The director of Missouri’s child welfare agency told lawmakers this week that the state has “effectively legally orphanized” around 1,500 children.

Those children have had their legal ties to their biological parents severed — by a court, in what’s called termination of parental rights — but the social services agency had no adoptive parents ready to take their place. 

They wait, in foster care, to be adopted or age out of the system.

“If you know anybody who wants to adopt a child, an older child who’s got that situation, let us know, because those kids need to be moved on,”  Darrell Missey, director of Children’s Division,  told lawmakers at a House budget subcommittee hearing for the Department of Social Services.

Those “orphanized” children, in limbo, are part of the broader issue Missey laid out for lawmakers: Too many kids enter foster care, and once entangled in the system, they linger. 

There are more than 13,300 kids in foster care in Missouri — which includes placement settings such as temporary care with relatives, traditional foster families with strangers and group residential homes.

Only around 45% of foster children returned home safely to their parents within 12 months in 2021, the most recently available data — far below the federal benchmark of 75%.

The state removes children at a rate nearly twice the national average, even when accounting for poverty, according to the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform.

The reason, Missey said, is twofold. 

At the front-end, Missouri does too little to prevent kids from entering foster care in the first place, he said, and at the back-end, there are too few resources to move foster kids to stable, permanent homes.

Often, when kids come into care, Missey said, it’s a result of “poverty, mental illness, and addiction.

“If you put services on the front end to prevent those things from getting to a place where a child had to be removed, that’s a much better expenditure of money,” he said, adding that each child in foster care costs the state around $25,000 per year.

“It more than pays for itself over time,” Missey said, of prevention efforts.

Social services leadership pitched lawmakers on a new philosophy to “rebuild and reform” Children’s Division, as part of the overall agency’s budget proposal for next year which features funding 100 new Children’s Division staff as “phase one.”

State Rep. Sarah Unsicker, D-Shrewsbury, who sits on the committee which heard the social services budget, said in an interview with The Independent the preventative services outlined in the budget are “definitely a step forward, but I think a lot more needs to be done.”

In the hearing, she pointed to the limited funding for a crisis program, which is designed to provide temporary child care relief for parents facing crisis, to avoid their children being taken into foster care. 

DSS leadership said the issue is that the providers for that program are limited, so they didn’t request a funding increase. 

“[Missey is] asking for what he is hoping he can get right now,” Unsicker said in an interview. 

Unsicker also pointed to a need to bolster Missouri’s social safety net more broadly. Because poverty is often conflated with child neglect, ensuring adequate housing assistance is available, for instance, could prevent children from being taken out of their homes for their poor living conditions, Unsicker said — although that wouldn’t be in DSS’s direct purview.

Missey said he hopes this is the beginning of a shift in the department’s priorities for years to come.

“I’ve had people already ask me, ‘Do they think this is enough?’” Missey said, “And as I’ve explained to people, this is just the first step.”

He added, “I think it’s going to lead to great practice once we can get there.” 

‘Phase one’

Robert Knodell, acting director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, addresses a group of state employees on May 24, 2021 (photo: Missouri Governor’s Office).

One challenge of having so many kids in state care is that it requires a lot of staff to manage them, which Missouri’s Children’s Division does not have, causing unmanageable caseloads, low morale, and high turnover rates and vacancies. 

As “just phase one” of the plan to reform the department, Missey said, the department hopes to hire 100 more staff, using part of the $22 million Gov. Mike Parson recommended be allocated to the division in his budget proposal last week for “Children’s Division Reconstruction and Reform.”

Missey said that phase is “completely dependent” on the legislature enacting the governor’s recommendation to increase state workers’ pay across-the-board by 8.7%, so they can fill those positions and retain existing staff.

The starting salary for an entry-level Children’s Division worker now, with a cost-of-living boost from the governor last year, plus a 10% boost Children’s Division allocated to caseworkers from their vacancy-related savings, is $39,390.96.

With the 8.7% raises, Missey said, Missouri will “approach” the average salaries of the surrounding states’ child welfare workers, but not meet it.

“Approaching it is far better than we are now, which is nowhere near it.”

Missey said the real number of new employees they need is much higher: they have around 1,800 workers in the agency but by some estimates, need closer to 3,400, primarily to handle the large foster care caseload. To be on par with neighboring Arkansas, Missey said, they would need 1,000 more workers than they currently have.

“I’m not asking for 1,000 people,” Missey said. 

‘This job is impossible’: High turnover, low morale plague Missouri child welfare agency

Missey said for the additional 100 staff, the general idea would be to use them in one of two ways: to “increase efficiencies for everybody with regard to the work they do now” — meaning to lower existing caseloads — “and the other is to further the work we do toward prevention,” he added.

The new workers would be utilized “in a way designed to bring the number of kids in care down,” Missey said, although he also said the department is still working “to piece that together” and not “count our chickens before they’ve hatched.” 

The state has shrunk most of its prevention-oriented workforce, called Family Centered Service workers. Those staff are called in when the state has concerns that don’t rise to the level of removing the child — but most have been moved away from that work, to cover child abuse and neglect investigations and foster care case management because of staffing issues, Missey said at the hearing. The number of open Family Centered Service cases has dropped over the last five years, according to DSS’s annual reports. 

Longer-term, reducing the number of kids in care could allow more staff to be moved to prevention work, Missey said.

Parson cut 96 jobs from Children’s Division in 2020, citing COVID-related declining revenue, though they were mostly supervisors and mid-level management rather than frontline workers. 

The same month, former director Jennifer Tidball turned down a Senate committee’s offer to help staff more positions

During the Senate Appropriations Committee hearing Tuesday, Chairman Lincoln Hough, R-Springfield, noted that the governor is asking for 100 new employees in the Children’s Division even though the division turned down 50 that year.

