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Kennewick Man scientists fear NAGPRA amendment

The group of scientists who won the right to study the remains of the 9,000-year-old Kennewick Man said a Senate bill could stop their work.

Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) is sponsoring S.536, described as a technical corrections act. It would change the definition of "Native American" under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act to clarify that the law applies to remains and artifacts of tribes that are, or were, indigenous to the United States.

The change came about due to battle over Kennewick Man. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said the definition of Native American doesn't apply to remains or artifacts that may or may not be connected to present-day tribes.

The Senate Indian Affairs Committee, which McCain chairs, will hold an oversight hearing on NAGPRA on July 28.

Get the Story:
Fate of Kennewick Man study unclear (The Seattle Times 7/15)
Kennewick Man gives up secrets (The Seattle Post-Intelligencer 7/15)
Experts wrap up analysis of Kennewick Man (The Mid Columbia Tri City Herald 7/15)

NAGPRA Amendment 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 -

Related Stories:
Scientists begin study of Kennewick Man remains (7/11)
NAGPRA amendment up for hearing in Senate (07/06)
Column: Hearing slated on two-word change to NAGPRA (06/24)
Scientists get ready to study Kennewick Man (6/21)
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)
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NAGPRA change up for Senate consideration again (3/9)
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Editorial: Let Kennewick Man speak! (say what?) (07/22)
Column: Kennewick Man belongs to everyone (7/21)
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