Flathead Sheriff Chuck Curry says it?s now up to tribal members to decide what to do with Native American skeletal remains a Kalispell homeowner found when excavating in his yard. Curry says two pathologists at the state crime lab looked at photos of the bones, and were able to tell they belonged to a Native American.
An archeologist with the state?s historic preservation office says it?s the bone structure that would have given off the clues. It?s not known which tribe the buried person belongs to, but the preservation office contacted the nearest tribal members, which are in this case the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes.
?We live in Northwest Montana. This area was populated by Native Americans long before the white settlers came, and there are historic grave sites all over that on occasion get disturbed,? said Curry. ?There?s a procedure in place for that.?