2006 Louisiana Laws - RS 8:681 — Disposition of unmarked burial sites, human skeletal remains, and burial artifacts

§681.  Disposition of unmarked burial sites, human skeletal remains, and burial artifacts

A.  Whenever an unmarked burial site, human skeletal remains from an unmarked burial site, or burial artifacts are reported to the board, the disposition of unmarked burial sites, human skeletal remains, or burial artifacts shall proceed as follows:

(1)  Every reasonable effort is to be made to restore the unmarked burial site and to avoid disturbing the human skeletal remains or burial artifacts:

(a)  If the board determines that the burial site has significant scientific value, the board may issue a permit for scientific study.

(b)  Any agreement by the owner of the property to leave the unmarked burial site undisturbed shall not constitute consent on the owner's part to allow relatives of the deceased or any other interested parties free access to the site without the owner's permission.

(2)  The board shall make reasonable efforts to identify and locate persons who can establish direct kinship with or descent from the individual whose remains have been found.

(3)  If the unmarked burial site or the human skeletal remains can be shown to have ethnic affinity with a living Native American tribe, the board shall notify the tribe of the discovery.

(4)  If the human skeletal remains must be removed, then control of the disposition of these remains shall be in the following order:

(a)  If any direct relations or descendants are found, such person or persons shall have the right to control the disposition of the human skeletal remains in accordance with R.S. 8:659.

(b)  If the human skeletal remains can be shown to have ethnic affinity to any living tribe of Native Americans, then the tribe shall have control of the disposition of the human skeletal remains.

(c)  If no direct relation or descendant is found or if no ethnic affinity of the human skeletal remains to any living Native American tribe can be shown or if no direct relation or descendant or Native American tribe takes responsibility for the reinterment of the human remains, then the board shall determine the proper disposition of the human remains.

B.  If a permit has been issued pursuant to R.S. 8:676(A)(6), the cost of disinterment, reinterment, or study of the human skeletal remains shall be paid by the persons or parties requesting the permit.  In the event the board must reinter the remains, the burial shall be paid in the same manner as an indigent or pauper burial.

C.  All burial artifacts found in an unmarked burial site shall become the property of the state and the board shall be the custodian thereof.  The disposition of the burial artifacts shall be made by the board in accordance with its regulations.  The board may donate the burial artifacts to an educational institution, a public museum, or a Native American tribe for display and study purposes.  In no event, however, shall the board or any recipient sell the burial artifacts.

Acts 1991, No. 704, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1992.

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