Prehistoric remains were found and officials are trying to return them to their proper descendants.

In 2017, a visitor to the park found the bones after some high waters uncovered them at the beach. At that point, the visitor took them home, and around one year later the visitor returned the bones to a park official. Even though everything in the park is protected and should not be removed, no charges were filed in the case.

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The remains were then sent off for testing. First, they were taken to the Leelanau County medical examiner's office and then to a lab at Western Michigan University. The reason that this is coming to light now is that the park had to legally post notices in the paper in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan.

The lab results show that the remains are likely prehistoric. The lab results also suggest that the remains are Native American and very old.

It tells us what the communities have said, that this was their traditional lands...There's no real scientific or archaeological piece of this. It's more of a cultural and respect piece of us returning what was found to their descendants...said Superintendent of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Scott Tucker. 

This find marks the first time that native remains have been found at Sleeping Bear, however, others have been discovered in the Great Lakes area. Park officials are now working with local Native American tribes to turn the remains over to the appropriate place or tribe.


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