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7/15/03 Letter to Catawba Indian Nation
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July 15, 2003

 

 

Catawba Indian Nation

P.O. Box 188
Catawba, SC 29704

 

                        Re:       Repatriation of Human Remains

 

To Whom It May Concern:

 

            The Carolina Indian Heritage Association (CIHA), in the interest of all native tribal groups in South Carolina, hereby wishes to make claim to all Native American Human Remains and objects that are held by South Carolina Museums.

 

            In accordance with Public Law 101-601, Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) 1990, Section 3, OWNERSHIP, (e) RELINQUISHMENT, reads;

 

"Nothing in this section shall prevent the governing body of an Indian Tribe or Native Hawaiian organization from expressly relinquishing control over any Native American human remains, or title to or control over any funerary object, or sacred object."

 

            Although inventories have been completed for the Native American human remains and objects held by South Carolina museums, little interest has been expressed in claiming them by any federal or state recognized Native American Tribe.  As NAGPRA provides for federally-recognized Tribes to relinquish title and claim to such remains and objects, we respectfully request that the Catawba Indian Nation relinquish any all claim to CIHA.

 

            In NAGPRA, Section 7, REPATRIATION, (a) REPATRIATION OF NATIVE AMERICAN HUMAN REMAINS AND OBJECTS POSSESSED OR CONTROLLED BY FEDERAL AGENCIES AND MUSEUMS, reads;

 

(4) Where the cultural affiliation of Native American human remains and funerary objects has not been established in an inventory then, upon request... such Native American human remains and funerary objects shall be expeditiously returned where the requesting Indian Tribe of Native Hawaiian organization can show cultural affiliation by a preponderance of the evidence

 

 

 

            The Catawba Indian Nation are an "Indian Tribe" as defined by NAGPRA, SECTION 2, DEFINITIONS, (7) INDIAN TRIBE.  The Catawba Indian Nation, as well as several non-federally recognized tribes in South Carolina is, by a preponderance of the evidence, surely the lineal descendants of those Native Americans represented by the human remains held by our state's museums. 

 

            We respectfully request that the Catawba Indian Nation relinquish title to those human remains and objects, so that CIHA can make claim to these remains and objects, and begin a statewide effort to initiate the long awaited Repatriation involving all South Carolina tribal representatives.

 

                                                                        Sincere ly,

 

 

 

                                                                        S. Michelle Pounds

                                                                        Chief Executive Officer

 

 

MP/ms

cc:        National NAGPRA Program
            National Park Service
            1849 C Street, N.W. 2253
            Washington, D.C. 20240

 

            Jonathan M. Leader, State Archeologist

            1321 Pendleton Street

            Columbia, SC 29208