Rosita Worl: The Ancient One is a member of our Native family

Rosita Worl. Photo from Sealaska Heritage Institute / Instagram

Rosita Worl, the president of the Sealaska Heritage Institute, calls on Congress to pass the Bring the Ancient One Home Act (S.1979 | H.R.4131) and return the remains of the Kennewick Man to his tribal relatives in the Pacific Northwest:
We don’t expect everyone to understand the deep honor and respect we bestow upon our 9,000 year old ancestor and the spiritual relationships we maintain with our ancestors. . But we believe everyone can understand that our Ancient One deserves a prompt and respectful burial just like any beloved family member.

Unfortunately, we’ve learned through two decades of painful experience that a single person can sue, preventing NAGPRA from being enforced and mire this case in the courts almost indefinitely. There is no guarantee the law will prevail and that is why we need Congress to act.

Introduced by Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), the Bring the Ancient One Home Act has bipartisan and bicameral support ranging from Rep. Don Young (R-AK) to Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID). The bill simply enforces current law and calls upon the Army Corps of Engineers, who have legal custody of the Ancient One, to facilitate his immediate return to his native family and to complete a process twenty years overdue.

Importantly, the Army Corps agrees with the scientific consensus.

Brig. Gen. Scott A. Spellmon, commander of the Corps’ Northwestern Division, said, "I am confident that our review and analysis of new skeletal, statistical and genetic evidence have convincingly led to a Native American Determination.”

After decades of delay, it is past time that the Ancient One is returned to his Native American family.

Get the Story:
Rosita Kaa háni Worl: Bring the Ancient One Home (Indian Country Today 7/11)

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