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Remains of tribal ancestors buried in reservation cemetery 7-07

WHITE SHIELD, N.D. (AP) - Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara tribal members
held a special ceremony to bury the remains of three of their
ancestors.

The remains were buried in the Arikara Congregational Cemetery
southwest of White Shield. The cemetery on the Fort Berthold
reservation, overlooking Lake Sakakawea, dates back to 1910, said
Rhoda Star, an Arikara historian.

Tribal member Perry Brady said the remains buried Friday - a girl and
two men - were recovered last month when they were unearthed because
of the receding levels of Lake Francis Case, a Missouri River
reservoir in South Dakota. He said they were identified through DNA
and could date back to the 1600s.

"I think it's good they are reburying them and notifying descendants
of the families," Star said.

Sage, blankets and food were placed in the burial site.

"The sage is a protection, a holy element for everything we do and
always included with ceremonies and burials. The blankets signify a
deer hide or a buffalo robe for protection to keep them warm from the
elements," Brady said.

The inclusion of food such as corn, and tobacco is "one of the
traditional ways," Brady said.

"We have a lot of respect for people who have gone home, and we
still want to stay connected here," Brady told the group of about 35
people, most from the White Shield community, who gathered at the
burial.

Brady said he expects the return of more remains and artifacts. Many
were taken without the permission of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara
people, he said.
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