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Violent incident over Native archaeological site at Cedar Point

The site at the Bridge View housing development in Cedar Point is where thousands of Native artifacts have been unearthed and is now at the center of a violent interaction between Indigenous people seeking the site's protection and local residents.
Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
The site at the Bridge View housing development in Cedar Point is where thousands of Native artifacts have been unearthed and is now at the center of a violent interaction between Native people and local residents.

In Cedar Point on Sunday, a violent incident erupted over the protection of a recently unearthed Native American village at a housing development. Earlier this month, the Office of State Archaeology released a report saying it found thousands of Native American artifacts amid construction at the Bridge View housing development, and over the weekend, interactions between Native activists and neighborhood residents became violent.

In a TikTok video, one Tuscarora woman said she and others traveled to the site for a peaceful prayer. She and the Tuscarora Nation of North Carolina say they conducted a ceremony to honor their ancestors, which included chanting and burning sweetgrass. The woman said on their way out a man approached the group angry about their presence and that violence ensued.

"We were met with violence. We were attacked. We had guns pulled on us. We were women and children in regalia, and we were met with violence and brutality," the woman said.

She said a gun was pulled on her by a homeowner as she went to retrieve her phone from her car to record, and that one Native woman was body slammed to the ground. The video has since been taken down.

WRAL reports that two residents of the neighborhood were injured in the confrontation, and the Carteret County Sheriff's Office is looking for one manwho stabbed a resident with a pocketknife. In a statement, the Tuscarora Tribe maintained the activists were peaceful and called the incident a hate crime.

"Armed only with prayers and sweetgrass, the Natives were attacked in a hate crime for nothing more than being Native," the statement reads.

The Carteret County Sheriff's Office said the person responsible for the stabbing fled the scene and that due to it being an active investigation, further details will be released when appropriate.

Earlier this month, the N.C. Office of State Archaeology reported that thousands of Native artifacts have been unearthed at the development and that it could be one of the most significant sites uncovered in North Carolina.

Chief Archaeologist Chris Southerly said there's evidence of a village that could be where Algonquin speakers from the north and Siouan speakers from the south converged before colonization, though more investigation is needed.

For now, construction is paused, but a bill being debated in the Senate would allow development to move forward. Sen. Michael Lazzara said the bill will apply not only to Bridge View, but any historic site in the state.

Ryan is an Arkansas native and podcast junkie. He was first introduced to public radio during an internship with his hometown NPR station, KUAF. Ryan is a graduate of Tufts University in Somerville, Mass., where he studied political science and led the Tufts Daily, the nation’s smallest independent daily college newspaper. In his spare time, Ryan likes to embroider, attend musicals, and spend time with his fiancée.