“What has changed from when we tried to add 50 positions and were told they were not needed?” Hough asked.

Budget Director Dan Haug answered: “We have new leadership over there that has taken a fresh look at it.”

Robert Knodell took over as acting Department of Social Services director in October 2021. Soon after, Missey stepped down as a circuit judge in Jefferson County to become head of Children’s Division.

Missey said eventually, he may try to target the new prevention-oriented staff to the geographic areas with the highest rates of foster children in care.

“Should we target those people there and do it all at once? If we did it all at once, this would be much bigger,” Missey said, adding that if the legislators decide Children’s Division needs more workers faster, “we would take them.”

With the governor’s recommendations, Knodell said, he believes that “will make our child service worker salaries more competitive.”

“But ultimately the solution to our problem is really more prevention,” Knodell later continued, “and fewer children having to come into care.” 



Richard Wexler, executive director of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform, has disagreed with Missey’s emphasis on hiring more workers, arguing instead that the best preventative services would include providing emergency help directly to families. 

By email, Wexler said he believes Missey’s new plans continue to be misguided. 

“All those new hires will only wind up widening the net of needless intervention into families,” Wexler said, “and you’ll get the same lousy system only bigger.”

Instead of spending money to hire 100 more people, Wexler said the funds should be directed into “emergency concrete help for families: Child care aid, rent subsidies, one-time emergency cash.”

And those funds, he argued, should be administered by community-based, community-run organizations.

“That would significantly reduce cases in which poverty is confused with neglect,” Wexler said.

“Instead of increasing the supply of caseworkers, reduce the demand for caseworkers by directly helping families.”

‘Return on investment’

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson delivered his annual State of the State Address on Jan. 18, 2023, where he recommended $22 million in funding for Children’s Division Reconstruction and Reform (Tim Bommel/Missouri House Communications).

The budget would provide a slight boost to existing contracted preventative services, through a rate increase for third party providers — but Missey indicated more significant prevention efforts would come down the line, once the bare minimum workforce needs were met and more Children’s Division staff could be shifted to prevention work.

The governor recommended rate increases of 13% for contracted providers, DSS officials explained, which would include a handful of contractors who provide preventative services now.

Children’s treatment services includes contractors who provide mental health assessments, parent aide and education services, and the home-based crisis intervention program to keep families together, called intensive in-home services. 

Intensive in-home services, which consists of weeks-long intensive support for qualifying families when a child is at immediate risk of being removed, often including help connecting the family with community resources, generally has fewer openings than demand and served around 1,500 families in 2021. 

In 2021, the latest state data, 19 children were not accepted to intensive in-home services due to a lack of openings and were then placed in state custody. 

Chief Financial Officer of DSS Patrick Luebbering said the children’s treatment services providers have not received a rate increase since 2007 and many of the services “are prevention — this is where we want to put more bang for the buck, to keep kids out of care.”

With the governor’s proposed rate increase, the budgeted amount for children’s treatment services would increase from $22.9 million to $25.5 million, though the budget did not break down the spending for intensive in-home services specifically.

Another preventative program, called crisis care, is composed of short term emergency placement so that, Missey said, “where the parents can’t take care of the child, that child doesn’t necessarily have to come into foster care.”

Unsicker questioned whether the roughly $2 million allocated to crisis care in the budget is sufficient.

“You’re putting so much emphasis on prevention, and putting more money into prevention,” Unsicker said at this week’s budget hearing, “and I’m just looking at this and it’s $2 million, which is not a whole lot in the scope of our budget.”

Missey said that it’s also a question of whether current providers “are available to use that money,” and said they should have conversations with places like the crisis nursery center in St. Louis to ask whether they can expand.

Luebbering added that the crisis services are limited and specific services and they haven’t been fully expended them the last few years, and that “if we were thinking we were needing more money here, we probably would’ve requested.” 

“We’re trying to look at what other prevention type services out there that we need to build up,” Luebbering said, through Family First.

The Family First Prevention Services Act, enacted by Congress in 2018, set out to provide federal funds focused on prevention resources, and to reduce the use of congregate homes for foster youth, also called residential treatment facilities. 

So you take my kid, you put him in foster care, you pay the foster parents money. What if I needed that and if I had that money, then my kid would no longer be neglected and you would have never taken them?

– Rep. Deb Lavender (D-Kirkwood)

The state has been appropriated the same roughly $10 million to spend to develop new programs for Family First every year since fiscal year 2020. They have, as of last fiscal year, spent just under $300,000 of that now $10.8 million. Missey and Luebbering said they hope to spend more this year. 

Rep. Deb Lavender, D-Kirkwood, who is on the subcommittee that heard this budget this week, said at the hearing she agreed with the shift toward prevention.

Lavender questioned whether the money the state pays for foster care could be better spent given to the family itself, to avoid neglect claims rooted in poverty.

“So you take my kid, you put him in foster care, you pay the foster parents money. What if I needed that and if I had that money, then my kid would no longer be neglected and you would have never taken them?” Lavender asked.

Missey said it’s a question he often had when he served as a judge. 

“The definition of neglect is so broad you could drive a truck through it,” Missey said. “And so it’s philosophically exactly the right question to ask, particularly as we move forward to shift the nature of this.” 

In an interview, Lavender said the 13% increase for contractors plus 100 new workers is a “good place to start,” and that she was encouraged by the direction of the department under Director Missey, and understood the department may not be able to use a massive increase in preventative funding abruptly, without this transition. 

Rep. Michael O’Donnell, R-Oakville, said at the hearing that he appreciated the discussion of “return on investment,” meaning what the state spends on foster care now versus what it could spend investing in prevention. 

