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Archive for Wednesday, August 14, 2002

Indian tribe remains discovered in Norton

August 14, 2002

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— The Federal Bureau of Reclamation is protecting a site at Sebelius Reservoir, after investigators determined that human remains found there in July came from an American Indian burial ground.

The bureau took over security at the site on Aug. 6, 17 days after the remains were found, deputy area manager Steve Ronshaugen said.

After an initial investigation by the Norton County Sheriff's Department ruled out foul play, the remains were turned over to the Bureau of Reclamation.

The site, at an undisclosed location, has been fenced off and is under 24-hour surveillance. At the request of one of the 10 tribes involved, no photography or public visitation will be allowed.

"Since the whole discovery of a Native American burial is very sensitive, we would like to keep this as private as possible involving the Native American groups," said Bill Chada, the bureau's area archaeologist. "There are a number of federal laws that protect this archaeological and burial site, and we are trying to keep people out of the immediate area until our work is complete."

The 10 tribes involved in the site include the Apache Tribe of Oklahoma; the Arapaho Tribe of the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming; the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes of Cheyenne and Arapaho Reservation in Oklahoma; the Kaw Nation in Oklahoma; and the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe of the Lower Brule Reservation in South Dakota.

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