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The Law and American Indian Grave Protection

Connecticut Laws

When contacted as to laws concerning Indian Burial Grounds 2001 April, the State Archaeologist, Nicholas Bellantoni, referred us to Sec. 10-388, "Human burials"; Sec. 10-389, "Regulations establishing procedures for storage, analysis and reburial of human skeletal remains"; and Sec. 10-391, "Inventory of Native American burial sites and cemeteries". Follow the link to text at cga.state.ct.us./2001/pub/Chap184a.htm.

A Summary Guide to Connecticut CRM Legislation states that:

"Native American Burials C.G.S. Sec. 10-388 et seq: Provides for in situ preservation or archaeological excavation and reburial of human remains encountered during construction, agricultural, archaeological or other ground disturbance. Defines roles and responsibilities of the Medical Examiner, State Archaeologist, Connecticut Historical Commission and Native American Heritage Advisory Council."

"Ancient Burial Ground and Gravestone Preservation C.G.S. Sec. 19a-315b: Protects ancient burial grounds and gravestones. Requires notification to the Connecticut Historical Commission for any gravestone removal or cemetery renovation; Commission makes recommendation to Connecticut Probate Court on such requests."

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: Connecticut General Statutes
Citation: 10-382
Section Title: Native American Culture--policy concerning archeological investigations: Native American Heritage Advisory Council

Summary:

Establishes the fourteen-member Native American Heritage Advisory Council to evaluate and make recommendations on Native American heritage to the state archeologist and the Connecticut Historical Society. Directs that the council shall consist of one member representing each of five specific tribes in the state, to be appointed by the tribes; one representing the chairperson of the Indian Affairs Council; one representing the commissioner of Environmental Protection; one representing the Archeological Society of Connecticut, appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate; and three who are knowledgeable in Native American history, traditions, and archeology, one each to be appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives, the minority leader of the House, and the minority leader of the Senate.

Primary Topic: Ethnic / Racial Historic Preservation Issues

    Secondary Topic:
    • Native American Burial and Other Preservation Issues

Code Book: Connecticut General Statutes
Citation: 10-383
Section Title: Native American Culture--policy concerning archeological investigations: Museum of Natural History designated as repository for artifacts found during archeological investigation of state land

Summary:

Directs that the State Museum of Natural History shall be the state repository for all artifacts found and data gathered during archeological investigations on state lands. Directs that the board of directors of the museum shall establish a collections policy which shall include procedures for the following: acquisition of material and the acceptance of gifts appropriate to the public trust; the preservation, care, and display of sacred objects, and the use of sacred objects for religious and ceremonial purposes; and loans and transfers of sacred objects and other materials, including archeological artifacts, to Native American museums or other institutions.

Primary Topic: Ethnic / Racial Historic Preservation Issues

    Secondary Topic:
    • Native American Burial and Other Preservation Issues

Code Book: Connecticut General Statutes
Citation: 10-386
Section Title: Native American Culture--policy concerning archeological investigations: permit for archeological investigation on state lands

Summary:

Prohibits any person from conducting an archeological investigation on state lands or on a state archeological preserve without a permit issued by the Connecticut Historical Commission, with the concurrence of the state archeologist. Prohibits the issuance of a permit for an investigation that would disturb a known Native American cemetery, burial site, or other sacred site without the review of the Native American Heritage Advisory Council.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Permit / Site Investigation Authority
Primary Topic: Ethnic / Racial Historic Preservation Issues
    Secondary Topic:
    • Native American Burial and Other Preservation Issues
Primary Topic: Publicly Owned / Affected Historic Property--state policy
    Secondary Topic:
    • Use / Preservation / Maintenance

Code Book: Connecticut General Statutes
Citation: 10-388
Section Title: Native American Culture--policy concerning archeological investigations: human burials

Summary:

