The Kennewick Man Saga orHow the Clinton administration mishandledan ancient Indian trust assetFacebook Twitter Email
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2002 The Ancient One was doomed from the start. Discovered by accident on July 28, 1996, his case sparked international interest when an early handler commented on his Caucasian looks and a new theory quickly emerged. The Indians weren't here first after all! Further examination showed he wasn't a long-lost relative of Star Trek's Captain Picard, though. But it became clear that Kennewick Man, would never rest, figuratively or physically. Not because of that first observation, though. But because the federal government has handled the affair about as carefully as it has managed Indian trust assets. Over the past six years, the Clinton administration:
- completely buried the site where the remains were found, a move which barred study of the location but guaranteed more on Kennewick Man, much to the horror of tribes involved.
- failed to handle the remains properly, causing damage to them.
- lost track of Kennewick Man's femur bones while the remains were in a "secure" federal area and supposedly under constant watch.
- allowed bones, some of which may have belonged to Kennewick Man, to leave the secure facility and be reburied.
- told Congress, whose members were threatening reactionary legislation, it would not take certain actions but did so anyway.
- "secretly furnished" the tribes with advance copies of documents but denied them to the scientists.
- "secretly met" with the tribes.
- "secretly sent letters" to the tribes.
- "secretly notified" the tribes of issues being raised.
- "refused" to allow the scientists to view reports and make comments.
Judge won't repatriate Kennewick Man (9/3) Relevant Links:
Kennewick Man, Department of Interior - http://www.cr.nps.gov/aad/kennewick
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