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Marshall’s Handling of American Indian Remains Investigated

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Marshall University’s handling of American Indian remains is under investigation by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that the agency is investigating whether Marshall is in compliance with the federal Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, or NAGPRA.

David Tarler is in charge of training, civil enforcement and regulations for the National NAGPRA Project. He says federal officials want to determine whether Marshall officials properly inventoried remains and artifacts collected over the years.

Archaeologist and Marshall professor Nicholas Freidin says the university wants to comply with the national regulations.

Freidin says it’s difficult to identify the tribes with which the remains are associated and to find the descendants.

He says one group of remains is thought to be about 800 years old.

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