Justice Dept. Opposes Effort to Dig Up Geronimo
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2009 11:38 AM CDT
This April 22, 2009, photo shows Geronimo's grave in the Apache cemetery at Fort Sill in Lawton, Okla.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The Justice Department has asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit seeking to unearth the bones of Geronimo from his Oklahoma tomb and rebury them in his native New Mexico, the BBC reports. The Apache leader’s descendants also name Yale University and the Skull and Bones society, which allegedly stole some of the bones to keep in its New Haven clubhouse.

The lawsuit says it seeks to recover the famed Apache warrior’s remains “from 100 years of imprisonment at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, the Yale University campus … and wherever else they may be.” It cites a 1990 law giving Native Americans the rights to the remains of their family members. But the Obama administration says Geronimo’s grave would need to have been disturbed after 1990 for the law to apply.