Indian Burial and Sacred Grounds Watch

indexmission
siteslearnactionlinkscontact

Subjects

Federal laws

State laws

Some preserved sites.

Some history and culture

Controversies Concerning Archaeology

American Indian Voices

News Archive Index

Return to main Learn page


Please inform the webmaster of any broken links!

The Law and American Indian Grave Protection

Alaska Laws

Alaska has no specific laws dealing with reburial or repatriation of prehistoric human remains or an unmarked graves law. 41.35.190(c) of the Alaska Historic Preservation Act (Citation: Alaska Historic Preservation Act (Alaska Stat. 41.35.010 through 41.35.240). Dates Enacted : 1971, amended 1988 and 1993) does state that "No person may unlawfully destroy, mutilate, deface, injure, remove or excavate a gravesite or a tomb, monument, gravestone or other structure or object at a gravesite, even though the gravesite appears to be abandoned, lost or neglected." Native Alaskan consent is required for excavation of native sites and landowner consent is required for excavation on private lands. The Alaska Historical Commission has responsibility for managing and protecting all prehistoric and historic sites in the state and issues permits for excavations. Nothing may diminish cultural rights or responsibilities of persons of aboriginal decent or infringe upon their right of possession, and use of those resources and local cultural groups may obtain from the state resources of respective cultural if meet certain criteria. Violations of the Historic Preservation Act provisions are considered a class A misdemeanor and civil penalties may be assessed up to $100,000 per violation and up to one year in jail.

Jurisdiction: All state lands.
Statute of Limitations: Not specified.
Areas Covered Under Act: All structures, ruins, sites, buildings, graves, artifacts or other objects of antiquities.
Ownership: State owns all archaeological sites and resources on state lands.
Review/Consultation Committee: The Historic Sites Advisory Committee includes 2 persons representing ethnic groups indigenous to Alaska.
Liable: Anyone who excavates without a permit or anyone who removes, injures, destroys, any historic, prehistoric or archaeological resources of the state.
Penalties: Violations are considered a Class A misdemeanor with fines up to $5,000 and up to one year in jail. Civil penalties may be assessed up to $100,000. Exemptions: Nothing may diminish cultural rights or responsibilities of persons of aboriginal decent or infringe upon their right of possession, and use of those resources and local cultural groups may obtain from the state resources of respective cultural if meet certain criteria.
Permitting: The Alaska Historic Commission issues permits for archaeological and historical site excavation.

Summaries follow of burial/archaeological laws yielded through a keyword search for "archaeology" and "burial" on 2001 March 30 at the State Historic Preservation Legislation Database found at the NCSL (National Conference of State Legislatures) web site, that database then updated through 1999. These summaries are reprinted under the Fair Use doctrine of international copyright law which may be found at www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html

http://www.ibsgwatch.org is not responsible for any inaccuracies or timeliness of information.


Code Book: Alaska Statutes
Citation: 41.35.020
Section Title: Alaska Historic Preservation Act: title to historic, prehistoric and archeological resources and local display

Summary:

Reserves title for the state to all historic, prehistoric and archeological resources on land owned or controlled by the state, including tideland and submerged land, and reserves for the state the exclusive right of field archeology on such land. Prohibits anything in 41.35.010 through 41.35.240 from diminishing the cultural rights and responsibilities of persons of aboriginal descent or infringing upon their right of possession and use of historic, prehistoric and archeological resources. Enables local cultural groups to obtain or retain artifacts from the state for study and display in appropriate museums under proper conditions.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Curation / Ownership of Artifacts

Code Book: Alaska Statutes
Citation: 41.21.622
Section Title: Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve: historical, cultural and burial sites

Summary:

Directs that historical, cultural and burial sites identified in the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve management plan shall not be available for surface disposal under the Alaska Land Act (38.05.070 through 38.05.150) and shall be managed by the director of the Division of Parks to prevent vandalism, destruction and desecration.

