LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Remains found in northeast and eastern Nebraska have been turned over to the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska for burial on the tribe’s ancestral homeland along the lower Niobrara River.
The Lincoln Journal Star reports that some of the human remains given to tribal representatives Wednesday were found nearly 60 years ago by workers building a railroad bridge in Knox County. Others were found in Platte County, and others in Butler County.
The return of the Ponca remains is part of a repatriation process begun in 1990, when the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act became federal law.
The Nebraska State Historical Society consequently inventoried all the human remains in its custody. If archaeologists could determine which tribe they came from, they were to be given to the tribe.