Army Corp of Engineers disturbs Indian burial grounds in Florida

Originally posted by me elsewhere on 11/30/2010

I just re-watched The Shining recently, and like many horror films the site of the supernatural events was an Indian burial ground that had been desecrated by the construction of the Overlook Hotel. So an article describing a more recent case of real Native American burial grounds being disturbed caught my eye.

In Florida a move is underway to restore the Everglades through the construction of a man-made wetlands. I have no idea how this would work, but I assume there is some basis for thinking that it would. However while working on this wetland in 2008, remains of Native Americans were found south of Lake Okeechobee. Despite the find, the Native American tribes of the Miccosukee and Seminole agreed that the project could go ahead just as long as the remains were re-interred elsewhere in a respectful manner. However when they made this agreement they were under the impression that there were just a few, partial remains at the site. However during the course of the last two years, the remains of over 56 different individuals have been uncovered in what appear to be four different burial sites. That is so many that this region would have been eligible to be listed with the National Registry of Historic Places. There is now considerable anger on the part of the Native Americans who are saying that they want their ancestors to be re-interred in their original resting place. This has halted all construction for the time being. Meanwhile there are two angry, federal judges who are ticked off that the construction to restore the Everglades environment is going so slowly, and they are urging those doing the construction to pick up the pace.

Some Native Americans are insisting that not only should the remains be re-interred, but that they must be re-interred in exactly the same spot with the orientation of each set of remains re-created (face-up, on the side, or however a particular set of remains were originally interred). However, the Army Corp of Engineers says that it has the final say on the matter, not the Native Americans. What do you think they should do?


Tribes angry, Everglades projects halt after workers dig up major burial ground but don’t tell, published by the Palm Beach Post News


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