Construction Workers Unearth Native American Burial Ground

by Rowena Shaddox
Fox 40 June 6, 2013


Caltrans workers, widening and repaving a portion of Highway 88 in Ione, unearthed a Native American burial ground.

“They have a monitor come in, and they have to be there to make sure if they find anything, they have to stop,” Amber Guerra, who is married to a Miwok tribe member.

A Caltrans investigator confirmed today, that a monitor from the tribe was already on hand at the construction site, just in case any more remains or artifacts are uncovered.

Out of respect for the tribe, a Caltrans spokeswoman declined comment.

And while the Miwok tribe wouldn’t say specifically where the remains were found, in order to protect the site from vandals, they did say, “The Ione Band of Miwok Indians does everything within its power to make sure all of our Burial Sites, Cultural Sites and Sacred Sites are as protected.”

“It’s just like anyone else. You don’t want someone messing with your ancestors remains. So they do, they take it very seriously,” Guerra said.

Those who live near sacred burial sites, say finding remains isn`t unusual for this area.

“It’s peaceful. It’s a common feeling, especially if you know the background of the culture,” said Amber, an Ione resident who lives near a Miwok burial site.

A culture Amber Guerra has become a part of, married to a tribal member.

“Different times of the season, they walk from here to the Ione reservation, to Plymouth, to Pioneer. all over. So you’ll find all kinds of stuff, everywhere,” Guerra said.

“It’s mainly just the tribal people that are in control of everything that goes on with the reservation. Any type of remains of any sort, they take care of it. We don’t have any access. It’s very sacred,” resident Amber added.

Watch the news coverage here.