in the possession of the Service.
    An initial assessment of the object indicates that it was likely 
manufactured during the first decade of the 20th Century. Documentation 
submitted to the Court during the trial alleges that the headdress was 
manufactured for use in ``The Last Pow-Wow,'' a gathering of tribal 
chiefs, which occurred in 1907 in Collinsville, Indian Territory, which 
is now the State of Oklahoma. The Comanche Chief Quannah Parker 
purportedly offered the headdress to the Apache Chief Geronimo for use 
during the event. Other documentation submitted for the Court's 
consideration alleges that Chief

[[Page 2543]]

Geronimo took possession of the headdress and subsequently gave it to 
his Government escort, Jack Moore, as an act of friendship. After 
Geronimo's death in 1909, Jack Moore allegedly gave the headdress to an 
acquaintance, whose family retained the object until an attempt was 
made to sell it illegally in 1999.
    The Report of Findings documents the review of the headdress under 
NAGPRA for two claims received, one by the Comanche Nation and the 
other by the Mescalero Apache.
    The Report notes that for the Comanche Nation, the preponderance of 
evidence submitted to the Service does not indicate a relationship of 
shared group identity between the present day tribe--the Comanche 
Nation--and an identifiable earlier group--the Chiricahua Apache--with 
whom the headdress is associated [43 CFR 10.2 (4) and (4e)]. Given the 
inability of the Comanche to provide evidence supporting their 
assertion of cultural affiliation, the Service is unable to evaluate 
their claim for the headdress as an object of cultural patrimony under 
    The report notes that for the Mescalero Apache, the preponderance 
of evidence submitted to the Service does indicate a relationship of 
shared group identity between an identifiable earlier group--the 
Chiricahua Apache--with whom the headdress is associated [43 CFR 10.2 4 
and e] and the Mescalero Apache--the present day tribe culturally 
affiliated to the object.
    The Service evaluation of the headdress as an object of cultural 
patrimony for the Mescalero Apache finds that the headdress does not 
meet the definition of an object of cultural patrimony under NAGPRA (43 
CFR 10.4). Evidence provided to support the request connects the 
headdress to Geronimo--a member of the Chiricahua Apache--and asserts 
that the headdress was `constructed' solely for distribution to 
attendees of the 1907 Pow Wow and was given to Geronimo in that 
    The Service continues to manage the object as a forfeited item and 
has not accessioned it into the Service's Museum Property inventory. 
Although evidence collected as part of the NAGPRA Report of Findings 
does not support a decision to repatriate the headdress to the 
Mescalero Apache or Comanche Nation as an ``object of cultural 
patrimony,'' the Service intends to transfer the headdress to both 
Tribes following procedures under 50 CFR Subpart D 12.33. This 
regulation permits the donation of forfeited items for scientific, 
educational, or public display purposes to any person who demonstrates 
the ability to provide adequate care and security for the object. A 
2003 Compromise and Settlement Agreement signed by both Tribes 
stipulates terms of care and security for the object that follow 
standards established by the American Association of Museums (AAM). The 
Service finds this agreement to be satisfactory to ensuring the 
necessary level of care and security for the headdress as required 
under 50 CFR part 12.
    The announcement of this report makes available our draft findings 
for review by interested parties and continues to fulfill the Service's 
requirements under NAGPRA and announces our intentions for disposition.

     Dated: January 9, 2007.
Kenneth Stansell,
Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
 [FR Doc. E7-759 Filed 1-18-07; 8:45 am]