autopsy

St.Louis County

Families holding ceremonies in the bitter cold outside UMD late last winter were making headlines after car accidents just days apart took the lives of two Native people - and controversy erupted between the medical examiner's insistence on autopsies and the victim's families, who protested autopsies were in violation of their religious beliefs.  

Now St. Louis County has a new Chief Medical Examiner, and there's been a significant change in state law.

Two deaths, days apart, of Midewiwin  people have brought the conflict between secular practices and religious beliefs to the forefront.

Most people outside of tribal communities have never heard of Midewiwin, a religion that requires a body to be preserved intact for burial four days after death.