Dirt Moving Uncovers Remains

US, Nebraska - A Native American burial ground has been uncovered during dirt moving for a highway project. Skeletal remains were not found on the construction site but farmland leased for dirt.

District engineer Tim Weander told Channel Six News Fact Finders that bones were discovered in Cass County not far from the highway 75 reconstruction. The state historical society and Nebraska commission on Indian affairs were notified.

The historical society staff removed the remains and is attempting to determine the tribe. A historical society expert told Channel Six News Fact Finders the bone fragments are very old and may predate Europeans coming to America. He said it appears the remains are of about four or five Native Americans.

The Director of the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs Judi M. Gaiashkibos provided more information of the remains discovery.

The initial examination by the state Archeologist office suggested the bones were those of native Americans and the remains were in danger of destruction.

The Remains represent several native American individuals and are very fragmentary and in a poor state of preservation due to previous farming operations and erosion probably during the 1950's and 1960's.

As the indigenous people of America this will be a never ending challenge we will face as we try to protect our sacred sites. The Nebraska Indian Commission will work with the NSHS to determine the best course of action for repatriation to descendant tribe(s)and or the Commission after a closer examination of the remains and associated funerary objects. LB97 allows for the return of unaffiliated tribal remains to be repatriated on tribal lands in Nebraska working with NCIA to determine the location site.

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Once a tribe is determined then the remains will be reburied with the help of those tribal leaders. The historical society said from two to five construction projects a year unearths historic remains.