August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Kawaiisu Indians: Developer does not own remains of families

Kawaiisu protecting burial grounds from developer in California
News release
As California develops its Open Space, Native American Sacred Sites are being destroyed. The State’s environmental law, CEQA, is cited in a Federal Court case brought by a Tribe to protect their Ancestors burial grounds. The Kawaiisu Tribe of Tejon objects to a phrase in a Kern County EIR, where it states that the corporate developer “owns the remains” of their families.
This case also seeks to resolve a problem long cited by California Tribes, the proper designation of Most Likely Descendants, Consultants and Monitors, by the California Native American Heritage Commission. Tejon Mountain Village (TMV) is a 26 thousand acre resort development
on land owned by the Tejon Ranch Corporation, a publicly traded entity. The project proposes three hotels, 750 resort lodging units, 3400 homes and 160,000 sq. ft. of commercial development. The acreage falls within the Indian Country of the Kawaiisu people and has over 50 documented pre-historic village sites. The Kawaiisu are one of the ancient Great Basin Shoshone Paiute Tribes, whose pre-European territory extended from Utah to the Pacific Ocean.
This case also cites the federal acknowledgement process, the Administrative Procedure Act and Repatriation of Native American remains. The Tribe’s case is litigated by Christopher K. King, of
Washington, DC. To read the August 15, 2010 Amended Complaint, visit the Eastern District Court of California case number 1:09 CV 01977 OWW SMS or view the pleading at the Tribes blog:
For more information contact:

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