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500 Year Old Iroquois Remains To Be Reburied

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      OCTOBER 1977      v07 n10 p20  
The National Museum of Man recently reached an accord with the Akwesasne Mohawk representatives (St. Regis) for the return of the Iroquois human remains that had been held by the museum pending the coroner's decision on their deposition. The remains were discovered recently in an archaeological site near Williamsburg, Eastern Ontario.

The museum sympathized with the presentation of the Mohawk Chiefs regarding the religious significance of the burials. The museum then sought and obtained permission from the provincial coroner to transfer responsibility to the St. Regis group for the' remains with the assurance that the Mohawk people would provide a proper reburial.

The remains were unearthed from a 16th century Indian village located on the Beckstead farm adjacent to Highway 31. This rescue archaeology mission was undertaken when it was learned that highway development would destroy part of this Indian site. The Ontario Department of Transportation and Communication was then negotiating an expropriation of lands to widen the Toad and its right of way.

The principal objective for the dig was to obtain data on settlement patterns of the region. Such data collected across Canada makes it possible for the N.M.M. to provide knowledge and understanding to Canada's native peoples of their older heritage. It also allows the museum to offer to other Canadians an understanding of 'the rich and varied native legacy.