Education | National

WBUR: Tribes rebury one of their ancient relatives in Montana






Shane Doyle, a professor and member of the Crow Tribe who was involved in the study of the Native boy, prepares to sing an honor song in September 2013. Photo by Kelly Gorham / Montana State University

WBUR interviews Shane Doyle, a professor and member of the Crow Tribe of Montana, about the reburial of a 12,600-year-old boy whose DNA showed a link to present-day Native people:
Doyle on controversy surrounding the research on the skeleton

“There’s such a history of abuse, I think, historically speaking in the 19th and 20th century of American Indian skeletons just being kept as research items rather than being respected as individual people with families and people in those families who wished that they could be respected and buried in a proper way. So this research did kind of, you know, cross lines in terms of what some people thought was appropriate. Overall, I think the people who have been involved with this now here in Montana — the American Indians who have been involved with repatriation and reburial — they see the value, I think, of the science. They have mixed feelings about all of it, but overall I think they believe its a positive step.”

Doyle on what the reburial signified to many American Indians

“It was very significant to members of several different tribes. Especially members of the Kennewick tribes who attended the ceremony. As you recall, the Kennewick Man was a controversial point of study back in the late 1990s and continues to be so. But there is currently a study undergoing right now on the Kennewick Man and the intention is to have him reburied as well, in the same way this little boy was. So this reburial, having it happen, seeing it come to fruition full circle, really gave people a lot of hope that the Kennewick Man would also be treated with the same respect.”

Get the Story:
Remains Of Clovis Boy Reburied In Montana (WBUR 7/22)

Related Stories:
Remains of 12,600-year-old Native toddler reburied in Montana (06/30)
DNA study shows link between ancient baby and Native people (2/14)