Friday, June 17, 2016

Suit Between Indian Tribes Challenges Building Site For History Center

Non Doc reported yesterday on a federal court lawsuit filed in May by the Caddo Nation against the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes challenging the construction of a History Center by the Wichitas in western Oklahoma on land held jointly by the Wichita Tribe, Caddo Nation and Delaware Tribe.  A Caddo press release has further background.  The History Center is being built on a 71-acre parcel below a hill on which the Riverside Indian School is located.  The boarding school has been in operation since 1872 and was attended by Caddo students, as well as students from other tribes.  Students who died at the school were buried near it.  The Wichita say that all the graves are by the school at the top of the hill, but in the lawsuit members of the Caddo Nation contend that there are also graves at the site of the History Center below. According to Non Doc:
The Caddo filed a lawsuit May 25 seeking to halt construction for two weeks while the tribe conducted archeological work with ground-penetrating radar, or GPR, which can identify potential artifacts or features without the need to disturb a site by digging.
A U.S. District Court judge ordered a temporary stop to work at the site, one and a-half miles north of Anadarko, pending a hearing. The order was lifted May 31, and the Wichita resumed work. The Caddo then filed an appeal on June 7 to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court in Denver. No hearing date has been set at this time.