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Key points:. Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) language and intent incorporates an indigenous perspective in determining cultural affiliation.

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key points
Key points:
  • Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) language and intent incorporates an indigenous perspective in determining cultural affiliation.
  • The analysis provided by the UCSD NAGPRA ad hoc advisory committee report works structurally to exclude a Kumeyaay perspective, and ignores current interdisciplinary methodology.
  • UCSD is using the finding of “culturally unidentifiable” and the systemwide NAGPRA committee to improperly avoid repatriation.
kcrc claim chancellor s house burials
KCRC ClaimChancellor’s House Burials
  • 1976 field excavation under Professor Gail Kennedy of UCLA with a student crew from CSU-Northridge.
  • Double burial found intact and in remarkably good condition: a male, aged 33-44, and a female, aged 40-54. The two were on their sides in a reversed, flexed position…”
  • Calibrated dates from the Pretoria radiocarbon lab for the remains fall between 8,977 and 9,603 years B.P. Represents some of the earliest known human remains from either North or South America.
what is cultural affiliation
What is cultural affiliation?

NAGPRA 43 C.F.R. 10.2 (e)

  • A relationship of shared group identity which can reasonably be traced historically or prehistorically between members of a present-day Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization and an identifiable earlier group.
  • Established when the preponderance of the evidence reasonably leads to such a conclusion.
  • Types of evidence: geographical, kinship, biological, archeological, linguistic, folklore, oral tradition, historical evidence, or other information or expert opinion.
criteria for cultural affiliation all of the following requirements must be met
Criteria for cultural affiliationAll of the following requirements must be met:

NAGPRA 43 C.F.R. 10.14 (c)

  • (1) Existence of an identifiable present-day Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization with standing
  • (2) Evidence of the existence of an identifiable earlier group.
  • (3) Evidence of the existence of a shared group identity that can be reasonably traced between the present-day and the earlier group.
    • Evidence to support this requirement must establish that a present-day Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization has been identified from prehistoric or historic times to the present as descending from the earlier group.
minority position the problem of descent
Minority position: the problem of descent

NAGPRA 43 C.F.R. 10.14 (d) (f)

  • (d) A finding of cultural affiliation should be based upon an overall evaluation of the totality of the circumstances and evidence pertaining to the connection between the claimant and the material being claimed and should not be precluded solely because of some gaps in the record.
  • (f) Standard of proof. Lineal descent of a present-day individual from an earlier individual and cultural affiliation of a present-day Indian tribe to human remains must be established by a preponderance of the evidence. Claimants do not have to establish cultural affiliation with scientific certainty.
cultural not biological
cultural, not biological
  • Kumeyaay use of the area predates European settler society by a millennium.
  • Agreed upon map of Kumeyaay occupation and cultural influence.
  • Kumeyaay avow a deep sense of personal and communal responsibility for the recovery and proper reburial of all human remains of people who predate European settler society.
  • Their approach towards the dead is documented in
    • early Spanish accounts of the Kumeyaay
    • anthropological literature of the last century+ .
  • Cultural imperative expressed collectively by the KCRC through appointed repatriation representatives from each Kumeyaay tribe in San Diego County.
cultural not biological descent
cultural, not biologicaldescent
  • Cultural argument: Kumeyaay are the inheritors of the culture of the preceding population through a process of interaction that may never be precisely "scientifically" known. Took on responsibility towards this region and its peoples.
  • Evaluation: interdisciplinary analysis of NAGPRA categories of evidence to address whether Kumeyaay cultural world view expresses “shared identity” to “identifiable early group”. Does NOT include the scientific value of the remains!
culturally unidentifiable at this time
“Culturally unidentifiable at this time”
  • We readily concede that an absence of evidence for cultural affiliation is not equivalent to affirmative evidence for non-affiliation.
  • Five hundred generations of intervening time leave ample room for numerous episodes of genetic drift and decisive, even fundamental, cultural innovations and shifts.
  • The highly imperfect and incomplete record of temporal sequencing of archaeological remains contains little to argue for or against such affiliation.
  • Simply stated, our finding is that there is not a significant preponderance of evidence to support an affirmation of cultural identification or affiliation with any modern group.
slide9

“must establish that a present-day Indian tribe has been identified from prehistoric times to the present as descending from the earlier group”

  • The Folklore and Oral Tradition can be interpreted in several ways; but it is not possible, at least at this time, to establish the time depth to which these traditions apply and how they relate, if at all, to the individuals who lived in the region 10,000 years ago.
  • Cultural identity cannot be proved or disproved on the basis of folklore and oral tradition at a level beyond 2,000 years in the absence of written records, to the best of our knowledge.
slide10

“must establish that a present-day Indian tribe has been identified from prehistoric times to the present as descending from the earlier group”

  • Hokan is the oldest linguistic phylum among western North American languages with a time depth of ca. 8,000 years.
  • Most of the other language families of California show substratal influence from one or more Hokan languages.
  • However, the Yuman family of eight closely related languages diversified within the last two millennia.
slide11

“must establish that a present-day Indian tribe has been identified from prehistoric times to the present as descending from the earlier group”

  • In sum, the genetic evidence thus far argues for an original peopling of North America around 15,000 years ago with rapid population expansion followed by isolation of local populations, presumably adapted to their specific environments.
  • The combination of linguistic and genetic evidence argues for an ancient immigration (late Pleistocene or early Holocene) of the proto-Chumash along the Pacific Coast with settlement perhaps throughout central and southern California,
  • followed by influxes of Hokan speakers, with subsequent movement of Uto-Aztecan and Yuman speakers into the region during the middle to late Holocene.
slide12

“must establish that a present-day Indian tribe has been identified from prehistoric times to the present as descending from the earlier group”

  • The Late Prehistoric pattern of San Diego is generally considered to have started between 1300 and 800 B.P.
  • Artifacts include small pressure-flaked projectile points with the introduction of the bow and arrow, inhumations are replaced with cremations, and ceramic technology appeared. Subsistence changes involved acorn processing and a shift to smaller resources that were more numerous.
  • The appearance of new traits (particularly cremations, ceramics, and the bow and arrow) occurred earlier in the east than the west and very late or minimally on the coast.
  • It appears likely that these technologies and customs spread westward with the Yuman speakers ancestral to the Kumeyaay.
key points13
Key points:
  • Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) language and intent incorporates an indigenous perspective in determining cultural affiliation.
  • The analysis provided by the UCSD NAGPRA ad hoc advisory committee report works structurally to exclude a Kumeyaay perspective, and ignores current interdisciplinary methodology.
  • UCSD is using the finding of “culturally unidentifiable” and the systemwide NAGPRA committee to improperly avoid repatriation.