Woman IDs dead, learns about Native beliefs

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WINSLOW, Ariz. (AP) — In the shadow of a busy Arizona interstate lies a dusty, barren field with a history largely unknown, even to locals.

Buried in the ground are the remains of mostly Native Americans who died at a medical facility in Winslow. The aluminum plates and crosses that once marked each grave site have been trampled on, washed away or carried off.

One woman has made it her mission to unearth the identities of the roughly 600 people buried there and help their families reconnect with their history.

Gail Sadler says she wants to restore dignity to the cemetery and build a monument to the deceased.

She's found that her Mormon beliefs about the value of one's ancestry haven't always matched up with beliefs on the nearby Navajo and Hopi reservations.

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