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Northwest tribes prepare to rebury ancestor known as Ancient One

Filed Under: Environment | Law | National | Politics
More on: barack obama, dna, kennewick man, michael marchand, nagpra, nez perce, s.612, umatilla, usace, wanapum, washington, wiin act, yakama
     
   

On the Colville Reservation in Washington. Photo by Colville Tribal Broadcasts, News and Information

Five Pacific Northwest tribes are preparing to rebury one of their own after a lengthy political and legal drama.

The the Colville Tribes, the Umatilla Tribes, the Nez Perce Tribe, the Yakama Nation and the Wanapum Tribe have always known Kennewick Man as one of their ancestors. But it took a lawsuit, numerous studies -- including DNA tests -- and an act of Congress before their claims were fully recognized.

"For us claimant tribes our goal and vision has always remained unchanged, and that is the return of the Ancient One to his home for joint repatriation and burial, to be with his land and his people," Chairman Michael Marchand of the Colville Tribes said in a press release. DNA provided by Colville citizens provided the closest match to the remains of the Ancient One.

Officially, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be transferring the remains to the state of Washington, which will then return to them to the tribes for reburial. The transfer is expected to happen within 90 days, the Associated Press reported.

“We will work closely with that state organization to transfer the remains in an expedited fashion,” a spokesperson for the agency told the AP.

A provision in S.612, the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN Act), authorized the transfer. President Barack Obama signed the bill into law on Friday.

The remains, which date back more than 8,400 years, were uncovered on federal land along the Columbia River in Washington state in 1996. The land used to be part of the Umatilla Reservation until it was ceded by treaty.

Read More on the Story:
Ancient skeleton to return to Native Americans for reburial (AP 12/19)
Native Americans In Oregon Say Kennewick Man Was One Of Them (Oregon Public Broadcasting 12/19)
Murray Celebrates Imminent Return Of Kennewick Man To Northwest Tribes (NW News Network 12/19)
Kennewick Man Skeleton To Return To Native Americans For Reburial (The Tech Times 12/20)

Related Stories:
Northwest tribes set to reclaim ancestor known as the Ancient One (12/12)
House approves national water bill without #NoDAPL amendment (09/28)
Senate passes water bill but fails to include #NoDAPL amendment (09/15)
Rosita Worl: The Ancient One is a member of our Native family (07/11)
Northwest tribes seek reburial of ancestor known as Ancient One (06/08)
DNA studies boost links between Native people and ancestors (05/18)
Chip Colwell: Change NAGPRA and put an end to repatriation wars (05/16)
Northwest tribes inch closer to reburial of Kennewick Man remains (04/28)
Cynthia-Lou Coleman: Media downplays tribal views on NAGPRA (02/15)
Sen. Murray introduces bill to repatriate Kennewick Man to tribes (08/10)
Washington governor supports repatriation of Kennewick Man (06/30)
Genetic analysis confirms Kennewick Man was Native American (6/18)
Initial DNA tests show Kennewick Man linked to Native peoples (1/19)
Scientists publish lengthy book based on study of Kennewick Man (08/25)
Remains of 12,600-year-old Native toddler reburied in Montana (06/30)
DNA of girl found in Mexico linked to present-day Native people (05/15)
Pacific Northwest tribes still planning to rebury Kennewick Man (07/29)
Anthropologist from Kennewick Man case turns to cannibalism (05/02)
Crosscut: Kennewick Man returns from dead 9200 years later (10/11)
Anthropologist says Kennewick Man was not Native American (10/10)

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