KOLBY KICKINGWOMAN Indian Country Today
The University of North Dakota in Grand Forks has begun the process of repatriating sacred objects and ancestral remains that belong to Indigenous communities that were found weeks ago on the school’s campus.
At a news conference Wednesday, school President Andrew Armacost said in November 2021, the university formed a UND repatriation committee to develop policies on the process of returning Native artifacts to tribal lands.
In late February and early March, the committee found a significant number of artifacts on campus, including ancestral remains. Armacost noted that the records of what is in possession of the university is incomplete but there are more than 250 boxes of artifacts and the number of ancestors “can be measured in the dozens.” Wednesday’s statement and news conference were the first public statements issued since.
The university has been in touch with 13 tribes, a number he says will continue to grow, to gain their advice and counsel to make sure the process is done correctly and completed.
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“First, I sincerely express my apologies and heartfelt regrets that UND has not already repatriated these ancestors and sacred