Tag Archives: Human Remains

Memo: No Native American Artifacts or Remains Found at Dakota Access Pipeline Site

File photo of protesters of the Dakota Access Pipeline looking over a fence on top of a hill on the west side of the Missouri River at pipeline construction crews as they work on the other side of the river on Aug. 16, 2016. Christopher Juhn for MPR News File

File photo of protesters of the Dakota Access Pipeline looking over a fence on top of a hill on the west side of the Missouri River at pipeline construction crews as they work on the other side of the river on Aug. 16, 2016. Christopher Juhn for MPR News File

Draft Memo: No artifacts, remains found

The Associated Press · Sep 27, 2016

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota state inspection of an oil pipeline site has found no sign of the Native American artifacts or human remains that an American Indian Tribe says are present, the state’s chief archaeologist said in a draft memo.

The Standing Rock Sioux tribe had cited the potential for burial grounds and other artifacts as a major reason to lead protests that have stymied completion of the project.

Chief Archaeologist Paul Picha said in the memo first published Monday by conservative blogger Rob Port that seven state archeologists inspected the 1.3-mile section along the route of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline in southern North Dakota. The memo said only some animal teeth and bone fragments were found during the survey last week.

Historical Society spokeswoman Kim Jondahl confirmed the contents of the memo but said it was “a first draft of an internal summary.” She declined to say how the draft differed from later versions.

In early September, Standing Rock Sioux officials said crews bulldozed several sites of “significant cultural and historic value” on private land, which Dallas-based pipeline builder Energy Transfer Partners denies. It led to a clash between protesters and private security guards hired by the pipeline company. Law enforcement officials said four security guards and two guard dogs received medical treatment, while a tribal spokesman countered that six people were bitten by guard dogs and at least 30 people were pepper-sprayed.

The Morton County Sheriff’s Department is heading up the probe of the Sept. 3 incident at the construction site near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.

In an incident on Sunday, Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier says about 200 people confronted about 30 security guards at a construction site. The sheriff says all but three security guards left the construction site. The sheriff says law enforcement officers witnessed one of the security guards being carried by protesters for about 100 yards. The guard was treated for minor injuries by paramedics. No arrests were made.

Picha did not return telephone calls Monday about the memo. The state Historical Society and the Morton County Sheriff’s Department declined to release the memo, saying it was part of an ongoing investigation by law enforcement.

The clash between security guards and protesters on Sept. 3 came one day after the tribe filed court papers saying it found burials, rock piles called cairns and other sites of historic significance to Native Americans along the pipeline’s path.

Tribal preservation officer Tim Mentz said in court documents that the tribe was only recently allowed to survey private land, which is now owned by the pipeline company.

Standing Rock Sioux tribal members could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.

But Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II has said previously that construction crews removed topsoil across an area about 150 feet wide stretching for 2 miles.

“This demolition is devastating,” Archambault said. “These grounds are the resting places of our ancestors. The ancient cairns and stone prayer rings there cannot be replaced. In one day, our sacred land has been turned into hollow ground.”



Female Human Remains Found In Saskatoon Identified


Remains found in Saskatoon earlier this month identified

CTV Saskatoon is reporting that human remains found earlier this month have been identified, according to Saskatoon police.

The female remains were recovered Nov. 14 after police received information four days earlier that led to their discovery.

Police have yet to release details on where the remains were found, but said in a media release Thursday the coroner’s office, a forensic anthropologist, RCMP cold case investigators and Corman Park police officers all helped Saskatoon police excavate the area.

An autopsy was conducted after the remains were recovered and a recent DNA test confirmed her identity.

Saskatoon police major crimes and missing persons investigators have since been working to determine the circumstances surrounding her disappearance and death, the police media release stated.

Her name has yet to be released.

Remains Found At Trail Of Tears Could Be From Native American Burial Ground

(Source: Southeast Missourian)

(Source: Southeast Missourian)

By Red Power Media, Staff

Human remains found at Trail of Tears State Park may be those of a Native American buried long ago.

Capt. David James of the Cape Girardeau County Sheriff’s Department told the Southeast Missourian the remains could be part of a Native American group called the Wolf People.

James says a family was visiting the park about two weeks ago when one of the children found what appeared to be a jaw bone. The Sheriff’s department, along with the Missouri State Highway Patrol and other law-enforcement agencies were called and that led to an investigation in which other bones were found.

A mother and father were hiking the trail with their children when their son spotted the bone in some leaves near a bench on which they were resting.

A mole had been burrowing near the bench, which is probably why the bone was so close to the surface, someone from the sheriff’s department said.

Other bones soon were found.

Meanwhile, the trail is closed until further notice, according to mostateparks.com. That may be because the area is being studied to determine whether the remains are part of a larger burial ground, although no one would confirm that directly.

Jennifer Bengtson, an assistant professor of anthropology at Southeast Missouri State University who was called in to study the remains and confirmed their likely origins, declined to comment for this story because of the cultural sensitivity associated with American Indian resting places.

“Native American tribes have a deep concern for the protection of their heritage, and as a professional archaeologist, I share their concerns,” she wrote in an email to the Southeast Missourian.

Denise Dowling, natural resource manager at the park, cited a state statute governing the discovery of unmarked human remains.

It indicates whenever an unmarked human burial or human skeletal remains are reported to the state preservation officer, efforts have to be made to identify the remains, notify any descendants or find out whether the remains are part of a particular ethnic group. The group then would advise on how the remains should be disposed.

The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act also plays a role. It protects the rights of tribes when physical and cultural remains are found.

The Trail of Tears was a series of forced relocations of Native American nations in the United States following the Indian Removal Act of 1830.

Trail of Tears State Park includes a visitor’s center that recounts how Cherokee groups being relocated to Oklahoma crossed the Mississippi River during the harsh winter of 1838 and 1839, with thousands dying during the march.