Transfer to be Completed November 22nd
Lincoln, NE, November 17, 2017– The skeletal remains of 10 individuals along with about 300 funerary objects will be repatriated to the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska on November 22nd. The transfer is being conducted by the Nebraska State Historical Society’s State Archeology Office and the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska under the requirements of the federal Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and the Nebraska Unmarked Human Burial Sites and Skeletal Remains Protection Act.
All remains and objects, many being glass beads, date back to the 1700s and 1800s. They were inadvertently discovered during construction projects in Knox, Platte, and Butler counties. When human skeletal remains and burial goods are discovered and law enforcement determines a crime is not involved, Nebraska State Historical Society Archeology staff will be contacted by the appropriate county attorney’s office. Staff members are required to conduct an on-site investigation to determine the origin and identity of the remains and promptly relate the findings in writing to the county attorney and interested parties, who may include: a descendant Indian Tribe, a descendant family, or the Nebraska Indian Commission.
This specific repatriation is a joint project of the Nebraska State Historical Society, The Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs, and the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska. Tribal members of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska will reclaim and prepare the remains for transfer and reburial in the Ponca homeland along the lower Niobrara River.