Staff of the Bois Forte Heritage Center and the Minnesota Historical Society review artifacts on July 16 when MHS returned some 7,000 archaeological to the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa. Pictured, from left, are Bois Forte Heritage Center Curator Bill Latady, Minnesota Historical Society Deputy Director Pat Gaarder, Heritage Center Assistant Bev Miller, Heritage Center Executive Director Rose Berens, Minnesota Historical Society intern Anna McGraw, Minnesota Historical Society Head of Archaeology Pat Emerson, Heritage Center Assistant Rhonda Zuponcic.

Bois Forte Band of Chippewa Gets Some 7,000 Artifacts Back


A collection of some 7,000 artifacts was returned to the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa July 16 by the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) after a request was made by the band for the materials.

“The Bois Forte people are the best stewards of our history and the best tellers of our story. The objects are home where they belong, where we can learn from them and use them to educate people about Bois Forte,” said Kevin Leecy, chairman of the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, in a release.

The collection includes stone tools, arrowheads, fragments of ceramic vessels and copper artifacts, some of which may be displayed at the Bois Forte Heritage Museum in Tower, Minnesota.

According to an MHS release all the materials were excavated by in 1948 from tribal land on Nett Lake in Koochiching County, Minnesota without permission from the band. Once obtained, the artifact were held by the University of Minnesota until 1999, when they were turned over to MHS.

“We're pleased to have been able to work with the band to facilitate the return of this important collection to its proper home. We're confident the artifacts will continue to be available for study by those interested in the long history of American Indian culture in Northern Minnesota,” said Pat Emerson, MHS head of archaeology, in the release.

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