Human remains discovered at a construction site on Mackinac Island in November are being reburied this week. But an official on Mackinac Island says the city will not care for the new memorial site.
The bones were uncovered after the historic McNally Cottage was demolished by developers to make way for a new hotel. They are likely a mix of Native American and European ancestry and had been buried in an early Catholic cemetery before they were disturbed. They will reside in a portion of the new St. Anne's Catholic cemetery on the island. Instead of being reburied, the bones and the soil they were dug up with will be formed into a mound in the shape of a turtle.
The Mackinac State Historic Park Commission recommended St. Anne's as a location for reburial. It is owned by the park and run by the city of Mackinac Island.
At a meeting last month Phil Porter, Mackinac Island State Park Director, said that was one reason it was a good location for the human remains, "The site also has ongoing security and maintenance which is provided by, and the responsibility of, the city of Mackinac Island, so there will be caretakers there to watch over the site and so on."
But the chair of the cemetery commission says Mackinac Island will not take care of the reburied plot. Armand Horn says he does not consider it an official burial and doesn't believe the city is responsible for its maintenance. Porter said the city will need to work out a solution with the Sault tribe of Chippewa Indians to determine how the reburial site will be maintained.