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Detail of Plateau Bag (NMNH catalog no. E204234)

Executive Summary

Inventory and Assessment of Human Remains from Crooked Creek, Alaska, in the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution

Region: Alaska
Cultural Affiliation: Crooked Creek, Alaska


This report provides an inventory and assessment of human remains from Crooked Creek, Alaska, in the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), Smithsonian Institution (SI). The repatriation request was submitted on November 24, 2007, by the Crooked Creek Traditional Council on behalf of Evelyn Thomas.  These remains were requested for repatriation to Evelyn Thomas as a lineal descendant.  The NMNH Guidelines and Procedures for Repatriation give priority to the repatriation of individuals, whose names are known, to their lineal descendants. 
This report documents the remains of one individual in a single catalog number in the NMNH.  No funerary objects were identified in the collections of the NMNH as associated with this individual.  In 1930, the remains of an adult female were removed from a grave at Crooked Creek, Alaska by Aleš Hrdlička, NMNH curator of Physical Anthropology.  The remains were accessioned into the collections of the NMNH and cataloged in the Division of Physical Anthropology under number P351322. 

These remains could not be positively identified as those of a lineal ancestor of Evelyn Thomas either under the common law system of descendence or by a traditional method of reckoning kinship.  It is likely that these remains are that of a relative of Ms. Thomas, but the exact identity of this individual and the relationship to Ms. Thomas could not be determined.  The preponderance of evidence revealed that the remains are culturally affiliated with the Native Village of Crooked Creek.  It was recommended that these remains be offered for repatriation to the Native Village of Crooked Creek and that Evelyn Thomas be notified of these findings. 

Repatriation Update
The remains from Crooked Creek, Alaska were repatriated to the Native Village of Crooked Creek on March 18, 2009.

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Smithsonian Institute - National Mueseum of Natural History