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Detail of Plateau Bag (NMNH catalog no. E204234)
Executive Summary
Inventory and Assessment of Human Remains and Objects from Southeast Washington Northeast Oregon in the National Museum of Natural History
Region: Plateau
Associated Cultures: Colville, Klickitat, Palouse, Sinkayuse, Umatilla, Walla-Walla, Wanapum, Wenatchee, Yakama

2004
In accordance with the National Museum of the American Indian Act, as amended, 20 U.S.C. 80q et seq., this report provides an inventory and assessment of the human remains and funerary objects from southeast Washington and northeast Oregon in the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH). Documentation of the remains and funerary objects was initiated in 1992 by former Repatriation Office Case Officer Dr. Tamara Bray in response to requests from several Columbia Plateau tribes and groups for the return of all culturally affiliated human remains and funerary objects.

Under the National Museum of the American Indian Act, cultural affiliation is the basis for the repatriation of human remains and funerary objects. Cultural affiliation is defined as a relationship of shared group identity that can reasonably be traced from an earlier identifiable group to a present-day tribe. The law also establishes preponderance of evidence as the standard by which determinations of cultural affiliation are made. This report summarizes available information bearing on the cultural affiliation of physical anthropological and archaeological collections from southeast Washington and northeast Oregon. The information includes ethnological, ethnohistorical, archaeological, historical, oral historical, osteological, geographical, archival and linguistic evidence that is relevant to determining the cultural affiliation of the collections in question.

The collections from the following sites in Washington and Oregon are addressed in this report and are sequenced geographically from north to south.

An estimated 71 individuals within 64 catalog numbers are addressed in this report. The remains of one individual were recovered from the Wenatchee River in Chelan County, Washington. These remains are found to be affiliated with the Wenatchee, part of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. It is recommended that they be offered for return to the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.

In Chelan County, Washington, a copper pendant and a metal-plated button were collected from Near Wenatchee. These funerary items are found to be culturally affiliated with the Wenatchee, and it is recommended that they be offered for return to the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.

One lot of mat fragments and one lot of fused glass beads were recovered from a site Near Trinidad in Grant County, Washington. These funerary objects are found to be culturally affiliated with the Sinkayuse, part of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, and it is recommended that they be offered for return to the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.

In Kittitas County, Washington, nine stone beads and 72 incised shell beads were recovered from a grave Across from Whiskey Dick Canyon . These funerary objects are found to be culturally affiliated with the Sinkayuse, and it is recommended that they be offered for return to the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.

Also in Grant County, three objects were recovered from the Simmons Graveyard site. At present, there is insufficient information to determine the cultural affiliation of these items, and it is recommended that the museum retain them until additional information becomes available.

The human remains of four individuals and 737 funerary objects were recovered from Vantage Ferry, Kittitas County, Washington. The human remains and associated funerary objects from Vantage Ferry are culturally affiliated with the Sinkayuse, and it is recommended that they be offered for return to the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.

The skeletal remains of eleven individuals represented in six catalog numbers were excavated from the Wahluke site, along with 486 funerary objects. These remains and funerary objects are equally likely to be affiliated with the Yakama and the Walla Walla, now part of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, and Wanapum. A non-treaty Wanapum band continues to reside on their traditional lands near Priest Rapids; the other groups were relocated to the Yakama Reservation and are members of the Yakama Indian Nation. It is recommended that they be offered for joint return to the Yakama Indian Nation and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. The non-treaty Wanapum band near Priest Rapids should be notified of this recommendation.

A stone biface was collected from Near Pasco in Franklin County, Washington. The biface lacks sufficient information to determine its cultural affiliation, and it is recommended that the museum retain this object until more information becomes available.

The remains of a single individual were removed from the Yakima Reservation. These remains are found to be affiliated with the Yakama, and it is recommended that they be offered for return to the Yakama Indian Nation (1).

From Benton County, Washington, the remains of one individual were recovered from Bateman Island. This individual is equally likely to be culturally affiliated with the Walla Walla and the Yakama Indian Nation. It is recommended that these remains be offered for joint return to the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and to the Yakama Indian Nation.

The remains of one individual were recovered from Wenas Creek in Yakima County, Washington, is found to be affiliated with the Yakama, and is offered for return to the Yakama Indian Nation.

Nine funerary objects were found at Timmerman's Ferry, also in Benton County, Washington, including two pestles, stone blades, a copper pendant, a shell pendant, and some worked shell. These objects are equally likely to be culturally affiliated with the Walla Walla and the Yakama Indian Nation. It is recommended that they be offered for joint return to the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and to the Yakama Indian Nation.

