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Northwest tribes prepare to rebury ancestor known as Ancient One






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 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)

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