Editorial: Senate NAGPRA legislation goes too far

"The U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee has slipped a landmark change into a routine housekeeping bill that could affect the 9,300-year-old remains known as Kennewick Man.

The change could pave the way for modern tribes to file a new claim for the remains found 11 years ago on the shores of the Columbia River in southeastern Washington. It also could preclude respectful study of other very old remains that might help shed more light on the evolving view of America's distant past and early migration.

Enacted in 1990, NAGPRA was considered a compromise to balance the rights of Native Americans to their ancestors and sacred objects with the interests and public benefit of scientific inquiry.

This amendment tips that balance. It should not be enacted."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Two words go too far in ancestral-remains law (The Seattle Times 10/4)

Get the Bill:
A bill to amend certain laws relating to Native Americans to make technical corrections, and for other purposes (S.2087)

Court Decision:
BONNICHSEN v. US (February 4, 2004)

Relevant Links:
National NAGPRA - http://www.cr.nps.gov/nagpra

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Bush administration opposes NAGPRA amendment (07/29)
Listening Lounge: Senate hearing on repatriation (07/28)
Editorial: Science trumps Native repatriation (7/27)
Editorial: McCain should drop NAGPRA amendment (7/20)
NAGPRA amendment up for hearing in Senate (07/06)
Column: Hearing slated on two-word change to NAGPRA (06/24)
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Opinion: McCain bill will block study of ancient remains (04/14)
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Panel approves Native Hawaiian, NAGPRA changes (03/10)
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