In Benton County, Washington, 16 funerary objects (three stone tools, five stone projectile points, seven brass buttons, and one pendant) were collected from Homly Island and are present at the NMNH. These funerary objects are found to be culturally affiliated with the Walla Walla, and it is recommended that they be offered for return to the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

Ten individuals in nine catalog numbers and 113 funerary objects were recovered from the Page Mound site in Franklin County, Washington. These remains and the funerary objects are equally likely to be culturally affiliated with either the Palouse, part of the Yakama Indian Nation and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, or the Walla Walla, part of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. It is recommended that they be offered for joint return to the Yakama Indian Nation, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. In addition, the non-treaty Palouse, represented by Ms. Mary Jim Chapman, have expressed an interest in these remains and should be notified of this recommendation.

One individual was recovered from Rabbit Island, and one individual was recovered from Goat Island, Benton County, Washington. These remains are found to be culturally affiliated with the Walla Walla and it is recommended that these remains be offered for return to the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

The human skeletal remains of 33 individuals in 31 catalogs and 758 funerary objects were excavated from Berrian's Island in Benton County, Washington. The remains and funerary objects from Berrian's Island are equally likely to be affiliated with the Umatilla, Walla Walla, and Wanapum. A non-treaty Wanapum band continues to reside on their traditional lands near Priest Rapids; the other groups were relocated to the Yakama Reservation and are members of the Yakama Indian Nation. It is recommended that they be jointly offered for return to the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and the Yakama Indian Nation. The non-treaty Wanapum band near Priest Rapids should be notified of this recommendation.

One individual was excavated from site 35UM00 in Umatilla County, Oregon. The remains have been found to be affiliated with Walla Walla or Umatilla. It is recommended that they be offered for return to the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation

One individual was excavated from site 35UM20 in Umatilla County, Oregon. These remains have been found to be culturally affiliated with the Umatilla, and it is recommended that they be offered for return to the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

Eight beads, ten scrapers, and one digging stick handle were collected from Blalock Island, Benton County, Washington. These funerary objects are found to be culturally affiliated with the Walla Walla, and it is recommended that they be offered for return to the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

A single pipe was collected from an unknown location along the Columbia River. The pipe lacks sufficient information to determine its cultural affiliation, and it is recommended that the museum retain this object until more information becomes available.

A wooden grave marker was collected from a talus slope in the Saddle Mountains, Grant County, Washington. This funerary object is found to be culturally affiliated with the Walla Walla and Wanapum. A non-treaty Wanapum band continues to reside on their traditional lands near Priest Rapids; the other groups were relocated to the Yakama Reservation and are members of the Yakama Indian Nation. It is recommended that it be jointly offered for return to the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation and the Yakama Indian Nation. The non-treaty Wanapum band near Priest Rapids should be notified of this recommendation.

A stone mortar was collected from Umatilla County. This object is found to be culturally affiliated with the Umatilla, and it is recommended that it be offered for return to the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

Three projectile points were collected from an unknown location along the Deschutes River. There is no further information in the museum records and it is recommended that the museum retain these objects at this time.

Projectile points, a scraper and a pestle were recovered from Atlatl Valley, Klickitat County, Washington. At the present time, there is insufficient information to indicate that these objects are funerary, and it is recommended that the museum retain these objects at this time until more information becomes available.

A single cranium from an unknown location in Washington was transferred to the museum in 1898 from the Army Medical Museum. Due to lack of provenience information, it is not possible to affiliate the cranium and it is recommended that the museum retain the cranium at this time.

Three crania from the George Catlin Collection were accessioned by the museum, transferred to the Army Medical Museum, and then transferred back to the museum. One of the crania is found to be affiliated with the Klickitat, and is being offered for return to the Yakama Indian Nation. There is insufficient information to determine cultural affiliation for the other two crania, and it is recommended that the museum retain them at this time.

Two partial crania from Washington were transferred from the Army Medical Museum to the museum in 1898. Since there is very little information regarding these individuals in the museum records, there is insufficient information to determine their cultural affiliation and it is recommended that the museum retain them at this time.

Objects collected from the Mouth of the Walla Walla River by Herbert Krieger were requested for return, but there is no information in museum records to indicate that these objects are funerary and it is recommended that they be retained by the museum.

A collection of objects from the Walla Walla River, received from G.C. Green of Oregon, has very little information associated with the collection. There is nothing to indicate that these objects are funerary and it is recommended that they be retained by the museum.

Objects in accession 48682 referred to as being from Below Kennewick, received from C. W. Wiegel of Kennewick, Washington, were requested for return. There is no further provenience or other information in museum records to indicate that these objects are funerary and it is recommended that they be retained by the museum.

Repatriation Update
All culturally affiliated human remains and funerary objects discussed in this report were repatriated jointly to the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, the Confderated Tribes of the Umatillia Indian Reservation, the Wanapim Band, the Nez Perce Tribe, and the Confederated Tribes of the Yakima Nation on May 10, 2005.

1. The spelling of Yakama as used by the Yakama Indian Nation derives from the 1855 treaty; the city and county in Washington, however, are spelled Yakima.

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