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Discovery of Native American Human Remains – What To Do

The following actions must be taken immediately upon the discovery of human remains:

  • Stop immediately and contact the County Coroner.
  • The coroner has two working days to examine human remains after being notified by the responsible person. If the remains are Native American, the Coroner has 24 hours to notify the Native American Heritage Commission.
  • The Native American Heritage Commission will immediately notify the person it believes to be the most likely descendent of the deceased Native American.
  • The most likely descendent has 48 hours to make recommendations to the owner, or representative, for the treatment or disposition, with proper dignity, of the human remains and grave goods.
  • If the descendent does not make recommendations within 48 hours the owner shall reinter the remains in an area of the property secure from further disturbance, or;
  • If the owner does not accept the descendent’s recommendations, the owner or the descendent may request mediation by the Native American Heritage Commission.

Discuss and confer means the meaningful and timely discussion careful consideration of the views of each party.