The Sheldon Museum is introducing the Chilkat Valley Study and Discussion Group. This new...
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For over 80 years, hundreds of polar bear skulls from St. Lawrence Island have been sitting in the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
Now, under NAGPRA, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, the artifacts may be returning to the tribe that buried them.
Between the 1930’s and 1950’s Dr. Otto Geist—who was at the time affiliated with the University of Alaska Fairbanks— excavated hundreds of animal bones, mostly polar bear skulls, from human burial sites on St. Lawrence Island.
The oldest artifacts, according to a notice by the National Park Service, date from about 200 B.C. to 500 A.D and derive from the Old Bering Sea culture of the island. Many bones were taken from the grave of the hunter and whaler Kawarin. The remaining bones were extracted from the Kukulik Eskimo burial mound.
Because the items were removed from burial sites, they classify as funerary objects. And though their extraction at the time was legal, the 1990 passage of NAGPRA gives the tribes and lineal decedents associated with the items the right to claim ownership of the objects. And this week, after several years of historical, genealogical, and oral history research by the Bureau of Land Management and the American Natural History Museum, the BLM is contacting the objects’ associated entities—descendents and the Native Village of Gambell and the Native Village of Savoonga— with the option of repatriating the artifacts.
Robert King, BLM Alaska State NAGPRA Coordinator, says about a dozen similar repatriations have occurred in Alaska under NAGPRA. And this process, King say, is not only “respectful,” but “healing.”
“It’s a recognition that tribes and individuals, they connect to a specific sets of either human remains or burial objects or sacred items or items of cultural patrimony,” King said.
According to a National Park Service notice, no human remains were removed during these excavations.
Since Hurricane Katrina, the hated rodents have flourished in piles of trash and blighted buildings. But when simply setting traps didn't work, city officials decided to take a more methodical approach to rat control. They're attacking the problems that invite the rats — and they're winning.
Inflation in Venezuela — which has hit 54 percent this year — is among the world's highest. Basic goods like toilet paper and milk are out of reach for the average consumer. Presidential orders for business owners to empty their warehouses and slash prices are delighting shoppers, but dismaying shop owners.
In the male-dominated world of cars and trucks, Mary Barra put herself into the driver's seat. On Tuesday, General Motors chose Barra, the daughter of a Pontiac plant worker, to become its new chief executive. Analysts say she may bring fresh ideas about how to sell autos to women.
Far from the glitz of South Beach or the tourist mecca of the Magic Kingdom is northern Florida. It stretches from the Gulf coast, through pine forests, to Jacksonville on the Atlantic. Information about Obamacare can be hard to come by for residents, many of whom are working poor and could benefit from the law.
Canada’s Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said today that Canada will make a claim to the North Pole, but has not finished the science around its Arctic seabed.
Baird and Canadian environment minister Leona Aglukkaq, who also chairs the Arctic Council, made public Canada’s claim to the extended continental shelf in the Arctic, in a press conference in the foyer of the House of Commons.
“We have asked our officials and scientists to do additional work and necessary work to ensure that a submission for the full extent of the continental shelf in the Arctic includes Canada’s claim to the North Pole,” said Baird.
The ministers explained the country’s scientific submission to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf.
This submission includes claims to both the Atlantic and Arctic seabeds. There is no extended continental shelf Canada can claim in the Pacific Ocean.
While the science on the Atlantic is complete, the government is only presenting “preliminary information” on its Arctic claim.
The findings outline Canada’s claim to the seabed and undersea bed beyond the 200-nautical-mile Exclusive Economic Zone, which would extend Canada’s ownership of natural resources in the area.
“Fundamentally, we are drawing the last lines of Canada. We are defending our sovereignty,” explained Aglukkaq.
The submission is part of Canada’s responsibilities as a signatory to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Canada’s western Arctic is rich in resources and communities keen to participate in responsible development.
But tapping into the economic potential of the region, which includes the Yukon and Northwest Territories, remains a challenge. Particularly when it comes to transportation and infrastructure.
The independent Canadian think-tank The Centre for International Governance Innovation (or CIGI) , recently held a workshop in Canada’s Northwest Territories to explore some of these questions.
Titled “Western Canadian Arctic Marine Transport and Governance Roundtable,” the workshop explored some of the shipping challenges Canada faces its northwestern-most regions.
“If I look at the bottle half full, you’ll see the enormous human resources that we have up in the Arctic,” says CIGI’s John Higginbotham.
“You’ll see some promising signs of work in the federal government in this area in some projects. You’ll see the vigor of the private sector in the surprising and welcome transit by the Nordic Orion of the Northwest Passage… So that’s the bottle half full.”
However, Canada has a lot of work left to do if it wants to compete with other circumpolar countries, he says.
“The bottle half empty is when you compare the scale and speed and resources and programs and policy direction that you see in Norway and Russia in terms of very large national efforts they’re putting into Arctic development. We really are not in that league at the moment.”
The once-sleepy tourist town of Noel, Mo., in the heart of the Ozark mountains, is now home to hundreds of immigrants and newly arrived refugees, thanks largely to the huge Tyson Food, Inc., poultry plant. And since the town lacks the infrastructure to serve these new residents, schools have become the de facto safety net.
The latest installment in the Hobbit movie trilogy opens this week. And some hard-core fans plan to celebrate not just with a marathon screening of the Lord of The Ring films that came before it, but with a full day of feasting — seven meals, hobbit-style. We offer up a sample menu.
Debate coach Dan Ortiz and student Evan Wick speak about the upcoming Debate, Drama and Forensics meet at Kayhi. They are still looking for judges. Debate