Leaders of Native American tribes in North Dakota discuss repatriation of remains found at UND

Native remains and artifacts found on the University of North Dakota campus
Native remains and artifacts found on the University of North Dakota campus(KMOT)
Published: Aug. 31, 2022 at 8:49 PM CDT
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GRAND FORKS, N.D. (KMOT) – Leaders of the Native American tribes within North Dakota are reacting to Wednesday’s news of the discovery — and repatriation efforts underway — of Native remains and artifacts on the University of North Dakota campus.

Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Chairman Jamie Azure said that, when tribal leaders had the chance to visit the university, it was emotional, but it was also a healing experience.

He said tribal members need to be patient with the process of bringing their members home, to make sure it’s done correctly.

“I know people will want things done very quickly, but at the same time we have to really do our due diligence and make sure that we were 100% on where our relatives get put to their final resting space,” said Azure.

More reaction from the Turtle Mountain Tribe can be found on its Facebook page.

Mark Fox, the chairman of the MHA Nation, said his tribe has been working with UND on the matter and will continue to do so.

He provided the following statement:

“It is always extremely traumatic and hurtful when our ancestors remains have been disturbed and misplaced. The Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation’s Tribal Historic Preservation Office has been working internally with the University of North Dakota on this matter and will continue to do so. We will be monitoring this matter closely to ensure that our ancestor’s remains are repatriated as quickly and as respectfully as possible under the circumstances. We expect that the University will handle the return of these very sacred items and the remains of tribal ancestors with the utmost care and respect in accordance with the instructions of our Preservation Office and the other affected tribes. While I appreciate the fact that UND contacted our Historic Preservation Office early and has been working internally out of public view, I expect them to complete the repatriation process as quickly as possible so that the remains can be returned to their rightful place.”

Your News Leader is working on getting reaction from the state’s other tribal leaders, and will update this story as we learn more.