(a) Requires any person who knows or reasonably believes that human burials or human skeletal remains are being or about to be disturbed, destroyed, defaced, removed, or exposed to notify the chief medical examiner and the state archeologist immediately. Requires any agricultural, archeological, or other activity that encounters human burials or human skeletal remains to cease and not resume unless authorized by the chief medical examiner and the state archeologist provided that such authorization is made within five days of the completion of the investigation of the chief medical examiner. (b) Directs the chief medical examiner to notify the state archeologist if the chief medical examiner determines that the remains may be those of a Native American or were found in the subsurface and buried for more than fifty years. Directs the state archeologist, upon such notification, to consult with the Connecticut Historical Commission, the Native American Heritage Advisory Council, the commissioner of Environmental Protection, and the landowner to determine, within seventy-two hours, if the site where such remains were discovered can be preserved in situ and protected by a preservation restriction. (c ) Directs the state archeologist, in consultation with the landowner and, if appropriate, the Connecticut Historical Commission, the Native American Heritage Advisory Council, and the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, to provide for removal and reburial of the remains at another location or removal for additional archeological investigations and scientific analysis prior to reburial, if in situ preservation is not feasible or not agreed to by the landowner. (d) Directs that human skeletal remains discovered during archeological investigations shall be excavated under the supervision of the state archeologist, pursuant to a written agreement between the state archeologist and the permit holder specifying the excavation, methods to be used, and data to be collected. Directs that due care be exercised during excavation, transport, and storage of skeletal remains to insure that the sacred meanings of the remains for Native Americans are respected and protected. (e) Specifies that the owner of private lands on which human skeletal remains are found shall not be required to pay the costs of excavation, removal, analysis, or reburial.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Disposition of Human Remains
Primary Topic: Ethnic / Racial Historic Preservation Issues
    Secondary Topic:
    • Native American Burial and Other Preservation Issues
Primary Topic: State Historic Preservation Entities
    Secondary Topic:
    • State Archeologist / Archeology Program

Code Book: Connecticut General Statutes
Citation: 10-389
Section Title: Native American Culture--policy concerning archeological investigations: regulations establishing procedures for storage, analysis and reburial of human skeletal remains

Summary:

(a) Directs the state archeologist, in consultation with the Connecticut Historical Commission, the Native American Heritage Advisory Council, the commissioner of Environmental Protection, and the archeological community to adopt regulations establishing procedures for the storage, analysis, and reburial of human skeletal remains discovered during an archeological investigation. (b) Directs the commissioner of Environmental Protection to designate state lands for use as sites for the reburial of Native American human skeletal remains and for such sites to be deemed sacred lands and designated as state archeological preserves. (c) Directs that all Native American skeletal remains discovered shall be reburied and that the state archeologist, the Native American Heritage Advisory Council, and the commissioner of Environmental Protection shall jointly determine the contents and organization of each reburial ceremony for Native Americans.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Disposition of Human Remains
Primary Topic: Ethnic / Racial Historic Preservation Issues
    Secondary Topic:
    • Native American Burial and Other Preservation Issues
Primary Topic: State Agencies / Institutions
    Secondary Topic:
    • Native American / Indian Affairs Commission / Office / Board
Primary Topic: State Historic Preservation Entities
    Secondary Topic:
    • State Archeologist / Archeology Program

Code Book: Connecticut General Statutes
Citation: 10-390
Section Title: Native American Culture--policy concerning archeological investigations: penalty

Summary:

