How to Get On the Most Likely Descendant List
If the remains of your ancestors are disturbed during any kind of digging activity, you will know nothing about it unless you get on the Most Likely Descendant List. You may be enrolled in the “tribe,” but you will not be contacted unless you get on this list. You have just as much right as anyone in the tribe to have a say about what happens to your ancestor’s remains and artifacts. And, leaving it in the hands of the tribal council is no guarantee that your voice will be heard.
If you have read the Most Likely Descendant Policy for the Costanoan area, you know that “Individuals who can validate ancestry to a specific village site will be contacted for discoveries of remains and associated grave goods within a 12 mile radius of that specific village.” It is also your “responsibility… to submit this written documentation regarding ancestry to a specific village site.”
Once you compile your written documentation, send it and a letter requesting that you get put on the list for the Costanoan area, to:
Native American Heritage Commission
Capitol Mall, Room 364
Here’s their web link: http://www.nahc.ca.gov/
If you get called, you will be expected to visit the site of the disturbance and make recommendations as to what to do with the remains and associated grave goods. If you want there to be a Native American monitor for digging, you can state that. But, please keep in mind that Native American monitoring and being an MLD is not the same thing. It’s unethical to be paid to monitor the digging and be an MLD.
If you want a voice in what happens to your ancestor’s remains, this is the only way you can be sure you will get your turn to say your piece and to be involved.