MnDOT holds public info meeting on new human remains discovery a - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

MnDOT holds public info meeting on new human remains discovery and future of Highway 23 project

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The Minnesota Department of Transportation held an open house Wednesday for concerned community members in the area.

This comes after MnDOT chose to halt construction on the Highway 23 project, after finding human remains and discovery of a possible burial ground.

According to Cultural Resource Director for Minnesota Indian Affairs, Jim Jones, so far four individuals have been found in seven to eight locations on the site. 
For now, parts of the site have been covered up and still remain on security watch 24/7.
Residents of 4th street will still be able to maneuver around because it will not be blocked off.

MnDOT says they train their managers on working with tribal governments and really key in on where there might be sensitive areas in Minnesota.

MnDOT Commissioner, Charlie Zelle says he does not know how this area was missed but that the agency takes full responsibility.

"MnDOT has some great procedures, we have great intentions but we dropped the ball. We did not really know, nor did we really consult the right people to know that there was a sacred ground burial site," said Zelle.

Starting next week there's going to be an archaeological process that's going to take place- meaning, non-intrusive testing will be done on the findings-sifting and washing through the material, site verification/mapping, and field observation. 

"Look at non-invasive techniques the geophysical testing that will take place and recovery of anything that may be at risk of being exposed to protect them.," said Jones.

Both parties also do say once they receive more information, more public meetings will be held in the near future. 

There's also been talk about a plaque to be placed on the site. Jones says there will be some sort of monument placed there to protect the site. 

MnDOT says they do not have a schedule on the project yet, their biggest concern is preserving that site and working with the Fond du Lac Band as best as they can. 

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