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Corps of Engineers to sign agreement with six Native American Indian Tribes in Memphis

Published Nov. 16, 2012
MEMPHIS, Tenn., Nov. 16, 2012 – The Memphis District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will sign an important agreement with representatives of six federally recognized American Indian Tribes on Tuesday, Nov. 20, at 10:30 a.m. at the Clifford Davis – Odell Horton Federal Building.

Senior tribal representatives from the Quapaw Tribe, the Absentee Shawnee Tribe, the Delaware Nation, and the Thlopthlocco (Creek) Tribal Town will all be present at the ceremony. Leaders of the Osage Nation and the Eastern Shawnee Tribe will sign the agreement by mail.

The document – known as a Programmatic Agreement – brings the Memphis District into full compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended. One of the key subjects addressed in the agreement concerns the disposition and handling of human skeletal remains discovered after operation of the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway in Missouri during the flood of 2011, and for future activations of the floodway.

The agreement commits the Corps to a long-term program of damage assessment, and site restoration in the event of future activations or intensive levee repairs with the potential to impact Native American graves and National Register eligible sites.

“This is a significant event in that it is the result of an unprecedented amount of tribal consultation and input, and that it involves federally recognized tribes as full partners in the protection of significant cultural resources and traditional cultural properties,” Corps of Engineers archeologist Dr. Robert Dunn said. “The signing of this new agreement is clearly a success story for the Corps and the affiliated Native American Tribes.”

The public is invited to attend the ceremony which will take place in the north ground floor lobby of the Federal Building.

Public Affairs Office

Release no. 12-20