“I love the fact that you guys actually have a vision that says we’re going to reduce the number of kids in foster care,” O’Donnell said. “It’s going to have a fiscal impact on the entire state budget.”



Missouri Independent is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Missouri Independent maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Jason Hancock for questions: Follow Missouri Independent on Facebook and Twitter.


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ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. This story is part of an ongoing series investigating the return of Native American ancestral remains. Sign up for ProPublica’s Repatriation Project newsletter to get updates as they publish and learn more about our reporting.

Every day when Logan Pappenfort is at work, he tries not to dwell on what’s under his feet. Beneath the south wing of the museum where he’s interim director are the remains of at least 234 of his ancestors.

For more than 800 years, they laid undisturbed, carefully buried inside a mound of earth overlooking a quiet valley and a slow river. Then in the 1920s, a chiropractor named Don Dickson dug open the mound, eventually exposing the remains of hundreds of Native Americans. He left them in place, and his family turned the excavation into a roadside attraction they called Dickson Mounds. They charged visitors 50 cents for admission.

In 1945, the state of Illinois purchased the site and later expanded it into a museum. The exposed human remains were used for decades to teach schoolchildren, visitors and local residents about what the museum presented as a long-gone culture of Illinois Indians.

The exhibit closed in the early 1990s, after Congress passed legislation requiring museums to begin returning Native American human remains and funerary objects to their rightful owners. Contractors installed cedar floorboards over the pit. They left no doorway, no hatch.

The remains at the Dickson Mounds Museum, which is a branch of the Illinois State Museum, account for a sliver of all the Native American human remains still in the hands of the state of Illinois. Federal records show the Illinois State Museum has reported that it holds the remains of at least 7,000 Native Americans. In three decades, it has returned only 2% of them — 156 individuals — to tribal nations who could claim them under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. That is among the lowest return rates in the country.

ProPublica found that the museum avoided repatriating any remains dating to before 1673, when European records of the area begin, which marks the start of what archeologists call the “historic era.” Museum leaders believed anything older than that could not be traced to living people and therefore could not be repatriated. Those decisions were based solely on geographic, scientific and historical evidence — including the maps and journals recorded by Europeans during their travels down the Mississippi River in 1673 — despite the law requiring institutions to also weigh linguistics, folklore and oral history. NAGPRA does not require absolute certainty in order to repatriate.

In its initial inventory, the museum declared 98.4% of the Native American remains in its collections “culturally unidentifiable,” and after completing required tribal consultations in the mid-1990s, it did close to nothing to advance repatriations for more than 20 years. Instead, ProPublica found, the museum prioritized the scientific study of Native American human remains over their return.

The Repatriation Project,” an ongoing investigation by ProPublica and NBC News, has found that some of the nation’s most renowned museums have exploited loopholes in the law to hold on to Native American human remains and related items.

D. Rae Gould, executive director of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Initiative at Brown University and a member of the Hassanamisco Band of Nipmucs of Massachusetts, said it’s common for institutions to say they can’t figure out who they should return remains and items to. Gould said such institutions often “use arbitrary analysis they call science to say there’s no cultural affiliation with modern day tribes.”

Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, who until her death earlier this month was the director of the Illinois State Museum, said that using the year 1673 to decide whether tribes have connections to the human remains and can reclaim them is “not OK.” Many museums, including ISM, “have been superb at avoiding the spirit of the law,” she said.

A new generation of leadership at the museum aims to reverse its abysmal repatriation record. Curator of Anthropology Brooke Morgan said the institution no longer privileges archaeological and historical evidence over tribal knowledge. She and Pappenfort hope to set a new precedent for how the museum handles repatriations — one that relies less on finding a scientific link to prove a tribe’s cultural connections to ancestral remains.

“Cultural affiliation is kind of a moot point,” said Pappenfort, who joined Dickson Mounds Museum as a curator of anthropology in 2021 and now serves as its interim director. “The reality is many tribes can lay claim to affiliation.”

Pappenfort is the first tribal citizen on the museum’s payroll and a member of the Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma, which includes descendants of more than a dozen tribes that collectively were known as the Illinois.

Growing up in Kansas City, Kansas, Pappenfort said kids teased him when he would tell them he was Native American. He could not be an Indian, they would say, because Indians are extinct.

In college, he came across a photograph in a textbook of the exposed burials at Dickson Mounds Museum. He realized the kids who taunted him in grade school had something in common with the Dicksons: “They weren’t actually looking at my ancestors as people.”

That was on his mind as he drove across the state line into Illinois.

“My ancestors put me here,” Pappenfort said. “They came from Illinois, and it’s my responsibility to do everything I can to get them where they’re supposed to be again.”

The Land and Its History

High on a limestone bluff overlooking the Mississippi River, two painted monsters stared down at the Frenchmen below. Jesuit priest Jacques Marquette described them in his journal as having men’s faces, with horns on their heads, scales on their bodies and long tails that ended in fins.

“These two monsters are so well painted that we cannot believe that any savage is their author; for good painters in France would find it difficult to paint so well,” Marquette wrote upon arriving in what he called the Illinois Country in 1673.

Marquette and fur trader Louis Jolliet had entered a land that Indigenous people had inhabited for more than 12,000 years. More than 30 federally recognized tribes can trace their ancestry or cultural connections to the land that is now the state of Illinois. At the time of the Frenchmen’s arrival, though, most of that land was under the control of nearly a dozen tribes — including the Kaskaskia, Cahokia, Michigamea, Peoria and Tamaroa — who lived along the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers.

Some of these tribes accommodated Marquette and Jolliet as the pair traveled through the Mississippi and Illinois River valleys in the summer of 1673 aiming to introduce Indigenous people to Catholicism and expand the French trading empire.

