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Sunday, October 16, 2005

The Wages of Evil: $7 - 10

From the Victoria (B.C.) Times Colonist:

Tseycum band finds remains of ancestors in U.S. museums

Rob Shaw
Times Colonist

Sunday, October 16, 2005

It was a sight that left Cora Jacks in tears -- her ancestors' bones from North Saanich lying on the stark warehouse shelves of two of America's most prominent museums.

They were more than skulls and skeletons to Jacks; they were thousands of years of spiritual history tying together the Tseycum First Nation. They had been missing since the 1850s, when American archeologists looted grave sites around the Saanich Peninsula.

[snip]

About 57 sets of bones were identified in New York using the museum's collection of letters and photos from the archeologist who originally took the bodies. Jacks brought local maps and matched up the sites to determine they were from North Saanich.

But the letters also provided a disturbing look into the past. They revealed the archeologist was paid $5 a skull and between $7-10 to steal an entire First Nations skeleton from its burial site, said Smith.

[Read the whole story]

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