The remains of 300 Aboriginal people taken from their graves more than a century ago will be returned to their people in South Australia.
29 Apr 2003 - 12:00 AM  UPDATED 23 Aug 2013 - 9:01 AM

It will be the largest repatriation of ancestral remains since negotiations began for the return of indigenous relics from around Australia more than four years ago.

The remains have been returned to the National Museum of Australia from British institutions as Edinburgh University and London's Royal College of Surgeons.

They will be handed over to the Ngarrindjeri people in the lower Murray Lakes and Coorong area in South Australia.

Ngarrindjeri elder, Tom Trevorrow, says the remains will be handed over to his people in Canberra on Monday.

He says the remains will arrive back at the Coorong next Thursday, when a traditional smoking ceremony will be conducted to cleanse them.

Mr Trevorrow says, from then on, remains will be reburied.

"In some cases, we'll be able to put them back from where they were taken. In some other cases, those places now no doubt have been developed on. That will create a problem. So that's why we'll have to negotiate with the local councils on finding an area within our old people's traditional lands, from where they were taken, where we can rebury them again."