(a) Prohibits any person from excavating, damaging, or otherwise altering or defacing any archeological or sacred site on state lands or within a state archeological preserve without a permit issued by the Connecticut Historical Commission pursuant to 10-386 or during an emergency. (b) Prohibits any person from selling, exchanging, transporting, receiving, or offering to sell any archeological artifact or human remains collected, excavated, or otherwise removed from state lands or a state archeological preserve. (c ) Prohibits any person from engaging in any activity which will desecrate, disturb, or alter any Native American burial, sacred site, or cemetery, including any associated objects, unless the activity is engaged in pursuant to a permit under 10-386 or under the supervision of the state archeologist. (d) Declares that any person who violates any provision of this section shall be fined not more than $5,000 or twice the dollar value of the site or artifact that was the subject of the violation, whichever is greater, or imprisoned not more than five years, or both. (e) Declares that any person who violates any provision of this section shall be liable to the state for the reasonable costs and expenses of the state in restoring the site and any associated sacred objects or archeological artifacts.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Disposition of Human Remains
    • Permit / Site Investigation Authority
    • Violation / Penalty / Enforcement
Primary Topic: Ethnic / Racial Historic Preservation Issues
    Secondary Topic:
    • Native American Burial and Other Preservation Issues

Code Book: Connecticut General Statutes
Citation: 10-391
Section Title: Native American Culture--policy concerning archeological investigations: inventory of Native American burial sites and cemeteries

Summary:

Directs the Connecticut Historical Commission, in consultation with the state archeologist, the Native American Heritage Advisory Council, and the commissioner of Environmental Protection to develop procedures to inventory Native American burial sites and cemeteries. Directs that such procedures shall provide for the availability of the inventory to state agencies, departments, and institutions.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Survey / Inventory of Sites
Primary Topic: Ethnic / Racial Historic Preservation Issues
    Secondary Topic:
    • Native American Burial and Other Preservation Issues

Code Book: Connecticut General Statutes
Citation: 19a-315 through 19a-315c
Section Title: Use of ancient burial place. Protection of grave markers. Maintenance of burial places

Summary:

Prohibits a municipality from alienating or appropriating any ancient burial place, defined as one which has been in existence as a burial ground for more than one hundred years, to any use other than that of a burial ground. Requires the approval of the General Assembly if any portion of an ancient burial place shall be taken for public use. Prohibits the destruction, injury, or removal of any grave marker within any cemetery or burial place except in accordance with the provisions of these sections. Prohibits the removal of a grave marker from any cemetery or burial place except for the purpose of reproduction, preservation, or display in an accredited museum. Enables a burial ground authority to repair, rehabilitate, reposition, or reset any grave markers, and to renovate an ancient burial place under the authority's jurisdiction. Enables the probate court to assume jurisdiction over such renovation and order a hearing, with notice given to the burial ground authority, the owners, the qualified descendants, and the Connecticut Historical Commission, to determine if such renovation is necessary.

Primary Topic: Specific Historic Property Types

    Secondary Topic:
    • Cemetery / Gravestone

Code Book: Connecticut General Statutes
Citation: 53a-218, 53a-219
Section Title: Interference with a cemetery or burial ground: class C felony; unlawful possession or sale of gravestones: class D felony

Summary:

(53a-218)(a) Declares that a person is guilty of interference with a cemetery or burial ground who, without authorization of the owner of the burial lot, or a lineal descendant of the deceased, or of the municipality, cemetery association or person or authority responsible for the control or management of the cemetery or burial ground: (1) intentionally destroys, mutilates, defaces, injures or removes any tomb, monument, gravestone or other structure placed or designed for a memorial of the dead, or any portion or fragment thereof, or any fence, railing, curb or other enclosure for the burial of the dead, in or from any cemetery or burial ground; or (2) wantonly or maliciously disturbs the contents of any tomb or grave in any cemetery or burial ground. (b) Declares that interference with a cemetery or burial ground is a class C felony and any person found guilty under this section shall be fined not less than $500. (53a-219)(a) Declares that a person is guilty of the unlawful possession or sale of gravestones who possesses or sells, offers for sale or attempts to sell or transfers or disposes of any monument, gravestone or other structure placed or designed for a memorial of the dead, or any portion or fragment thereof, knowing that it has been unlawfully removed from a cemetery or burial ground. (b) Declares that unlawful possession or sale of gravestones is a class D felony.

Primary Topic: Specific Historic Property Types

    Secondary Topic:
    • Cemetery / Gravestone



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Connecticut government, preservation and state archaeological resource links.



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