Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum
Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum
|Creator||Kevin Casey/The Associated Press|
|Context||The scientific discovery of the complete skeleton of a man who inhabited the Columbia River basin 9,000 years ago near Kennewick, Washington|
|Audience||Readers of Associated Press newspapers|
|Purpose||To examine the legal case over the rights of scientists to study the bones for the advancement of knowledge versus the individual rights and group rights of Native Americans to claim the remains as a member who belonged to the tribe|
In 1990, President George H. W. Bush signed the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, which required the return of all remains and artifacts discovered on federal lands if Native Americans tribes could prove it belonged to them. Five Native American tribes (the Nez Perce, Umatilla, Yakama, Wannapum, and Colville) challenged the legality of forensic anthropologists to keep the remains of "Kennewick Man," and demanded repatriation in 1996 so that he could receive a traditional tribal burial. For Native Americans, the issue was about identity as a basis for the rights of groups. In 2004, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the five Native American tribes had not established a cultural link to the skeleton and allowed the scientists to continue their scientific study.