Primary Topic: Natural / Scenic / Open Space Preservation

    Secondary Topic:
    • Natural Land Preserve / Open Space / Greenway
Primary Topic: State Agencies / Institutions
    Secondary Topic:
    • Park Board / Park District
    • Parks / Recreation

Code Book: Alaska Statutes
Citation: 41.35.070
Section Title: Alaska Historic Preservation Act: preservation of historic, prehistoric and archeological resources threatened by public construction

Summary:

Directs the Department of Natural Resources to locate, identify and preserve in suitable records information regarding historic, prehistoric or archeological sites, locations and remains and to submit such information to the heads of the executive departments of the state. Enables the department to survey an area to determine if it contains historic, prehistoric or archeological values before public construction or public improvement is undertaken by the state, a governmental agency of the state or a private person under contract to or license by the state, or to undertake such a survey if historic, prehistoric or archeological sites, locations, remains or objects are discovered in the course of performing public construction or improvements. Authorizes the department to perform the necessary investigation, recording and salvage of any historic, prehistoric or archeological site which it determines will be adversely affected before any public construction or improvement may commence or continue at such sites. Directs that an agency or person performing the public construction or improvement may apply to the governor to proceed if concurrence to do so has not been received from the Department of Natural Resources within 90 days and authorizes the governor to overrule or sustain the department as the governor considers best. Directs that the cost of investigation, recording and salvage of such sites shall be reimbursed by the agency sponsoring the construction project.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Permit / Site Investigation Authority

Code Book: Alaska Statutes
Citation: 41.35.080
Section Title: Alaska Historic Preservation Act: permits

Summary:

Authorizes the commissioner of the Alaska Historical Commission to issue a permit to a qualified person or organization for the investigation, excavation, gathering or removal of any historic, prehistoric or archeological resources of the state. Directs that the department, before issuing a permit involving a historic, prehistoric or archeological site which is sacred, holy or of religious significance to any cultural group, must first obtain the consent of the cultural group.

Primary Topic: Ethnic / Racial Historic Preservation Issues

    Secondary Topic:
    • Native American Burial and Other Preservation Issues

Code Book: Alaska Statutes
Citation: 41.35.200 through 41.35.220
Section Title: Alaska Historic Preservation Act: unlawful acts; criminal penalties; civil penalties; enforcement authority

Summary:

Prohibits a person from the following: a) appropriating, excavating, removing, injuring or destroying, without a permit from the commissioner of the Alaska Historical Commission, any historic, prehistoric or archeological resources of the state; b) possessing, selling, buying or transporting within the state any such resources taken or acquired in violation of this section or 16 USC 433; or c) destroying, mutilating, defacing, injuring, removing or excavating a gravesite or a tomb, monument, gravestone or other structure or object at a gravesite, even though the gravesite appears to be abandoned, lost or neglected. Authorizes any employee of the department or any other person authorized by the commissioner or any peace officer of the state to enforce the provisions of 41.35.010 through 41.35.240 and to seize any resources taken in violation thereof. Authorizes the commissioner to dispose of such resources by deposit in the proper public repository. Declares any person who is convicted of violating a provision of 41.35.010 through 41.35.240 to be guilty of a class A misdemeanor, and, in addition to other penalties and remedies provided by law, may be subject to a maximum civil penalty of $100,000 for each violation.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Violation / Penalty / Enforcement

Resources:

State Historic Preservation Legislation Database, keyword search for burial and archaeology 30 March 2001

Resource for blue text is the Update of Compilation of State Repatriation, Reburial and Grave Protection Laws (July 1997), Prepared for the Natural Resources Conservation Service under order number 40-3A75-7-102, by Kathleen Schamel for CEHP Incorporated P.O. Box 56462 Washington, DC 20040-6462 TEL: (202) 293-1774 FAX: (202) 722-1129

http://www.ibsgwatch.org is not responsible for any inaccuracies or timeliness of information.


Return to State laws
State Historic Preservation Legislation Database. Search by state and keywords for legislation.
Alaska government, preservation and state archaeological resource links.



home : mission : updates : sites : learn : action : links : contact


Best viewed at screen resolutions 1024 x 768 and 800 x 600
Copyright Information
For site problems contact the webmaster