Lower Elwha settle lawsuits over graving yard and Tse-whit-zen village

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OLYMPIA - The Lower Elwha Klallam tribe has settled its lawsuits over the failed Hood Canal Bridge graving yard and the ancestral village of Tse-whit-zen.

Motions to approve the settlements were signed Friday by Thurston County Superior Court Judge Anne Hirsch.

The action cleared the way for the Lower Elwha to focus on reburying the remains that archaeologists unearthed at the site from 2003 to 2005.

"We're definitely excited about being able to put things behind us and move on for what's important," said Tribal Chairwoman Frances Charles.

"We are definitely looking forward to that day when our ancestors can be put back into their final resting places."

Before archaeologists finished, they had disinterred 337 complete burials.

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