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The Law and American Indian Grave Protection

Missouri Laws

When contacted April 2001 on burial laws, Claire Blackwell, the State Archaeologist, referred us specifically to 194.400-410. Full text may be had at the link.

Summaries follow of the above and 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: Missouri Statutes
Citation: 194.400 through 194.407
Section Title: Unmarked Human Burial Sites: knowledge or discovery; jurisdiction of state historic preservation officer

Summary:

Declares that the provisions of 194.400 through 194.410 shall apply when an unmarked human burial or human skeletal remains are encountered during archeological investigations, construction or other ground disturbing activities, whether on or in private lands or waters or on or in lands or waters owned by the state, its agencies or its political subdivisions. Requires a person who knows or has reason to know that an unmarked human burial or human skeletal remains are being disturbed, destroyed, defaced, mutilated, removed, excavated or exposed shall notify immediately either the state historic preservation officer or the local law enforcement agency for the area in which the burial or remains are located. Requires that, when an unmarked human burial or human skeletal remains are encountered in the course of construction or agricultural activities or by a professional archeologist in the course of an investigation, all such activities shall cease immediately within a radius of fifty feet of the point of discovery and shall not resume without specific authorization from the state historic preservation officer or the local law enforcement agency, whichever has jurisdiction. Directs the state historic preservation officer to assume jurisdiction over and responsibility for the remains if the local law enforcement agency determines that the remains are not involved in a legal investigation. Directs the state historic preservation officer, in such cases, to determine whether removal of remains discovered as a result of construction or agricultural activity is necessary and appropriate for the purpose of scientific analysis. Requires a professional archeologist to conduct a general archeological investigation of the site and to advise the state historic preservation officer within thirty days of the physical location and the cultural and biological characteristics of the unmarked human burial or human skeletal remains. Directs a professional archeologist who discovers such burials or remains in the course of an archeological investigation to advise the state historic preservation officer within thirty days of the physical location and the cultural and biological characteristics of the burial or remains. Prohibits construction from being suspended or delayed as a result of such archeological investigation for more than thirty days.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Disposition of Human Remains

Code Book: Missouri Statutes
Citation: 194.408 through 194.409
Section Title: Unmarked Human Burial Sites: consultation; committee

Summary:

Directs the state historic preservation officer, when notified of the discovery of an unmarked human burial or human skeletal remains, to make reasonable efforts to identify and locate persons who can establish direct kinship with or descent from the deceased, and to determine the proper disposition of the remains in consultation with the most closely related family member. Directs the state historic preservation officer, when no direct kin or descendants can be identified or located but the remains can be shown to have ethnic affinity with living peoples, to determine proper disposition in consultation with the leaders of the ethnic groups having a relation to the burial or remains. Directs the state historic preservation officer, when the burial or remains cannot be related to any living peoples, to determine proper disposition in consultation with the Unmarked Human Burial Consultation Committee. Authorizes the state historic preservation officer to delay reinterment for up to one year to allow the remains to be examined by a skeletal analyst, except for those remains for which a direct kinship or line of descent can be established, and allows the committee to delay reinterment for an additional period upon request by the state historic preservation officer for additional scientific study in a facility chosen by the state historic preservation officer. Creates the Unmarked Human Burial Consultation Committee in the Department of Natural Resources to consist of the state historic preservation officer, who shall serve as chairman, and six members appointed by the governor: two professional archeologists or skeletal analysts; two members of a federally recognized Indian tribe; one member who is a non-Indian minority; and one non-Indian, non-minority member who is neither a professional archeologist or a skeletal analyst. Requires all actions of the state historic preservation officer and the committee to conform with the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended.

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:
    • Burial Sites Board / Commission

Code Book: Missouri Statutes
Citation: 194.410
Section Title: Unmarked Human Burial Sites: penalty

Summary:

Declares that a person, corporation, partnership, proprietorship or organization commits a class D felony who knowingly disturbs, destroys, vandalizes or damages a marked or unmarked human burial site.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Disposition of Human Remains
    • Violation / Penalty / Enforcement

Code Book: Missouri Statutes
Citation: 214.450 through 214.455
Section Title: Indian cemeteries

Summary:

Enables any federally recognized Native American group to designate any quantity of land owned by the group or tribe as a tribal or group burial ground or cemetery to be established, maintained and held in perpetuity for the use and benefit of the descendants of the group or tribe. Exempts such group from requirements to convey title to such lands to the county commission to be held in trust pursuant to 214.090. Allows the group to establish a trust fund for the benefit of such cemeteries or burial grounds pursuant to 214.140. Declares that a person is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor who shall knowingly destroy, mutilate, disfigure, deface, injure or remove any tomb, monument or gravestone or other structure placed in such cemetery or burial ground or place of burial.

Primary Topic: Ethnic / Racial Historic Preservation Issues

    Secondary Topic:
    • Native American Burial and Other Preservation Issues
Primary Topic: Specific Historic Property Types
    Secondary Topic:
    • Cemetery / Gravestone

Code Book: Missouri Statutes
Citation: 253.408
Section Title: State Historic Preservation Act--state historic preservation officer to be director of natural resources

Summary:

Designates the director of the Department of Natural Resources as the state historic preservation officer. Locates the State Historic Preservation Office in the Department of Natural Resources and directs that the office shall be responsible for establishing, implementing and administering federal and state programs or plans for historic preservation, with the following duties: direct and conduct a comprehensive statewide survey of historic, archeological, architectural and cultural properties and maintain inventories of such properties; identify and nominate eligible properties to the National Register of Historic Places and otherwise administer listing historic properties in the National Register; prepare and implement a comprehensive statewide historic preservation plan; administer the state program of federal assistance for historic preservation within the state; administer historic preservation fund grants as mandated by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended; provide public information, education and training, and technical assistance relating to the federal and state historic preservation programs; cooperate with local governments in the development of local historic preservation programs and assist local governments in becoming certified pursuant to the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended; advise and assist federal and state agencies and local governments in carrying out their historic preservation responsibilities; cooperate with the National Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, federal and state agencies, local governments and organizations and individuals to ensure that historic properties are taken into consideration at all levels of planning and development; administer the state unmarked human burial sites program pursuant to 194.400 through 194.410; administer the historic preservation revolving fund pursuant to 253.400 through 253.407; and cooperate with the Department of Economic Development in administering the state main street program pursuant to 251.470 through 251.485.

Primary Topic: State Agencies / Institutions

    Secondary Topic:
    • Natural Resources
Primary Topic: State Historic Preservation Entities
    Secondary Topic:
    • State Historic Preservation Officer



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Missouri government, preservation and state archaeological resource links.



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