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American Indians say remains desecrated at Moccasin Bend

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Workers with Choctaw Transportation continued to reinforce the inner bank of Moccasin Bend while another scoop of dirt is dumped on the shore. The work is meant to protect against erosion due to high water levels. / Jake Daniels Time Free Press. Workers with Choctaw Transportation continued to reinforce the inner bank of Moccasin Bend while another scoop of dirt is dumped on the shore. The work is meant to protect against erosion due to high water levels. / Jake Daniels Time Free Press.

CHATTANOOGA (Times Free Press) - An American Indian group claims Moccasin Bend Indian burial remains have been desecrated by a riverbank stabilization effort that was intended to save the graves and archaeological assets.

And the group is threatening a massive protest if the U.S. National Park Service and bank stabilization contractors for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers don't respectfully re-bury the remains and make changes to the project immediately.

"We're being told that remains were disturbed where they're working, and that they are not being protected and guarded," said Carl "Two Feathers" Whitaker, chief of the Nashville-based Native American Indian Movement.

In preparing the bank for a bargeload of riprap — rocks and other materials used to strengthen the bank — a centuries-old grave may have been uncovered along the heel of the riverbend, NAIM officials suspect.

Read more about this story from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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