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Social Commentary from the C-Suite to Main Street℠

A Blog by Gary Wright II

Contact Info to report grave desecration in Georgia

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

I just found the contact information for Council on American Indian Concerns in Georgia. Their web site is: http://www1. gadnr. org/caic/

Council on American Indian Concerns
c/o Historic Sites Region Office
2600 Highway 155 SW, Suite D
Stockbridge, GA 30281
Telephone: (770) 389-7265

The Council on American Indian Concerns was created by the Georgia Legislature in 1992 to help protect Indian graves and burial objects from accidental and intentional desecration. The Council is the only state entity specifically authorized to address the concerns of Georgia?s American Indians.

The legislature also enacted new laws to strengthen the protection of Indian burial sites and archaeological sites. Desecration of graves has long been against the law, but often was not applied to Indian graves. The new laws and the Council on American Indian Concerns are now in place to ensure that Indian graves are protected and respected as vigorously as any burial site.

As set by the General Assembly, the two major goals of the Council on American Indian Concerns are to:

* Assist in protecting American Indian burial sites in the state

* Facilitate the return (repatriation) of Indian human remains and burial objects from museums in Georgia whose collections are not subject to federal law (PL 101-601)


Burial Protection

Indian burials and burial grounds are protected by law in the same manner as any grave or cemetery. It is illegal to knowingly disturb a grave without an appropriate permit. It is also illegal to know about, and fail to report, the disturbance of a grave. Important points of the new laws are:

* It is illegal to disturb Indian burials (unless part of an authorized excavation by an archaeologist)

* If human remains or burial goods are accidentally exposed, it should be immediately reported to the local law enforcement agency (usually the sheriff)

* Any activity likely to further disturb the burial must cease until local or state authorities permit activity to continue.

* The local law enforcement agency must work with the local coroner or medical examiner to determine if accidentally discovered human remains are a crime event or archaeological site.

The Council on American Indian Concerns serves as a resource for helping to identify relatives or culturally affiliated groups that may be associated with discovered remains. In this capacity, the Council will work with local coroners or medical examiners and with State agencies, including the Department of Natural Resources.

Georgia Code Sections dealing with Burial Protection:
OCGA 44-12-260 -- Protection of American Indian Human Remains and Burial Objects
OCGA 36-72-1 -- Abandoned Cemeteries and Burial Grounds
OCGA 31-21-6 -- Dead Bodies
OCGA 12-3-52 -- Archaeological Exploration, Excavation, or Surveying; Administrative Appeal of Department Orders

Best regards,

-- Gary Wright II

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