Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Governmental policies and the preservation and display of Native American cultural resources in the middle Columbia Basin Public Deposited

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  • Prior to advent of Europeans in the Pacific Northwest, the Middle Columbia River Basin was the location of highly developed native cultures. For centuries it was the center of very important native trade networks that extended over western North America and a site of important intertribal rituals relating to renewal of natural and food resources. It possessed remarkably rich cultural resources which are part of our national heritage and trust. Today the Pacific Northwest Region is the locus of 53 dam's which have inundated former villages, fishing grounds, and prehistoric sites of Indian people. This is especially true along the Columbia River. The construction of The Dalles Dam in 1952 instituted prior removal of approximately forty of the 450 prehistoric petroglyphs along the banks of the Long Narrows and Celilo Falls, just east of The Dalles, Oregon. Following the removal of these native works of art, they were stored at The Dalles Dam site where they have remained for twenty-seven years. The situation of the petroglyphs prompted the question of who is responsible for their care, preservation, and proper interpretation. Research was conducted to examine pertinent federal and state policies as revealed in laws, regulations, executive orders, and in the actions and statements of public officials whose responsibilities relate to cultural resources. It was determined that laxity in enforcement of the Federal Antiquities Act of 1906 allows the petroglyphs to have remained in obscurity over the years and to never have been properly cared for or interpreted in a scientific or educational context. A review of the history of antiquities legislation and directives clearly shows that such a circumstance could not happen today because of more stringent regulations and enforcement procedures. Interviews with today's public officials reveal that they are fully aware of present legal responsibilities and requirements and that they are sympathetic to any private efforts to properly install and display The Dalles petroglyphs. Research further reveals, however, that public officials claim no responsibility or jurisdiction over the petroglyphs, nor are they inclined to assume leadership or to pursue jurisdiction in order to deal with clearly correctible omissions of past regulations and procedures.
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