Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Challenges. Discussion »
SAN DIEGO COUNTY - In a story unfolding this afternoon, a group of 50 American Indians, including tribal council members and elders, are prepared to step in front of bulldozers to stop the further desecration of an ancestral burial ground at a construction site some 55 miles north of downtown San Diego.
Over 100 fragments of human remains have been disturbed and improperly handled
“In this case we have the domino effect of poor project management and compliance:
failed tribal consultation,
insufficiently scoped archaeological assessments,
erroneous conclusions in the Environmental Impact Report.”
stated Bannae Calac, Repatriation Officer for the Pauma Band of Luiseno Indians.
The construction site is a road being constructed by Palomar College that will be owned by the County of San Diego. The road leads to a future home of Palomar College education site, located near Fallbrook, California. Palomar Community College's main campus is located in San Marcos, with six education sites throughout the northern portion of San Diego County.
Human Remains Disturbed
Today the Pauma Band of Luiseno Indians joined the San Luis Rey Band of Mission Indians to stop Palomar College from grading activities that are sure to disturb and irreversibly damage ancestral cultural resources, archaeological data and unnecessarily unearth human remains.
Some 20 human remains have already been uncovered and recovered at a known tribal burial site. Tribal officials maintain over 100 fragments of human remains have been disturbed and improperly handled by construction crews.
“Balfour Beatty Construction is ignoring the wishes of the San Luis Rey Band of Mission Indians, who last Friday filed a lawsuit and temporary restraining order against Palomar College,”
“We have no choice but to join the San Luis Rey Band and halt this illegal and immoral action of unearthing our ancestors without following the law and protocol that applies to these types of projects,”
Calac, who is serving as spokesperson for the protest, welcomes the support of other concerned American Indians in southern California.
“We do not speak publically to any litigation pending against us,”
commented Laura Gropen, director of communications, marketing, and public affairs for the Palomar College on Wednesday afternoon to the Native News Network.
posted February 22, 2012 4:15 pm est
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