Public Service Announcements

Protecting Native American Remains, a USACE Mobile Mission

Published July 23, 2020

Public Affairs
USACE Mobile District
(251) 690-2505

MOBILE, Ala. – In our continuing effort to advise the general public on our many critical missions executed for the benefit of the Nation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District works with the Native American Tribes of our region in respecting, preserving and repatriating the relics and gravesites of the First Nations.

Pursuant to the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), the Mobile District maintains procedures and controls to ensure the proper respect, treatment, and eventual repatriation of all Native American human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, or objects of cultural patrimony, discovered on Federal or tribal lands or by official agency action.

Our procedures in ensuring adherence to Federal law as well as in respecting the cultures of the Native American Tribes include provisions in NAGPRA which direct that any objects inadvertently discovered during the execution of USACE construction or other work require that USACE personnel and its contractors stop work immediately and notify Mobile District headquarters staff, who will ensure that proper steps are taken to protect and respectfully treat the discovered object. We will, to the maximum extent feasible, protect and respect the traditions of any potential claimants concerning human remains or other culturally relevant objects until their repatriation with our Native American Tribal partners is complete.

It is important for the public to be aware that pursuant to the legal provisions of NAGPRA, any person who knows or has reason to know that he or she has inadvertently discovered human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, or objects of cultural patrimony on Federal or Tribal lands after November 16, 1990, must provide immediate telephone notification of the inadvertent discovery, with written confirmation, to the responsible Federal agency official with respect to Federal lands, and, with respect to Tribal lands, to the responsible Native American Tribal official.

In the case of objects or human remains found on public land or waters managed by the Mobile District, please immediately contact us by telephone at (251) 690-2505, and written email communication addressed to

Finally, please note that NAGPRA’s legal requirements (including penalties), regarding inadvertent discoveries apply whether or not an inadvertent discovery is duly reported.

We thank the public for joining us in respecting and protecting the legacy of America’s First Nations. For questions concerning our role in that effort, please contact the Mobile District at (251) 690-2505.


With an area of operation across Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and northern Florida, and a vast military region that includes operations across Central and South America, the Mobile District’s award- winning teams of engineering, construction, regulatory and emergency management professionals are nationally recognized for their leadership in delivery of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ civil works and military programs missions to the Nation.




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