National Geographic : 2000 Nov
more than 2,000 Native Americans are reburied some 80 years after removal from their graves. an emotional day, Pete Toya pays homage to his tribal ances tors. War chief of the Jemez Pueblo Indians, he presided over the reburial of the re mains of 2,067 individuals at New Mexico's Pecos National Historical Park. They had been removed in the early 20th century and sent to Har vard University's Peabody Museum. A 1990 federal law enables tribes to recover human remains and grave artifacts taken from ancestral lands. William Whatley, the tribe's archaeologist, peti tioned for this single largest repatriation of Native Ameri can remains to date. "When I saw them at the museum, it was kind of scary," said Toya. "It was also sad. They were just sitting in boxes against the wall. It brought tears to my eyes. But now I'm so happy that we brought our ancestors back to where they belong."