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Tachi Yokut Tribe of the Santa Rosa Indian Community, California

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Kings County canal diggers found the bones a generation ago. Now, thanks to a decade-old law, the skeletal remains of five American Indians are being given back to the Lemoore-based Tachi Yokut. The remains, thought to date back to between 200 and 400 years ago, then will be interred at the tribal cemetery in Lemoore. Archaeologists discovered the bones in 1962, as workers were building an overpass and canal along state Route 198. For many years, the bones have been stored at the Anthropological Studies Center of Sonoma State University. Subsequent studies determined that the bones could be reasonably traced to the 660-member Tachi Yokut Tribe, a subset of a group that once spanned the area from Sacramento to Bakersfield. The 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act required government agencies and museums that had received Indian remains to inventory their holdings. Lawmakers ordered agencies and museums to give tribes an opportunity to claim the remains whose identities could be traced.

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