Marquette and Jolliet would have passed what today is called Dickson Mounds. There, a winding little tributary called the Spoon River floods into the slow waters of the Illinois and transforms the prairie into a Midwestern Everglades, teeming with life.

Marquette and Jolliet left no records of people who may have lived or camped at that spot in 1673, but archaeological research indicates that between 1100 and 1350, thousands of people lived in the Central Illinois River Valley — many in a large town near Dickson Mounds and others in smaller communities nearby.

The burial mounds that remain are testament to their lives, explained Pappenfort. A massive network of Indigenous communities stretched from Florida to Michigan’s upper peninsula. They shared similar ways of life, such as trading and farming, and traditions that included burying the dead in large earthen platforms. The mounds were built by moving thousands of pounds of dirt, basket by basket, often over many generations, said Pappenfort.

Between 1350 and 1450, something changed. Groups began to move out of centralized communities, including the area around Dickson Mounds. About 150 miles to the south, Cahokia, a multicultural metropolis that’s sometimes called America’s first city, also experienced relatively fast population loss. Archaeologists have estimated that at its peak, around the year 1200, more than 20,000 people lived in Cahokia and its outskirts.

Recent research suggests a changing climate that made growing maize difficult might have forced people to leave Cahokia. But there’s no widely accepted explanation for why they left or where they went.

In the 1800s, a racist myth that the mounds were too sophisticated to have been built by the local Indigenous people led some to theorize that an extinct race of “mound-builders” had once inhabited the area. Though it was disproved as early as 1884, the remnants of that myth, in tandem with the unexplained depopulation of Cahokia, gave rise to an oft-repeated story that the people responsible for the mounds throughout Illinois had “vanished” or that their culture “ceased to exist.

Then Marquette and Jolliet showed up in 1673. That summer, Marquette chronicled the locations and customs of various tribal groups, including the Peoria and Kaskaskia. Archaeologists and anthropologists rely on the information in Marquette’s journals, but the missionary didn’t record the histories of any tribe he encountered. More than 300 years later, in 1995, some tribes would tell the Illinois State Museum curators that their oral histories describe their ancestors as mound-building people. But because that history wasn’t written down, the museum dismissed it.

The year 1673 also marked the beginning of the end of tribally held lands in what is now the state of Illinois. By the 1830s, after Indigenous people were devastated by warfare and disease brought by Europeans — and after some tribes resisted ceding the land of their ancestors — the U.S. government gave Native people in Illinois two options: move or perish.

White settlers soon arrived in larger numbers. Some, like the Dicksons, dug up burial mounds and speculated about who had built them. Amateurs were later joined by professional archaeologists and anthropologists.

In the 1920s and 1930s, Fay-Cooper Cole and Thorne Deuel of the University of Chicago set up a field school just north of Dickson Mounds on land owned by Joy Morton, the founder of Morton Salt. Cole and Deuel lamented that many mounds had been leveled and looted in Fulton County. “Nearly every village had its local collection from the ‘Mound Builders,’” they wrote. “Mounds were looted and valuable data relating to the prehistory of the state were destroyed.” They still surveyed roughly 900 archaeological sites in the area, prompting their development of a cultural classification system that archaeologists still use today.

“Their field school at the Morton site is often referred to as the ‘Birthplace of American Archaeology,’” wrote a former Dickson Mounds Museum curator, Alan D. Harn, in a 2010 paper.

Federal records show that the remains of at least 15,461 Native Americans were excavated in Illinois, more than in any other state. Most are still in the state, and many are property of the Illinois State Museum.

When the Illinois State Museum opened its Dickson Mounds branch in 1972, an elevated pathway guided guests around Don Dickson’s excavation. Below, exposed and broken, were the remains of a fetus with a shell pendant on her chest; two men in their mid-40s lay beside her. A woman, about 20 years old, rested with her left hand on her pelvis. She once wore a necklace of shells, but at some point it was stolen. Someone misplaced her mandible. A man lay with two fishing hooks made of bone, and another had five arrows between his knees. A 2-year-old child was buried with a rattle made of mussel shells, but that, too, was lost.

Inviting Tribes Back to Illinois

In the fall of 1995, the Illinois State Museum invited tribes from across the Midwest to discuss the remains in its possession. The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act required institutions receiving federal funds to inventory their Native American holdings by the end of that year; they were then to consult with tribes about how to return the material to the appropriate groups.

Leaders of tribes in Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Michigan, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa were invited to Dickson Mounds Museum. Some tribal members were returning to Illinois for the first time since their ancestors had been forcibly relocated.

Archaeologist Duane Esarey, who retired from the museum in 2021, said he remembers many on staff felt nervous before the meeting because it would be their first time speaking with the tribes.

Johnathon Buffalo, historic preservation director of the Sac & Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa, was skeptical that the museum actually wanted to return anything to the tribes. Images of the Dickson Mounds burial exhibit and the controversy over its recent closure were fresh in his mind.

In early 1990, the museum’s leadership had recommended that the exhibit close, acknowledging changing norms and anticipating the passage of NAGPRA later that year. Illinois Gov. James Thompson agreed, then reversed his decision, claiming the closure would harm tourism while arguing that Native American tribes had no special say in the matter because they weren’t related to the ancient people who built Dickson Mounds. Protesters swarmed the museum, and some jumped into the pit with shovels to rebury the ancestors. The debacle, which drew the attention of national news outlets, ended in 1992, when a new governor, Jim Edgar, allowed the exhibit to close.

