FROM THE ARCHIVE

Opinion: Kennewick Man belongs to all

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THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 2002

"Last Friday, Judge John Jelderks of U.S. District Court in Portland, Ore., filed his opinion in Bonnichsen et al. v. U.S. He decided in favor of eight prominent anthropologists who had been suing for the right to study Kennewick Man, a nearly complete skeleton with the potential to change conventional understanding of how the Americas were peopled. The decision has far-reaching implications for the future of archaeology in the U.S. and for Americans' access to the ancient history of our homeland.

. . .

Native American activists will claim that this superbly reasoned decision strikes yet another blow to their human rights and guts [the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act]. It does not. Tribes can still rebury individuals who are demonstrably their kin -- probably more than 95% of all skeletons held in museums. But not every person who died in America before Columbus's arrival, nor all archaeological knowledge, will be subject to tribal control."

Get the Story:
James C. Chatters: Politics Aside, These Bones Belong to Everybody (The Wall Street Journal 9/5)

Relevant Links:
Kennewick Man, Department of Interior - http://www.cr.nps.gov/aad/kennewick
Friends of America's Past - http://www.friendsofpast.org/main.html
Kennewick Man Virtual Interpretive Center, The Tri-City (Washington) Herald - http://www.kennewick-man.com

Related Stories:
Scientists prepare Kennewick plan (9/4)
Judge won't repatriate Kennewick Man (9/3)
An ancient Indian trust debacle (9/3)
Judge readies decision in Kennewick Man case (6/21)
Norton treads uncharted waters over remains (4/11)
Kennewick Man to go to tribes (09/26)
Leaders discuss NAGPRA (7/27)
Yakama Nation files Kennewick Man suit (6/01)
Kennewick testing to begin (4/24)
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