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MICHIGAN

Citation: Aboriginal Records and Antiquities (Michigan Stat. Ann. §13.22, et seq.); Historical Commission (Michigan Stat. Ann. §15.1801, et seq.).

Date Enacted: Last amended 1989

Summary: The Aboriginal Records and Antiquities Act prohibits the exploration or excavation of aboriginal remains on state lands without a permit from the Director of Natural Resources. It also makes it illegal to remove relics or records of antiquity such as human bones without private land owners permission. More general preservation statutes establish the Historical Commission and outline the requirement to consult with the Indian Affairs Commission. The law does not have specific direction on repatriation of human remains or grave goods, nor does it outline steps to follow in cases of inadvertent discovery of unmarked human graves during authorized projects.

Jurisdiction: Unmarked aboriginal burials on state and private lands. 
Statute of Limitations: Not specified. 
Areas Covered Under Act: Any unmarked skeletal remains. 
Ownership: State. 
Review/Consultation Committee: Michigan’s Indian Affairs Commission should be consulted. 
Liable: Anyone violating the Aboriginal Records and Antiquities Act, with a permit, is liable. 
Penalties: Anyone who, without lawful authority, is guilty of a felony with fines of up to $5,000 or jail for up to two years, or both. 
Exemptions: Not specified. 
Permitting: The Director of Natural Resources has jurisdiction for issuing excavation permits.