Column: Repatriation still a highly charged issue
"In the fall of 1996, anthropologist Richard Jantz e-mailed fellow scientists with a plea to help save history.

The University of Tennessee professor urged colleagues to challenge the federal decision to give the 9,300-year-old remains that became known as Kennewick Man to the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla for burial. In Jantz's view, the Army Corps of Engineers was about to slam shut a critical window into America's past.

In Seattle, archaeologist Julie Stein read the e-mail with disdain. She had had enough of the ham-handed handling of the unusual case of the remains found on the shores of the Columbia River in southeastern Washington. Then-curator of the Burke Museum of Natural History, Stein had spent 14 years studying Washington archaeology and building relationships with local tribes.

She fired back, chiding Jantz for the effort and alleging the Benton County coroner's local consulting anthropologist, who collected the remains, had attempted to mislead the tribes and the corps by saying they belonged to a recent European settler. She also noted hand bones were submitted for carbon-dating without proper consultation with tribes.

"This is an example of why every tribe in the United States should mistrust and detest archaeologists," she said. "This write-in campagne (sic) of yours is targeted toward the wrong individual.

"Disgustedly yours, ... " she concluded."

Get the Story:
Kate Riley: Anthropology: the great divide (The Seattle Times 10/7)

Get the Bill:
A bill to amend certain laws relating to Native Americans to make technical corrections, and for other purposes (S.2087)

Court Decision:
BONNICHSEN v. US (February 4, 2004)

Relevant Links:
National NAGPRA - http://www.cr.nps.gov/nagpra

Related Stories:
Group says NAGPRA bill allows tribes to claim Latinos (10/5)
Counter-NAGPRA legislation to be introduced again (10/4)
Editorial: Senate NAGPRA legislation goes too far (10/4)
Senate bill revives disputed NAGPRA amendment (10/1)
Judge faults BLM for decision on ancient remains (09/25)
Column: Fine tuning of Native repatriation act (08/28)
Bill allows study of ancient remains on federal land (08/10)
Bush administration opposes NAGPRA amendment (07/29)
Listening Lounge: Senate hearing on repatriation (07/28)
Editorial: Science trumps Native repatriation (7/27)
Editorial: McCain should drop NAGPRA amendment (7/20)
NAGPRA amendment up for hearing in Senate (07/06)
Column: Hearing slated on two-word change to NAGPRA (06/24)
Tribe says NAGPRA amendment will right a wrong (04/19)
Opinion: McCain bill will block study of ancient remains (04/14)
Scientists oppose McCain bill to change NAGPRA (04/08)
Panel approves Native Hawaiian, NAGPRA changes (03/10)
NAGPRA change up for Senate consideration again (3/9)
Campbell-backed bill adds two words to NAGPRA (10/1)