MOUNT PLEASANT (WWJ/AP) – The remains of about 120 Native Americans that were housed at two museums are expected to be buried at a cemetery in mid-Michigan.
A sacred reburial ceremony is planned for midday Friday at the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe reservation near Mount Pleasant. The burial is at the Nibokaan Ancestral Cemetery.
The Ziibiwing Cultural Society says the remains are being repatriated from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and from the Robert S. Peabody Museum of Anthropology in Andover, Mass.
The U-M Museum of Anthropology is turning over the remains of about 120 people that were discovered during construction of a Lapeer County home in 1973. A private entity held the remains before they were donated to the university in 1995. The remains were then inventoried between 2007 and 2009, and subsequently identified as Native American.
The Robert S. Peabody Museum is turning over a set of fragmentary remains, which are believed to be from one person, that were found near Bellevue in 1901.
The 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act provides a process for the return of human remains and cultural artifacts from museums. A National Park Service grant of more than $13,000 is funding the repatriation effort.
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