Remains of over 400 Native Americans returned to Chickasaw Nation

A gravestone is seen in the near distance.
A gravestone is seen in the near distance.
Updated: Mar. 18, 2021 at 4:34 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Mississippi Department of Archives and History returned the remains of 403 native Americans and 83 burial objects back to the Chickasaw Nation.

It’s the largest return of human remains in Mississippi history.

“This repatriation is a huge milestone for our institution and our Tribal partners,” said MDAH director Katie Blount. “We are committed to the repatriation of human remains and cultural objects in the department’s archaeological collections.”

The remains were returned in part thanks to the 1990 Native American graves Protection and Repatriation Act, which allows Native Americans to claim their ancestors’ remains and cultural objects from federally-funded institutions.

The transfer of remains took more than two years. Reburial will take place sometime this year.

“Caring for our ancestors is extremely important to us, and we appreciate the dedication and transparency their staff has shown throughout the consultation process,” said Amber Hood, Director of Historic Preservation & Repatriation, The Chickasaw Nation.

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