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Archive for Sunday, August 25, 2002

Excavation under way at Indian burial ground

August 25, 2002

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— A federal agency has begun preservation work at a site that is believed to be an Indian burial ground.

The Bureau of Reclamation took over security Aug. 6 at the site at the Sebelius Reservoir in north-central Kansas.

Human remains were found there July 20. After the Norton County Sheriff's Department ruled out foul play, the remains were turned over to the Bureau of Reclamation.

Bill Chada, bureau area archaeologist based in Grand Island, Neb., said that the site where the remains were found wouldn't be disclosed. It is under 24-hour surveillance to keep the integrity of the site intact and in accord with federal law that governs such sites.

Chada has turned down media requests to view the site.

Chada said the bureau continued to consult with 10 American Indian tribes that might have used the site as a burial ground and that an action plan was being developed.

The 10 tribes involved in the site are 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; the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe of the Lower Brule Reservation in South Dakota; the Northern Cheyenne Tribe of the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in Montana; the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma; the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota; and the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes of Oklahoma.

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