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Wednesday, August 14, 2002
NORTON, Kan. (AP) - "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
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
"We are consulting with the Native American tribes that have used the area
in the past and are formulating a plan for either excavation or to preserve
this burial site as much as possible," Chada said.
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.
"These tribes used this area for burial from time to time on their hunting
trips and travels across the area," Chada said. "If the plan calls for an
excavation we will go to the site and remove any remains and artifacts. We
will again consult with the tribes for the final disposition."
© 2002 Copyright Argus Leader.
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