July 15, 2003
Catawba Indian Nation
P.O. Box 188
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.
S. Michelle Pounds
Chief Executive Officer
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