Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan


City and tribal officials have agreed how to handle the discovery of Indian remains during a railroad construction project. Archaeologists discovered the remains of three Indians in March about 4 1/2 feet below the surface near a viaduct being demolished and replaced with a street-level railroad crossing. The city hired the scientists to search the area for historically significant objects because the 72-year-old viaduct was near a known Indian burial ground. The tribe was concerned digging may be invasive and disrespectful toward its traditions. The agreement, approved June 5 by the Bay City Commission, calls for a tribal monitor and stipulates remains be disturbed as little as possible, The Bay City Times reported. It also calls for remains to be reburied in the place and way they were found. If the remains could be destroyed by the project if left in place, "then the remains shall be re-interred at another suitable site located as close as possible to the original burial site." Tribal officials called the agreement historic and significant. "This is the first time that any kind of government or municipality has entered into such a sensitive agreement with a Native American tribe," tribal spokesman Frank J. Cloutier said.