In his office at the tribe’s headquarters in Tama, Iowa, last summer, Buffalo flipped through a packet of information that the Illinois State Museum had given to tribal members during the 1995 consultations. He read off the names that the museum uses to divide up thousands of years of history — the archaic period, woodland period, Mississippian, prehistoric — and arrived at the number of human remains in the museum collection that it said were from the historic era, beginning in 1673. There were 88.

The museum had preemptively designated the rest of the remains — at least 5,450 ancestors excavated from at least 55 counties in Illinois — as culturally unidentifiable. All of them were dated to before 1673.

Bruce McMillan, director of the Illinois State Museum from 1977 to 2005, told ProPublica the museum did that because “it’s very difficult — regardless of what the NAGPRA regulations say — to trace things prehistorically,” meaning before there are written records. He said that during the prehistoric era, between roughly 1450 and 1673, many Native groups in the Illinois region were “fissioning, coalescing, and migrating” because of war and disease, and that they were constantly reorganizing.

“We wanted to make sure that if remains and associated objects prior to the time [were going to be repatriated], that we had some kind of written records,” McMillan said. “We wanted to make sure that they were going to the correct group or tribe.”

At least two tribes claimed during the 1995 consultations that oral histories traced their ancestry in Illinois to mound-building cultures. And Robert Warren, the museum’s curator of anthropology at the time, wrote in a report to the National Park Service that the museum was open to evidence that might counter its previous conclusions. But when the museum finished its four months of consultations with six tribal nations, curators did not change a single determination of cultural affiliation.

No tribe formally requested the return of remains that dated to before 1673. Many of the tribes invited to the museum viewed the ancestors as their collective responsibility. Connecting the remains to a specific tribe mattered less than ensuring they were reburied in the areas they’d been taken from. Every tribal leader told the museum that their ancestors should be reburied in Illinois.

The conversations did lead to the Illinois State Museum returning the remains of at least 117 ancestors to the Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma. The museum also transferred ownership of more than 32,000 funerary objects to the tribe, though the museum continues to hold the objects on the tribe’s behalf. (At the time of the repatriation in 1997, the tribe lacked the resources to appropriately store the objects.) Those human remains and funerary objects had been excavated from several sites throughout the state, not including Dickson Mounds, and all dated to after 1673.

The Illinois State Museum submitted reports to the National Park Service and, with that, it had complied with the law. (The museum later submitted a grant proposal to the park service to help fund a reburial facility, but funding was denied.)

And even though every tribe had said during the 1995 consultations that they believed the human remains in the museum’s collections should be reburied in Illinois, the reburial has yet to take place.

“They show us their stuff — our stuff — but it’s a ‘look at it but don’t touch it’ kind of thing,” Buffalo recalled of those early consultations. “And then that’s it. When they close, we leave and we never hear from them again.”

Research Instead of Repatriation

In the late 1960s, the state excavated more human remains from Dickson Mounds to make way for the museum. Archaeologists found at least 10 burial mounds and two cemeteries, unearthing the remains of more than 800 people.

All of them were sent to Massachusetts. George Armelagos, a new assistant professor recruited by the University of Massachusetts, Amherst to help start its anthropology Ph.D. program, had requested them for research.

Anthropologists hoped that the remains, which were on loan from the Illinois State Museum, would offer a window into how people who lived for hundreds of years in roughly the same spot adapted to the expansion of agriculture and population growth.

Over the next 20 years, Armelagos published at least 15 papers based on his research using the remains, and his students produced even more. Their work on the Dickson Mounds ancestors helped convince the field that Native American remains had scientific value (before then, many were kept in storage but not examined), and by 1990, the collection was dubbed by prominent anthropologists as “one of the most intensively studied skeletal samples in North America.”

“Unfortunately, in retrospect, I think there just weren’t many conversations about who were the likely descendant communities of these individuals,” said Alan Goodman, one of Armelagos’ students who now teaches biological anthropology at Hampshire College and previously served as president of the American Anthropological Association.

After the passage of NAGPRA, the museum continued to allow scientific research on human remains it had deemed culturally unidentifiable. The law does not prohibit it, nor does it require that tribes consent.

ProPublica obtained records showing the museum approved almost every request to research its Dickson Mounds collections from 1990 to 2018. Museum leaders hoped studies would lead to groundbreaking findings and bring prestige to the institutions.

So, when the museum received a request in 1991 from Anne C. Stone, a Ph.D. student at Pennsylvania State University, the institution’s leadership was interested. Stone wanted to extract DNA from the ribs of 43 people excavated from Dickson Mounds and compare it to another group buried nearby. The process, according to her proposal, would require freezing bone samples to -112 degrees Fahrenheit, crushing them and soaking the powdered bone in an enzyme.

The museum approved Stone’s request.

Former Illinois State Museum Anthropology Curator Michael Wiant told ProPublica that at the time he believed DNA might answer big questions about migration and genetic continuity. Wiant said he hoped it also “would give tribal people a better sense of their history” and add to conversations about who may be culturally connected to people who lived near Dickson Mounds 1,000 years ago.

Wiant said that, in hindsight, tribal leaders should have been involved in conversations about using the remains for research.

Stone kept the remains for seven years. The museum approved her requests to experiment with different DNA extraction methods, and even to travel abroad with the samples. But none of the methods she tried were successful.

In an interview, Stone, who now runs an anthropological genetics lab at Arizona State University and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, explained that at the time, methods of extracting ancient DNA, or aDNA, were fairly new and far more destructive than current methods.

Today, she said, any of her research that involves destructive analysis is done in consultation with descendant communities.

In 2010, a new rule was added to the federal repatriation law that created a pathway for tribes to bring their ancestors home without establishing a cultural affiliation. It also required institutions to consult with tribes about “culturally unidentifiable” remains. Professional organizations, including the Society for American Archaeology, opposed the rule, as did the Illinois State Museum.

