Indian tribes seek return of remains, artifacts from Alabama

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FILE – In this May 24, 2016, file photo, a Native American flag hangs far above American Indian advocates as they hold a news conference at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, to contest a Paris auction house’s upcoming auction of Native American remains and sacred objects. A ceremonial shield has been returned to New Mexico more than three years after it became central to an international debate over the export of Native American items. U.S. and Acoma Pueblo officials planned Monday, Nov. 18, 2019, to announce the shield’s return from Paris, where it had been listed for bidding in 2016 before the EVE auction house took the rare step of halting its sale. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Leaders of several American Indian tribes are asking the University of Alabama to return nearly 6,000 human remains and artifacts from the school’s archaeological park and museum.

Officials with the Oklahoma-based Muscogee Nation say they’ve tried for six years to get the remains back, but bureaucratic red tape has slowed the effort.

That has frustrated tribal leaders, who believe the remains and artifacts at the university’s Moundville Archaeological Park should be reburied. A university spokeswoman says the school has a desire to further collaborate with the request.

A local news outlet reports that the Muscogee Nation and a half-dozen other tribes are seeking the return of the remains and artifacts.

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