Group of Native Americans wants housing developers to stop construction on possible ancient burial site

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -  To passersby, the lot just outside of Goldsmith Schiffman Wildlife Sanctuary just looks like another construction site. But one group of Native Americans spent their Saturday performing spiritual rituals on the land.

"That's where they did all their hunting and fishing, out through here,” explained Arturo Adrian. "They probably, pretty sure, had villages out through here. But most of them stayed up in the mountains so they could see over."

Adrian, who is known as “Spiritual Leader,” in his Apache Tribe said he has reason to believe this is an ancient Native American burial site.

According to our news partners at, an archaeologist from Redstone Arsenal informed the land developers and the City of Huntsville about finding signs of ancient life in the area last summer.

Several people from different tribes showed their support by blessing the land. One member of the Cherokee Tribe encouraged people to imagine someone was building a housing development on top of a cemetery where their loved ones were buried.

"If there's remains out here, their burial is being desecrated,” said Foy Southard. “By blessing the ground, and doing what we did today, we're trying to put back some peace for those remains."

And Adrian said until there's a clearer picture, the bulldozing and digging has to come to a halt.

"In the meantime please stop. Until we figure out what is here and what's not,” he said. “I hate to see this go on.”

The group says it will continue to make its opinions known on the issue.

There are Alabama laws that prevent construction on burial sites, but Adrian said he would like someone at the state level to focus on better enforcing those laws.

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