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Bones of Discontent - Andrew Galvan carves a unique, controversial role in relocating Native American skeletons 

Wednesday, Nov 21 2007

Page 5 of 5

When pressed, she referred this reporter to none other than Andrew Galvan, who she says has consulted with Caltrans regarding what was found on Yerba Buena Island and who she — initially, at least — assumed was appointed as the Most Likely Descendant. "If Andy doesn't have any objection to disclosing what was found then you might check with him," she said, before later calling back to say that it was Cambra, and not Galvan, who was the MLD.

To the extent that his consulting firm dominates the area's Indian reburial market, Galvan is unapologetic. Acknowledging that his family's role with the cemetery has helped to make him a go-to player among developers eager to unload Native American remains from development sites, he insists there's nothing unfair about it.

"That place [the cemetery] was essentially abandoned," he says. "It was overgrown, and people were coming in there from the time I was a child, hauling away dirt — and graves — to build roads. My family helped put a stop to that, and that's something I'm proud of."

For her part, while she doesn't like it, Cambra says she's resigned to what she perceives as the deferential way the Misson Dolores curator is treated with respect to Ohlone remains, and, for now at least, is biding her time about the cemetery.

If and when the Muwekma Ohlone gain federal recognition, however, that could change. "There will have to be a day of reckoning about what's going on down there," she says, "and I think Andy knows it."

Meanwhile, Galvan — and the cemetery — are staying busy.

About The Author

Ron Russell


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