Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe to repatriate remains from museums, rebury on reservation


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MOUNT PLEASANT, Michigan — The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan and its Ziibiwing Cultural Society are working to repatriate and rebury the remains of 43 Native Americans.

The groups next week will acquire the remains 41 people from the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, those of one person from the Toledo Zoological Society in Ohio and those of another person from the Dearborn Historical Museum in Michigan. The remains and associated funerary objects will be reburied during a ceremony next Friday at the Nibokaan Cemetery on the tribe's Isabella Indian Reservation in Mount Pleasant.

On behalf of the Saginaw Chippewa Indiana Tribe, the Ziibiwing Cultural Society has been working since the passage of the 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act to bring home ancestors from numerous museums, universities and institutions across the county.

The American Museum of Natural, Toledo Zoological Society and Dearborn Historical Museum are collaborating with 10 federally-recognized tribes and two state historic tribes on the planned repatriation and reburial. It's made possible by financial support from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service and the National NAGPRA Program.

"The work funded by these grants is a step toward addressing past violations of the treatment of human remains and sacred objects of native peoples, while restoring the ability of American Indian and native Hawaiian peoples to be stewards of their own ancestral dead and cultural heritage," National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said in a news release.

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