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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, May 28, 2010

Army seeks Native Hawaiian input on discovery of human remains

Advertiser Staff

Army officials to\\on Thursday said they invited representatives from the State Historic Preservation Division, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Oahu Burial Council, Ahu Kukaniloko and Hui Malama I Na Kupuna O Hawaii Nei to visit a Schofield Barracks construction site where human remains were discovered earlier this month.

"Now that the remains have been found, the decision must be made whether the remains should stay where they were found, or whether they should be relocated to a more appropriate site where they would not be disturbed again," said Laurie Lucking, cultural resource manager for U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, in a statement. "The remains were found in an Army training area where military vehicles will be operating and performing exercises and we are seeking recommendations from the representatives on this matter."

The Army said it will publish a general notice to allow claimants an opportunity to consult with the Army on the final disposition of the remains once a decision is made on whether to move the remains from its location.

An Army-contracted cultural monitor from Garcia and Associates was on site when a single bone fragment was found on May 14 in a mound of earth that had recently been excavated. All work was immediately halted.

The cultural monitors and an archaeologist determined that there was a possibility that the fragments were human and a forensic anthropologist with the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command confirmed that suspicion the following day.

The Army said further examination of the surrounding area is being done to determine if there are any more human remains.

The Army said it will continue to work closely with the Native Hawaiian community to ensure compliance with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.