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Indians Pursue Time for Reburial In Federal Court
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Indians pursue time for reburial in federal court
by Jennifer Gerrietts

The Yankton Sioux are keeping vigil over exposed ancestral remains near Lake Francis Case that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACE)wants moved immediately. Differences between ACE and Sioux officials has necessitated taking the case before a federal court.

The Yankton Sioux Tribe brought the suit in federal court to try and stop the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from raising water levels and resubmerging the 25 to 30 grave sites left from the White Swan Church. The tribe wants time to properly exhume and rebury the bodies.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence Piersol signed a temporary restraining order about two weeks ago blocking the corps' action. The trial should be completed today.

The corps wants to expedite the removal, saying the lowered water levels threaten to exacerbate spring flooding and reduce hydroelectric power supplied by Fort Randall Dam....

"If the corps of engineers had done what they were supposed to have done,
this wouldn't be necessary today," Pearson said. "This is horrible."

Getting together the people needed to traditionally care for the dead, is a
lengthy process, said Faith Spotted Eagle of Mission.

"When you deal with the spirit world you come into things you can't explain in a court of law," said Spotted Eagle, a member of the Braveheart Society, a traditional women's group that, in past centuries, cared for the dead....





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