NPS Withholds Grant Money from Mexican-American Museum Pending Dispute over Native-American Remains

The National Park Service is withholding $104,000 of grant money from a Mexican-American museum pending resolution of a dispute over tribal remains found during the museum’s construction. Los Angeles County supports the museum. The remains, which were found by construction crews working on a garden, appear to be part of a cemetery originally thought to be completely exhumed in 1848. The bones were discovered in October and identified in January. Records kept by the tribes established that some of the remains come from the Gabrielino-Tongva tribes, as well as other tribes. Work on the garden stopped about a week after tribal leaders raised concerns. Issues include the reinterring of the bones and the possible disturbance of additional remains. County official are working with the Native American Heritage Foundation to reserve the issues. An NPS letter to county capital projects manager Dawn McDivitt says the funds will not be released until the issue is resolved by consultation with all concerned parties. The $104,00 comprises a small portion of the $24 million for the LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes project, which is scheduled to open April 16. 2011.

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