Shopping Center Site Allegedly on Indian Burial Ground

January 31, 2005

Source: Beliefnet

Wire Service: RNS

On January 31, 2005 Beliefnet/RNS reported, "a Massachusetts-based Indian tribe has expressed concern that the proposed Souza Road shopping center might be built on land that has 'suspected traditional, religious, spiritual and architectural resources' significant to the tribe. In a letter to the town [of Tiverton, RI], the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head, in Aquinnah, Martha's Vineyard, says it is concerned 'that unmarked Indian burials are contained within the project area.' The tribe called upon Tiverton officials and the state to require a site visit to the location by representatives of two federally recognized tribes: the Wampanoag Tribe and the Narragansett Tribe, in Rhode Island. The Wampanoags also asked officials to require 'an intensive archaeological survey be performed on all acreage of the proposed project.' The Jan. 4 letter from Cheryl Andrews-Maltais, tribal historic preservation officer for the Wampanoags, also asserted that, at a minimum, a tribal cultural resource monitor should be on location during the archaeological survey and any digging."