Interesting article about the Tuscaroras
- Hi all,
I'm almost finished on my research paper on the Tuscaroras. It would have been easy if I hadn't found so many fascinating books. Anyway, I just ran across this article from the Kinston Free Press and thought you might be interested.
Tuscarora Indians protest rights to battleground
SNOW HILL - A group of Native Americans protesting property rights on privately-owned farmland Monday were not there with the blessing of their federally-recognized tribe.
The group, claiming to be members of the North Carolina Tuscarora tribe, was protesting an old East Carolina University project where researchers had dug up some remains. The farmland, known as Fort Neheroka, was the site of the last battle of the Tuscarora War in the early 18th Century.
They were compelled to leave the farmland after Greene County sheriff's deputies told them they could face trespassing charges. The leader of the original Tuscarora Nation, located in upstate New York, said the group was not sanctioned by the federally recognized tribe.
"We don't count them as part of our tribe," Chief Leo Henry said.
The head of a Tuscarora tribe in Bertie County said the protesters may not even be Tuscarora Indians.
"They don't know what they are," said Marilyn Mejorado, Bear Clan mother of the Southern Band Tuscarora Tribe.
Mejorado said the protest group has been "causing trouble" at various sites over the years.
George Mewborn, owner of the land since 1995, declined comment.
"We've known the Mewborn's for years," Mejorado said. "They've been working with us."
Greene County Sheriff Lemmie Smith said on Monday more than 20 protesters from the Fayetteville and Lumberton area set up tents and signs.
"Once we advised they would be charged for trespassing, they left," he said.
Smith said the tribe members were protesting against East Carolina University digging up remains on the Fort Neheroka site.
Archeologist Charlie Ewen, a professor at ECU, said a 10-year excavation project was conducted by ECU from the late 1980s to the early 1990s.
"It was pretty extensive," he said.
Skeletal remains and artifacts were discovered and are currently being stored at ECU.
Ewen said ECU has been working with the Tuscarora Nation in New York since the dig, but the federally recognized tribe asked the university to keep the remains until a better place is found.
"They mentioned re-burying the remains, but they only want to do that on protected land," he said.
ECU is keeping the remains and artifacts under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), a federal law passed in 1990.
The law provides a process for museums and federal agencies to return certain items - human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects and objects of cultural patrimony - to lineal descendants, culturally affiliated Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations.
Henry said human remains, pottery and jewelry was turned up during the dig 10 years ago.
"We have a list of what was recovered," Henry said. "They'll give it back when we want them."
Katie Marshall can be reached at (252) 527-3191, Ext. 251, or kmarshall@....
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- Very interesting...
I look forward to seeing your article.
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