“The Rule would deprive the entire world of valuable scientific knowledge and historical information on biological and cultural heritage, diversity, and change,” wrote Bonnie Styles, then-director of the Illinois State Museum, in public comments.

Under Styles’ leadership, from 2005 to 2015, records show that the Illinois State Museum repatriated the remains of only seven Native Americans. Records show she allowed Dickson Mounds remains to be loaned to various institutions and approved destructive analysis requests from her own staff until as recently as 2014.

In a written statement, Styles said that during her tenure “these actions were not disallowed by NAGPRA and its associated rules” and that the museum followed its board-approved policies on collection management, the treatment and disposition of human remains, and destructive analysis.

“The Illinois State Museum did not willfully ignore NAGPRA and associated rules in order to hold onto collections of culturally unidentified human remains,” said Styles.

“Home No Matter What”

In a wooden crate from Piggly Wiggly, Pappenfort keeps letters written by his great-great-great-grandfather George Washington Finley. Finley was Piankashaw, an Illinois people with roots in the Miami tribe that merged with the Wea, Peoria and Kaskaskia in the 1850s.

Finley’s first language was his native one, Pappenfort said, and he was one of the few survivors of removal to record some of the Miami-Illinois language and oral histories his parents and elders shared with him. As Pappenfort deliberated in the summer of 2021 whether to accept the job as curator of Dickson Mounds Museum, he thought about what Finley would want him to do. He read the letters to help him decide.

Accepting the job would mean moving to a place where the scars of forced removal are still visible on the land: dozens of burial mounds, many of them excavated or disturbed, surround the museum. But leaving Oklahoma would also mean reconnecting with a place he felt he’d lost.

“Two hundred years,” said Pappenfort from his desk at Dickson Mounds Museum, “that’s how long it took to have more of an active voice in Illinois.”

For the first time in more than 25 years, the museum has again entered formal consultations with tribes about repatriation. This time, the museum is asking different questions. Instead of trying to answer who, exactly, is the right tribe to repatriate to, the museum is asking tribes to lead in deciding what’s the best way to right a wrong.

“Our institutional will is to get the ancestors home no matter what,” Pappenfort said.

So far, conversations with tribes have led to reuniting many ancestors’ remains with the belongings they were buried with — a task that required a recall of all loans and a moratorium on new research and imaging.

Then Dickson Mounds began cleaning up its own house.

In September 2021, the museum closed its most popular archaeology exhibit. For weeks, Pappenfort worked with the museum’s then-director Esarey and anthropology curator Morgan to disassemble each display case and remove funerary objects that tribes had requested not be displayed. When they were finished, about 40% of the exhibit was gone.

Pappenfort and Morgan found solace in the work. To Esarey, who earlier in his career had excavated some of the human remains and pulled out funerary objects to put on display, it was the bittersweet dismantling of a world he helped build.

The objects from 75 years of Illinois excavations had guided visitors through a categorized chronology as archaeologists understand it: from the archaic period, to the woodland, the Mississippian, the prehistoric and, following the arrival of Europeans in 1673, the historic. Archaeologists can spend decades seeking to connect the past and the present, Esarey realized, but they’ll always find more questions than answers. Doing the work of repatriation required a willingness to let go: Finding the “right” answer mattered less than doing what is right by tribal nations.

“There’s nothing special about 1673,” said Esarey. “It’s all history.”

The museum intends to repatriate about 1,100 ancestors from Dickson Mounds, including those excavated in the 1920s whose gravesites are still covered by cedar planks in the south wing. If the effort is successful, the remains will be reclaimed by a coalition of more than two dozen tribes with ancestral lands in Illinois. It would be the largest repatriation in the state’s history.

Until then the door to the south wing is locked.


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St. Louis Weather:

ST. LOUIS – It’s not always the big storms that cause headaches. Sometimes it’s the really weak or small ones that are super sneaky and can put down just enough winter precipitation to catch locals off guard. 

There’s been a system highlighted for several days, zipping through the region late into the evening into Sunday night.  By no means is this a major system. However, by Sunday night temperatures will be deep into the 20s if not the teens – so anything that does fall from the clouds will stick and have the potential to cause some fairly isolated slick spots.  

Widespread impact has not been seen, but enough to make note of. You’re urged to drive and walk with extra caution.   

Between 4 p.m and midnight

Some patchy light freezing drizzle and some snow flurries will develop along and north of I-44 in Missouri and I-70 in Illinois, as well as lifting to the northeast. The precipitation Sunday evening will extremely light. However, some sidewalks, decks, stairs, and untreated smooth exposed surfaces may become slick, especially after 9:00 p.m. along and north of I-70. 

Between midnight and 6 a.m.

The focus for this very light precipitation will shift more to the southeast and generally run south of I-44 in Missouri and south of I-70 in Illinois – or from St. Louis and points south and southeast. During this time, the precipitation may increase a bit in coverage and intensity. This increases the potential for a few slick spots developing, especially on bridges, overpasses, fly-over ramps, and sheltered/untreated road surfaces. 


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ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Another fast moving and very weak weather system will pass well south of St. Louis this afternoon into early this evening. The worst the St. Louis area may see is a few snow flurries. However, our southern communities are in line for a couple of quick hitting light snow and sleet showers between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.

These snow bursts will be fast and very patchy. Some communities may see them, while others miss them entirely.

Where is the snow expected to fall? Around a line from Sullivan, Missouri to Carlyle, Illinois. If you are traveling further south into Arkansas or Kentucky or Tennessee, then you will run into much bigger issues.

This does not look anywhere near what hit yesterday afternoon. The worst might be a light dusting with a couple of short term slick spots on any untreated driving/walking surfaces. Overall, I expect this to have limited, if any, impact.


