Hamilton County Parks Department Fined For Allowing IPFW Archaeologists to Grave Rob

Hamilton County Parks Department Fined For Allowing IPFW Archaeologists to Grave Rob 




    Hamilton Parks Department has been fined $6,533 for allowing IPFW archaeologists to grave rob thousands of skeletal fragments from the Strwatown earthworks.  The site was likely constructed by the Oto Sioux but was brought to light by the Miami Indians who resided in Indiana in historic times.

Reported in the Indy Star by Chris Sikich, Nov. 13, 2017


"The first summer archaeologists began excavating a Native American burial ground at Strawtown Koteewi Park, they found a human jawbone.
The law was clear. They should have notified Native American tribes to allow them the opportunity to rebury their ancestor.
Instead, they studied, cataloged and boxed up the bone fragments. And for the next 10 years, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne's archaeological team and the Hamilton County Parks & Recreation Department continued digging aggressively — never notifying tribal leaders.
"What happened is awful," Richard Sutter, the head of IPFW's anthropology department, told IndyStar. "It's inexcusable."
An IndyStar investigation found archaeologists and park officials ran roughshod over a federal law designed to protect Native American graves. Their actions not only compromised an important archaeological site, they further eroded the state’s already long-strained relationship with Native Americans."