Kumeyaay Nation: Fighting to protect remains of ancestors - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Kumeyaay Nation: Fighting to protect remains of ancestors

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Members of the Kumeyaay Nation met with Navy officials Friday to discuss the controversy over new construction near Silverstrand.

Native Americans said their ancestors' remains have been found at the site of a one-billion-dollar Navy SEAL expansion project.

Only two days after members of the tribe protested outside the Naval station, members met face-to-face with Navy officials to discuss their concerns and come up with a solution.

Cynthia Parada said in 2002, ancestral remains were discovered in the very same spot where crews are now digging.

The Kumeyaay Nation is concerned the remains are being destroyed and would like to have the project scaled back, or at least for now halted until more archaeological research can be done.

"They are our heroes and we cannot stress that enough. They just want to mix them up in the concrete and push them under the dirt because it's not defined under the law they are human," said Parada.

For now the project remains underway, but the Kumeyaay Nation would like to scale the project back by four-percent.

Navy spokesperson Sandy Demunik said they are taking tribal members' concerns very seriously. Further, she said areas within the National Register Eligible Site that have been proven to have remains are in fact being protected.

"We are going nowhere near those sites. We have actually gone above and beyond a 100-foot buffer," she said.

Tribal members, however, are convinced there are other areas just as important that are not being protected - which is why they have vowed to continue their fight.

The Navy said the conversation is not over and as soon as they hear from officials in Washington D.C., they will share the information the Kumeyaay Nation.


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