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Commission on Indian Services logoLegislative Commission on Indian Services

Phone: 503-986-1067  
Address: 900 Court St. NE, Room 167, Salem, OR 97301
Karen Quigley, Executive Director

 
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Archaeological Information

 

Treatment of Native American Human Remains Discovered Inadvertently or Through Criminal Investigations on Private and Public, State-Owned Lands in Oregon

Native American burial sites are not simply artifacts of the tribe's cultural past, but are considered sacred and represent a continuing connection with their ancestors.  Native American ancestral remains, funerary objects, sacred objects and objects of cultural patrimony associated with Oregon Tribes are protected under state law, including criminal penalties (ORS 97.740-.994 and 358.905-.961).  The laws recognize and codify the Tribes' rights in the decision-making process regarding ancestral remains and associated objects.  Therefore, both the discovered ancestral remains and their associated objects should be treated in a sensitive and respectful manner by all parties involved. 

Identification of Human Remains  

  1. Oregon laws (ORS 146.090 & .095) outline the types of deaths that require investigation and the accompanying responsibilities for that investigation.  The law enforcement official, district medical examiner, and the district attorney for the county where the death occurs are responsible for deaths requiring investigation.  Deaths that require investigation include those occurring under suspicious or unknown circumstances.
  • If human remains that are inadvertently discovered or discovered through criminal investigations are not clearly modern, then there is high probability that the remains are Native American and therefore ORS 97.745(4) applies, which requires immediate notification with State Police, State Historic Preservation Office, Commission on Indian Services, and all appropriate Native American Tribes.  To determine who the "appropriate Native American Tribe" is, the responsible parties should contact the Legislative Commission on Indian Services (LCIS).  To determine whether the human remains are Native American, the responsible parties should contact the appropriate Native American Tribes at the initial discovery.  It should be noted that there may be more than one appropriate Native American Tribe to be contacted.
  • If the human remains are possibly Native American then the area should be secured from further disturbance.  The human remains and associated objects should not be disturbed, manipulated, or transported from the original location until a plan is developed in consultation with the above named parties.  These actions will help ensure compliance with Oregon state law that prohibits any person willfully removing human remains and/or objects of cultural significance from its original location (ORS 97.745).
  • All parties involved and the appropriate Native American Tribes shall implement a culturally sensitive plan for reburial.

Notification

State law [ORS 97.745 (4)] requires that any discovered human remains suspected to be Native American shall be reported to:

  • State Police
    • Sgt. Chris Allori, Office (503) 731-4717, Cell (503) 708-6461, Dispatch (503) 731-3030
  • State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO)
    • Primary contact = Dennis Griffin, State Archaeologist, office phone (503) 986-0674, cell phone (503) 881-5038
  • Legislative Commission on Indian Services (LCIS)
    • Contact = Karen Quigley, Director, office phone (503) 986-1067.  Karen will provide the list of appropriate Native American Tribes
  • All appropriate Native American Tribes provided by LCIS
    • Burns Paiute Tribe -  Diane Teeman, Cultural Resources Program (541) 573-8089
    • Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw - Stacy Scott, M.A., Cultural Resources Protection Specialist (541) 888-7513, Cell (541) 297-5543
    • Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde - Briece Edwards, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (503) 879-5211
    • Confederated Tribes of Siletz - Robert Kentta, Cultural Resources Director (541) 444-8244
    • Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation - Teara Farrow Ferman, Cultural Resources Program Manager (541) 276-3447; secondary contact Catherine Dickson (541) 966-2338 or (541) 429-7231
    • Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs – Kathleen Sloan, Tribal Archaeologist (541) 553-3555
    • Coquille Indian Tribe – Bridgett Wheeler, Director, Education, Culture & Library  Services (541) 756-0904 
    • Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians - Jessie Plueard, Cultural Programs Manager   (541) 677-5575 ext. 5577
    • Klamath Tribes - Perry Chocktoot, Culture & Heritage Director (541) 783-2764 ext. 107
 
 

 

 
 
  
Contact Information
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BURNS PAIUTE TRIBE

​Diane Teeman

100 Pasigo Street, Burns, OR 97720
P 541-417-1986 / F: 541-573-2422
E: dlteeman.burns.paiute@gmail.com

 
CONFEDERATED TRIBES OF GRAND RONDE

​Briece Edwards

Cultural Protection Coordinator
9615 Grand Ronde Road Grand Ronde, OR 97347
P: 503-879-2084 / F: 503-879-2126
E: thpo@grandronde.org

 
CONFEDERATED TRIBES OF SILETZ INDIANS

​Robert Kentta

Cultural Resources Director
201 SE Swan Avenue Siletz, OR 97380
P: 541-444-8244 / F: 541-444-2307
E: rkentta@ctsi.nsn.us

 
CONFEDERATED TRIBES OF THE COOS, LOWER

Stacy Scott

Cultural Resources Protection Specialist
1245 Fulton Avenue, Coos Bay, OR 97420
C: 541-297-5543 / P: 541-888-7513
F: 541-888-2853
E: sscott@ctclusi.org

Jesse Beers

P: 541-888-1319 / F: 541-888-0302
E: jbeers@ctclusi.org

 
CONFEDERATED TRIBES OF THE UMATILLA INDIAN RESERVATION

Teara Farrow Ferman

Cultural Resources Program Manager
Dept. of Natural Resources
46411 Timíne Way Pendleton, OR 97801
P: 541-276-3447 / F: 541-429-7203
E: tearafarrowferman@ctuir.org

Catherine Dickson

P: 541-429-7231
E: catherinedickson@ctuir.org

 
CONFEDERATED TRIBES OF THE WARM SPRINGS RESERVATION

Kathleen Sloan, PhD

Manager Warm Springs Geo Visions
Cultural Resource Department
PO Box 460 Warm Springs, OR 97761
P: 541-553-3464 / F: 541-553-3584
E: kathleen.sloan@ctwsbnr.org

Roberta Kirk

THPO Assistant
P: 541-533-3555 / Direct: 541-553-3465
F: 541-553-3584
E: roberta.kirk@ctwsbnr.org  

 
COQUILLE INDIAN TRIBE

Kassandra Rippee

Archaeologist
3050 Tremont Street North Bend, OR 97459
C: 541-808-5554 / P: 541-756-0904 ext. 10216
F: 541-756-0847
E: kassandrarippee@coquilletribe.org

Bridgett Wheeler

Director, Education, Culture & Library Services
P: 541-756-0904
E: bridgettwheeler@coquilletribe.org

 
COW CREEK BAND OF UMPQUA TRIBE OF INDIANS

J​essie Plueard

Cultural Programs Manager Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO)
2371 Stephens Street, Suite 100 Roseburg, OR 97470
P: 541-677-5575 ext. 5577 / F: 541-677-5574
E: jplueard@cowcreek.com

 
KLAMATH TRIBES

​Perry Chocktoot

Culture & Heritage Director
501 Chiloquin Blvd Chiloquin, OR 97624
P: 541-783-2764 ext. 107 / F: 541-783-2029
E: perry.chocktoot@klamathtribes.com