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Bill allows study of ancient remains on federal land

Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Washington) plans to introduce a bill that would allow scientific study on remains found on federal land.

Hastings announced his bill on Wednesday during a visit to a Kennewick Man exhibit in Washington. He said ancient remains that cannot be linked to present-day tribes shouldn't be repatriated to tribes.

"This will make it crystal clear that ancient remains should be studied by scientists and not automatically turned over to the tribes," he said in a statement [Link].

The bill counters another measure in the Senate that would effectively do the opposite. That measure would ensure that ancient remains, no matter how old, could be returned to tribes.

Hastings represents a district that includes the Yakama Nation but he didn't discuss his proposal with the tribe. "We're right smack dab in the middle of his district, and he's proposing legislation that would greatly affect us without consultation," Matthew Tomaskin, the tribe's legislative liaison, told the Associated Press.

Get the Story:
Proposed bill would allow for discovered ancient remains to be studied (AP 8/10)
Hastings introduces bill to allow study of ancient remains (The Tri-City Herald 8/10)

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 -

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