As I was walking around downtown Harbor Springs, Mi tonight, it made me think about a recent repatriation I was involved in. LTBB Odawa put in a repatriation claim for remains that were originally from Harbor Springs. The remains were affiliated to LTBB Odawa due to their age, which was early 1700s. The remains were returned and promptly reburied. The fact the remains were unearthed is always sad but the area from which they derive from is the second part of my story.
Harbor Springs, MI is a beautiful spot. My ancestors knew a good thing and for hundreds of years the Odawa have called Harbor home. By the turn of the 19th century, things changed drastically for my tribe and we signed a series of treaties with the U.S. Government to have the right to stay in Harbor Springs. But, reservation lands in Harbor Springs were illegally sold to non-natives and when this happened, graves began to be unearthed, due to construction. Many very wealthy resorters have multi-million dollar homes right on the graves of some of the remains we at LTBB repatriated. Makes me wonder what happened to all the other burials. Are they still there, in somebody’s yard, did a university come and take them, or, did the remains simply get pushed into a pile dirt and hauled away. I can only repatriate remains accounted for at museums, but it makes me sad, and angry, to know so many other Anishnaabek burials were desecrated so some resorter could have a summer home in a “private association”.