Work has been halted on the wind farm development on Stronsay which was set to bring an energy bonanza to the islands. Workers preparing the foundations for the 5 massive wind turbines uncovered skeletal remains. In Scotland this means the site had to be sealed off and officers from Police Scotland’s forensic division flown to the island.
Samples were removed from the area for analysis on the mainland. Local residents were relieved to discover that the human remains are not recent deposits but from the mid 19th century.
Due to the number of skeletons uncovered and the presence of some other materials the site is still closed off while it is being investigated by the county’s archaeological team. Preliminary findings suggest that the artefacts and human remains are from North America.
Traditional Orkney folk tales do tell of a tribe of Cree warriors and their families who returned to Stronsay over 150 years ago with Orkney men who had gone there to set up a trading base on the shores of Lake Superior. The trading station was not successful as its location was unknown to many. It is said that the Orkney men returned penniless but had been adopted into the Cree nation. When they returned to Stronsay their adopted family and friends came with them.
If the test pits and analysis confirm the ancient legend of this being the lost Cree tribe of Stronsay the construction of the wind farm will have to cease. The site will be declared a sacred burial ground of the Cree and must be restored with all the skeletal remains and artefacts replaced.
Famous artist Paul Kane is said to have used Stronsay man Cameron Eunsson as his model for his painting of a Cree warrior.
No one from Stronsay was available for comment.
Reporter: Fergus Graemsay