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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul on Friday notified the state Supreme Court that he will appeal a local judge’s ruling that eliminating cash bail for criminal defendants is unconstitutional.

Raoul’s notice requests the high court reverse Wednesday’s ruling by Kankakee County Circuit Judge Thomas Cunnington. Cunnington decreed that the General Assembly violated the constitution’s separation of powers clause by eliminating cash bail in the so-called SAFE-T Act criminal justice overhaul. The issue of bail should be left to the judiciary, he said.

The rest of the SAFE-T Act, which updates rules and procedures for law enforcement and the courts, remains intact and takes effect Sunday.

Prosecutors and sheriffs from 64 counties filed the lawsuit challenging the bail provision, called the Pretrial Fairness Act. Cunnington’s ruling did not include the injunction the plaintiffs requested.

According to Raoul, that means the law still takes effect, but the judge’s order, prepared by a lead plaintiff, Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow, finds it “facially unconstitutional, void and unenforceable.”

“We’re monitoring developments, but here in Will County, we find Judge Cunnington’s ruling applicable,” said assistant state’s attorney Kevin Meyers, adding that it will be status quo in county courts on Monday.

The SAFE-T Act was borne of the May 2020 police-involved murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Buoyed by a state Supreme Court commission that recommended reform, lawmakers eliminated bail to ease the burden on defendants, who are innocent until proven guilty, who can’t afford the price of pretrial freedom.

Cunnington agreed with the lawsuit’s plaintiffs that the constitution provides for bail as a means of ensuring a defendant’s appearance at trial. Raoul and other defendants contend that reform is there as reassurance to the accused that they have an opportunity to remain free while awaiting trial.


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ST. LOUIS – A man stabbed a panhandler for using his “spot” Tuesday in St. Louis, police say.

The stabbing happened around 4 p.m. Tuesday near South Grand Boulevard and Gravois Avenue in south St. Louis.

Investigators say the victim, a 38-year-old man, was panhandling before an ‘enraged’ suspect approached him. The suspect reportedly pulled out a pocketknife and stabbed the victim in the bicep.

The suspect then took off in an older model SUV with an unknown driver. The victim was treated for injuries at a hospital.

St. Louis City has an ordinance through which aggressive begging, a form of panhandling, is considered a crime. It’s unclear whether the specific situation Tuesday police responded to was considered aggressive begging.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department is handling the investigation.


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Slot online machines have been around for over a decade, and they show no signs of slowing down. Millions of people worldwide enjoy playing slots for fun or for real money, and the vast majority do so without any problems. However, there is a small minority of players who try to cheat the system and earn extra money by illegal means.

The prevalent forms of online slot cheats:

  1. The most common form of online slot machine cheating is called “bonus abuse.” This involves taking advantage of casino bonuses and promotions to boost your bankroll. For example, some players will create multiple accounts at different casinos in order to claim multiple welcome bonuses.

Others will play only on machines that offer high payouts, and then cash out before meeting the wagering requirements. While bonus abuse is technically against the terms and conditions of most online casinos, it can be difficult to detect and prosecute.

  1. Another popular form of online slot machine cheating is software manipulation. This involves using special software to “hack” into the game code and change the outcome. While this may sound like something straight out of a Hollywood movie, it has actually happened on several occasions.

In 2011, a group of Russian hackers was able to cheat an online casino out of over $1 million by manipulating the software used to generate random numbers. While cases like this are relatively rare, they do underscore the importance of choosing a reputable and secure online casino.

Parting note:

Overall, cheating at online slot machines is a relatively small problem. The vast majority of players are honest and play by the rules. However, there are a few bad apples out there who will try to take advantage of the system. If you’re ever concerned about being cheated, make sure to choose an online casino that has a good reputation and uses state-of-the-art security measures.

When it comes to dominoqq gambling online, one of the most important things that players need to consider is how they will be able to fund their accounts. There are a number of different ways that this can be done, and each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

  • One of the most popular methods for funding an online gambling account is through the use of a credit card.

The pros:

  • This is convenient because it allows players to instantly add funds to their accounts and start playing.

The cons:

However, there are some downsides to using credit cards as well.

  • First, if a player incurs any charges on their credit card while gambling, they may be subject to interest fees.
  • Additionally, if a player decides to close their account or cancel their credit card, they may be responsible for any outstanding charges.
  • Another popular method for funding an online gambling account is through the use of an e-wallet. This is similar to using a credit card, but instead of using funds that are already in the player’s account, they use funds from a third-party source.

The advantage:

  • This can be convenient because it allows players to keep their gambling funds separate from their personal finances.

The disadvantage:

However, there are some downsides to using e-wallets as well.

  • First, if a player decides to close their account or cancel their e-wallet service, they may be responsible for any outstanding balances.
  • Additionally, some e-wallet services may charge fees for certain transactions.

  1. One final option for funding an online gambling account is through the use of a wire transfer.

The benefit:

  • This is a good option for players who do not want to use a credit card or e-wallet, but it can be expensive.

The downside:

  • Wire transfers can often take several days to process, and there may be fees associated with them as well.


Players need to carefully consider all of their options before deciding how they will fund their online gambling account. Each method has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, and players need to choose the one that best suits their needs.

While playing Minecraft with friends can bring out the best (and worst) in your playgroup and encourage you to think outside the box, playing Minecraft alone can be a great way to pass the time. You are now aware of every method available for playing Minecraft in multiplayer mode. Setting up your server might be a terrific method to advance your computer skills and play games online for free if you’re tech competent.

