The Tennessee Valley Authority last week announced it will return the remains of more than 4,000 Native Americans removed from the states of Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
The TVA will begin the process of returning these remains by the end of the month. Here’s more info:Read more: TVA to return remains of more than 4,500 Native Americans
Remains found in Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky
According to information from the Federal Register, the remains were discovered over the course of several years in Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky, and were taken from burial sites on land now owned by the TVA. The findings represent the physical remains of 4,871 individuals of Native American ancestry, at minimum.
As stated in the Federal Register, “In accordance with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has completed an inventory of human remains and associated funerary objects and has determined that there is a cultural affiliation between the human remains and associated funerary objects and Indian Tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations in this notice. The human remains and associated funerary objects were removed from the states of Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee.”
The report says the human remains “and associated funerary objects” are under the control of TVA, and in the physical custody of TVA and its partner repositories. This includes the University of Alabama, the University of Kentucky, Mississippi State University, Southern Illinois University and the University of Tennessee.
Remains representing at least eight individuals were removed as a result of TVA action in the state of Kentucky from Livingston, Lyon, Marshall, McCracken and Trigg counties.
Here’s some info on the remains found in Alabama:
- Remains representing at least 722 individuals were removed as a result of TVA action in the state of Alabama.
- The remains were found in Colbert, Franklin, Jackson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marshall, and Morgan Counties.
- The 522 lots of associated funerary objects include lithics, ceramics, personal adornments (hair pins, beads), copper, canine burials and shell.
Remains found in Tennessee:
- Remains representing at least 3,676 individuals were removed as a result of TVA action in the eastern half of Tennessee.
- Counties where remains were found include: Anderson, Bedford, Bledsoe, Blount, Bradley, Campbell, Cannon, Carter, Claiborne, Clay, Cocke, Coffee, Cumberland, De Kalb, Fentress, Franklin, Grainger, Greene, Grundy, Hamblen, Hamilton, Hancock, Hawkins, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Lincoln, Loudon, Macon, Marion, Marshall, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe, Moore, Morgan, Overton, Pickett, Polk, Putnam, Rhea, Roane, Rutherford, Scott, Sequatchie, Sevier, Smith, Sullivan, Trousdale, Unicoi, Union, Van Buren, Warren, Washington, White and Wilson counties.
- The 739 lots of associated funerary objects include lithics, ceramics, minerals, botanical remains, shell, and personal adornments (beads and gorgets).
- Remains representing at least 465 individuals were removed as a result of TVA action in the western half of Tennessee from Benton, Carroll, Cheatham, Chester, Crockett, Davidson, Decatur, Dickson, Dyer, Fayette, Gibson, Giles, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, Henry, Hickman, Houston, Humphreys, Lake, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Lewis, Madison, Maury, McNairy, Montgomery, Obion, Perry, Robertson, Shelby, Stewart, Sumner, Tipton, Wayne, Weakley and Williamson counties.
- The 126 lots of associated funerary objects include canine remains, lithics, ceramics, and bone tools.
About the remains
According to the Federal Register, after consultation with the appropriate Indian Tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations, Tennessee Valley Authority has determined that the tribes respresented include:
- Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma
- Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas
- Cherokee Nation
- Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana
- Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
- Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma
- Jena Band of Choctaw Indians
- Kialegee Tribal Town
- Poarch Band of Creek Indians
- Shawnee Tribe
- The Chickasaw Nation
- The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
- The Muscogee (Creek) Nation
- The Seminole Nation of Oklahoma
- Thlopthlocco Tribal Town
- United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma
- Delaware Nation, Oklahoma
- Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma
- Quapaw Nation
- The Osage Nation
- Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians
The TVA said these tribes can make requests for these remains and objects on or after April 29.