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Chip Colwell: Scientists can help put an end to repatriation wars

Filed Under: Opinion
More on: chip colwell, kennewick man, nagpra
     
   

A view of the Columbia River from Kennewick, Washington. Photo: Ken Lund

Anthropologist Chip Colwell calls on fellow scientists to work with tribes to prevent long battles over the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act like the one that consumed the Kennewick Man for 20 years before he was returned to his relatives in the Pacific Northwest:
Kennewick Man is back in the earth. On December 16, 2016, President Barack Obama signed the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act, which included a brief section that transferred control of the contested 9,000-year-old skeleton to five claimant tribes. Last week, the tribes reburied the Ancient One, as they call him, in a grave not far from where he was found along the Columbia River.

The 20-year battle over North America’s most famous ancient man has come to a close. But, at this rate, the repatriation wars will not end.

Although many museums and tribes amicably work together to follow the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), some continue to stoke controversy by pitting the interests of science against those of Native Americans. For instance, a letter last year in the journal Science likened the legal process of repatriation in the U.S. to terrorists’ destruction of heritage in the Middle East, a crime against humanity.

Read More on the Story:
Chip Colwell: Kennewick Man: Build bridges to prevent a repeat of ill will (The Seattle Times 3/3)

Related Stories:
Pacific Northwest tribes finally rebury remains of Kennewick Man (2/21)
Northwest tribes prepare to rebury ancestor known as Ancient One (12/20)
Northwest tribes set to reclaim ancestor known as the Ancient One (12/12)
House approves national water bill without #NoDAPL amendment (09/28)
Senate passes water bill but fails to include #NoDAPL amendment (09/15)
Rosita Worl: The Ancient One is a member of our Native family (07/11)
Northwest tribes seek reburial of ancestor known as Ancient One (06/08)
DNA studies boost links between Native people and ancestors (05/18)
Chip Colwell: Change NAGPRA and put an end to repatriation wars (05/16)
Northwest tribes inch closer to reburial of Kennewick Man remains (04/28)
Cynthia-Lou Coleman: Media downplays tribal views on NAGPRA (02/15)
Sen. Murray introduces bill to repatriate Kennewick Man to tribes (08/10)
Washington governor supports repatriation of Kennewick Man (06/30)
Genetic analysis confirms Kennewick Man was Native American (6/18)
Initial DNA tests show Kennewick Man linked to Native peoples (1/19)
Scientists publish lengthy book based on study of Kennewick Man (08/25)
Remains of 12,600-year-old Native toddler reburied in Montana (06/30)
DNA of girl found in Mexico linked to present-day Native people (05/15)
Pacific Northwest tribes still planning to rebury Kennewick Man (07/29)
Anthropologist from Kennewick Man case turns to cannibalism (05/02)
Crosscut: Kennewick Man returns from dead 9200 years later (10/11)
Anthropologist says Kennewick Man was not Native American (10/10)

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