One of the servers used by players in the game is Immortal SMP. The Immortal SMP will be thoroughly explained to us. The phrase Survival Multiplayer is referred to by the group in Immortal SMP. It serves as Minecraft’s primary networking server. Multiple players may connect to this server. They have the option of playing together as a team or as rivals.

Players do utilize the best Minecraft SMP more frequently. A group of pals comes together and plays together. Everything becomes exciting and entertaining as a result. Players are given several tools in this mode so they can build an imaginative universe. The game’s primary goal is also the same.

How to find the best Minecraftskyblock servers?

Finding the precise kind of experience you desire on the vast array of best Minecraftskyblock servers can be challenging. Find one with a user-friendly inventory interface that offers a dozen or so distinct settings for you to select from. It should be suitable for all types of Minecraft gamers, whether they choose to spend their time battling other players, slaying slimes and other monsters, mining for diamonds, or making amazing buildings.

A relatively new intention to provide details for Minecraft servers is the best Minecraft survival servers. The default Minecraft game mode is the foundation for survival servers. You often start on a Minecraft Survival Server with very few items and must scavenge the outdoors. You then need to grow your empire by gathering materials from the survival world. Depending on the survival server, some may welcome you with excellent stuff like iron armor, while others might simply provide wooden tools.

How to find the best cracked Minecraft servers?

Typical Minecraft servers use Mojang’s servers to locate player identification and confirm it. There are no cracked accounts on those servers. Cracked servers are accessible to both real and cracked accounts since they avoid the player identification verification process.

Anarchy servers, as the name implies, are virtual worlds where practically anything is permitted. They may have few or no laws, and the goal is to survive by any means necessary. You can even find some on the Minecraft servers list.

Players often wish to loot other gamers or their bases, and in some circumstances even hacking is feasible. Other times, players just want to troll about and engage in activities for fun. These best Minecraft anarchy servers may be a real rollercoaster of excitement and worry.

How to play Minecraft multiplayer?

Users of PCs or consoles who wish to play online can choose from a large selection of servers or create a personal server for a small group of pals. Both have advantages and disadvantages. The PC serving as the server might not be able to play games on it because servers need a strong network and an internet connection to function.

In the intricate web of the global economy, multinational corporations (MNCs) play a pivotal role, influencing markets, economies, and the daily lives of billions. This exploration delves into the multifaceted functions of MNCs, unraveling their impact on the world economy and shedding light on the complexities of their operations.

Global Economic Powerhouses: The Genesis of Multinational Corporations

Multinational corporations, often referred to as global or transnational corporations, are entities with operations in multiple countries. The rise of MNCs can be traced back to the mid-20th century, fueled by advancements in transportation, communication, and technology. As these barriers diminished, corporations began expanding their reach beyond national borders, giving birth to the era of globalization.

Market Expansion and Access: Unlocking Global Opportunities

One primary role of multinational corporations is to expand their market presence globally. By establishing operations in multiple countries, MNCs can tap into diverse markets, reaching consumers with varied needs and preferences. This expansion not only allows for increased sales but also provides access to resources, talent pools, and strategic partnerships in different regions.

Economic Contribution: Driving Growth and Development

The economic contribution of multinational corporations extends beyond their individual success. MNCs are key drivers of economic growth and development in the countries where they operate. They create jobs, invest in local infrastructure, and contribute to tax revenues. Additionally, the transfer of technology and knowledge from MNCs to local industries can enhance the capabilities of domestic economies.

Technology Transfer and Innovation: Catalysts for Progress

Multinational corporations often bring advanced technologies and innovative practices to the countries in which they operate. Through research and development initiatives, MNCs contribute to technological advancements that can benefit local industries and economies. This transfer of knowledge helps bridge the technological gap and fosters a culture of innovation in diverse regions.

Global Supply Chains: Interconnected Networks of Production

One defining characteristic of multinational corporations is their reliance on global supply chains. These intricate networks involve the production and distribution of goods and services across various countries. MNCs strategically position different aspects of their operations in locations where they can leverage cost efficiencies, specialized skills, and logistical advantages.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): Navigating Ethical Dimensions

As influential global players, multinational corporations bear a responsibility to address ethical and social concerns. Many MNCs engage in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, contributing to community development, environmental sustainability, and social welfare. CSR not only reflects a commitment to ethical practices but also helps build positive public relations and goodwill.

Global Governance and Policy Influence: A Seat at the Table

Multinational corporations, given their economic might and expansive operations, often influence global governance and policies. Their lobbying efforts, participation in international forums, and interactions with governments can shape regulatory frameworks. This influence, however, raises questions about the balance of power and accountability in the global arena.

Market Competition and Consumer Choices: Driving Innovation

The presence of multinational corporations in various markets fosters healthy competition, driving innovation and enhancing consumer choices. The quest for market share compels MNCs to continually improve products and services, creating a dynamic business environment that benefits consumers through a variety of options and improved quality.

Adaptability and Resilience: Navigating Global Challenges

Multinational corporations must navigate a complex landscape of geopolitical uncertainties, economic fluctuations, and cultural diversity. Their adaptability and resilience in the face of challenges are crucial for sustained success. MNCs often employ diverse teams and strategies to mitigate risks and capitalize on opportunities in the ever-changing global environment.

In conclusion, the role of multinational corporations in the global economy is multifaceted and impactful. From driving economic growth to shaping market dynamics and influencing policies, MNCs are central players in the interconnected world of commerce. Understanding their functions and complexities is essential for comprehending the broader forces that shape our global economic landscape.

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  102. Today’s Home: Stay updated with the latest home improvement trends, DIY projects, and tips for a better home.
  103. Top Global News: Explore top global news stories and events that shape the world, with comprehensive coverage.
  104. Traders in Business: Insights and strategies for traders and investors navigating the financial markets.
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