Home > News > More Headlines > Appeals court asked to stop Kennewick Man tests
Printer friendly version
Appeals court asked to stop Kennewick Man tests

Four Pacific Northwest tribes have asked a federal appeals court to halt studies of a 9,000-year-old man pending a full review of the controversial case.

The Nez Perce, Umatilla, Colville and Yakama tribes filed a motion last week with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. They are challenging a federal judge's decision to allow a group of scientists to examine the remains of Kennewick Man, whom they consider an ancestor.

U.S. Magistrate John Jelderks already ruled that the tribes don't have a right to rebury Techaminsh Oytpamanatityt, or the Ancient One. But earlier this month, he also said he wouldn't stop a series of tests that the scientists want to perform even though the tribes and the Bush administration have appealed.

"Under these circumstances, the scope of the potential harm to the tribal claimants is limited," he wrote on January 8. "On the other hand, granting a stay would inevitably result in some significant injury to the plaintiff scientists, who have already waited many years for the opportunity to study the remains."

The Confederated Umatilla Tribes of Oregon disputed Jelderks' reasoning. In a statement, the tribes said Kennewick Man has already suffered "senseless destruction" since he was uncovered in 1996.

"Each additional time the remains are handled, the skeleton is at risk of cracking, breaking and disintegrating," the statement read.

Last fall, the scientists submitted a plan to Jelderks that calls for a research team of of 24 scientists and experts from 14 universities, institutions and technical consulting companies to study Kennewick Man. They proposed a series of tests "to develop a better understanding" of his identity, including whether he is different from modern Native Americans.

That issue has been a central one in the ongoing dispute. In agreeing to repatriate the remains to the tribes, former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt considered them to be Native American but Jelderks last August said that decision was wrong.

"The Secretary erred in defining 'Native American' to automatically include all remains predating 1492 that are found in the United States," he wrote.

According to the plaintiffs, their tests will involve a "miniscule" sample of Kennewick Man's bones, about 1 to 3 grams. "The microsamples will be so small they will not affect the appearance or structural integrity of any bone that is sampled," a summary of the plan states.

In contrast, the scientists say the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers took 50 grams of bone when it conducted radiocarbon and DNA tests on the remains. The DNA tests were inconclusive.

Under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) of 1990, tribes, American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians can reclaim their cultural property and remains of their ancestors. The law has resulted in the return of thousands of artifacts, items and remains from government and other institutions.

Relevant Documents:
Jelderks Denies Motion for Stay Pending Appeal (January 8, 2003)

Relevant Links:
Kennewick Man, Department of Interior - http://www.cr.nps.gov/aad/kennewick
Friends of America's Past - http://www.friendsofpast.org
Kennewick Man Virtual Interpretive Center, The Tri-City (Washington) Herald - http://www.kennewick-man.com

Related Stories:
Judge clears way for Kennewick Man tests (01/09)
DOJ files notice of Kennewick appeal (10/30)
Kennewick Man battle heats up (10/29)
Tribes join Kennewick Man case (10/23)
Tribes seek to protect NAGPRA (10/23)
Judge allows Kennewick Man appeal (10/22)
Still no Kennewick Man appeal (10/18)
Editorial: Let's study Kennewick Man (10/02)
DOI mum on Kennewick Man appeal (10/1)
Opinion: Don't appeal Kennwick ruling (10/1)
Tribes seek Kennewick Man appeal (9/27)
Editorial: Don't appeal Kennewick ruling (09/17)
Opinion: Don't appeal Kennewick ruling (9/9)
John Potter: Mad about Kennewick Man (9/9)
Shame on Kennewick Man judge (9/6)
Opinion: Kennewick Man belongs to all (9/5)
Editorial: DOI blew it on Kennewick Man (9/5)
Scientists prepare Kennewick plan (9/4)
Judge won't repatriate Kennewick Man (9/3)
An ancient Indian trust debacle (9/3)
Judge readies decision in Kennewick Man case (6/21)
Norton treads uncharted waters over remains (4/11)
Kennewick Man to go to tribes (09/26)
Leaders discuss NAGPRA (7/27)
Yakama Nation files Kennewick Man suit (6/01)
Kennewick testing to begin (4/24)

Copyright © Indianz.Com

Stay Connected

On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud

More Headlines

Tribes seek support for Native language instruction programs (11/24)
Rep. Mullin confirms divisions in Indian Country on Carcieri fix (11/24)
President Obama to award Medal of Freedom to Billy Frank Jr. (11/24)
Sault Tribe pushes for passage of Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act (11/24)
Lakota Country Times: Charles Trimble recognized for writings (11/24)
Native Sun News Editorial: Some new names in Indian Country (11/24)
Jim Kent: South Dakota lands in the news again for corruption (11/24)
John Yellowbird Steele: Bill tries to hijack recognition process (11/24)
Albert Bender: 'The Green Inferno' hits new low in racist films (11/24)
Peter d'Errico: Anti-Indian wars continue in our Supreme Court (11/24)
Anne Keala Kelly: US government wants to steal Hawaii again (11/24)
Counties ask Supreme Court to hear Ute Tribe boundary case (11/24)
Shinnecock Nation considers entering medical marijuana field (11/24)
USDA policy eases return of traditional food to tribal facilities (11/24)
Sitka Tribe asks FBI to consider racial bias in student's arrest (11/24)
Court sides with Indian inmates over closure of sweat lodge (11/24)
Former employee accused of cheating Grand Traverse Band (11/24)
Tribes with special acts of Congress face hurdles for gaming (11/24)
Enterprise Rancheria addresses concerns about gaming site (11/24)
Mohegan Tribe signs partner for $5B casino proposal in Korea (11/24)
Bart Hinkle: States trying to protect their gaming monopolies (11/24)
Blackfeet Nation wins ruling against development at sacred site (11/23)
Center for Native American Youth hires new executive director (11/23)
Quinault Nation slams approval of genetically modified salmon (11/23)
Native Sun News: Great Plains people key in defeating Keystone (11/23)
Lakota Country Times: Legal 'victory' for reservation residents (11/23)
Chuck Trimble: Book shares truth about genocide of our people (11/23)
Mark Trahant: Who will be a Barack Obama for Indian Country? (11/23)
James Giago Davies: The greatest evil facing our communities (11/23)
Jay Daniels: Mascot opponents take aim at beloved 'Sooners' (11/23)
John Yellowbird Steele: Restore tribal sovereignty over labor (11/23)
Steve Russell: Just ask Indian people about wars over religion (11/23)
Donna Loring: Native youth are changing lives with their music (11/23)
Adrianne Chalepah: Voices of Native women need to be heard (11/23)
Mark Anthony Rolo: Bad River Band puts major focus on health (11/23)
Marc Simmons: Site of Apache chief Victorio's death in dispute (11/23)
Oglala Sioux Tribe loses grant for suicide prevention program (11/23)
Native actors speak Abenaki language in 'Saints & Strangers' (11/23)
Rep. Markwayne Mullin backing Sen. Marco Rubio for president (11/23)
Opinion: Native people seek a mutual partnership with Canada (11/23)
Opinion: Native Hawaiian group does not represent the people (11/23)
Paula Terwilliger: Non-Indian casino undermines tribal success (11/23)
David Collins: Shame on Eric Holder for opposing tribal casino (11/23)
Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe to appeal decision in casino case (11/23)
Editorial: Reject Spokane Tribe off-reservation casino project (11/23)
more headlines...


Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.