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Column: Hearing slated on two-word change to NAGPRA

"To many, it is unthinkable for Congress to pass a law restricting or prohibiting scientific research because it might prove contradictory to biblical creationists' cherished beliefs about how the world was made and the human species came into existence. Surely, no legislation should demand emptying our museums of all evidence of early peoples' lives because some citizens find offensive research that might contradict their worldview.

But that is exactly the purpose of Senate Bill 536, Section 108, the subject of Indian Affairs Committee hearings scheduled for sometime in late July. This amendment redefines the meaning of Native American in the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), passed in 1990.

Two words � 'or was' � expand the definition to say '... of or relating to, a tribe, people, or culture that is or was indigenous to ... the United States.'"

Get the Story:
Richard L. Jantz: How a simple "or was" injects religion into science (The Seattle Times 6/24)

Get the Bill:
S.536: Technical Corrections Act

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

Relevant Links:
Kennewick Man, Department of Interior -
Friends of America's Past -
Kennewick Man Virtual Interpretive Center, The Tri-City (Washington) Herald -

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