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Judge: Group Should Get Skeleton (Kennewick Man)
AP ^ | 8-31-02 | William McCall

Posted on 09/03/2002 6:03:39 AM PDT by Pharmboy

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - More than six years after the discovery of one of the oldest skeletons ever found in North America, a federal judge overturned a decision to give the bones to Indian tribes for reburial and ruled that scientists can keep them for more study.

U.S. Magistrate John Jelderks said he reviewed 20,000 pages of documents before concluding that "nothing I have found in a careful examination of the administrative record" supported the government's decision to give the bones to the tribes.

Scientific study of the ancient skeleton will benefit all people, including tribes, by offering clues to early migration and culture, said plaintiff Robson Bonnichsen, formerly director of the Center for the Study of the First Americans at Oregon State University.

"Without studying it we'll never know about these early populations," said Bonnichsen, who is now at Texas A&M.

Bonnichsen was one of eight scientists who sued soon after the 9,300-year-old skeleton was discovered in July 1996 in Kennewick, Wash.

The scientists said it was extremely rare to find a nearly intact skeleton so old. Initial analysis also indicated it differed from modern Indian tribes, prompting speculation about whether it supported theories such as several waves of migration from different parts of Asia to populate North America.

Alan Schneider, a lawyer representing the scientists, said the ruling should set a precedent for dealing with archaeological discoveries. He said the scientists were prepared to take the case "all the way to the Supreme Court" if the government decides to appeal.

Justice Department ( news - web sites) spokesman Dana Perino said government attorneys would have to review the ruling before they could comment.

The judge also criticized former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt and the Army Corps of Engineers for the way they handled the case.

Jelderks wrote that the federal government "failed to consider all the relevant factors, had acted before it had all of the evidence, had failed to fully consider legal questions, had assumed facts that proved to be erroneous, had failed to articulate a satisfactory explanation for its action, had followed a 'flawed' procedure, and had prematurely decided the issue."

Babbitt backed the Corps of Engineers, which manages Columbia River navigation, saying the remains were culturally affiliated with Northwest tribes because they had an oral tradition of history in the general geographic area where the bones were found.

Babbitt said he was acting under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990, a law intended to prevent theft and illegal trafficking of Indian artifacts, protect tribal burial sites and restore the remains of ancestors to the tribes.

The scientists argued that no group could establish a direct link to the bones under the terms of the law.

The scientists emphasized their legal fight was against the government's interpretation of the law, not tribal tradition.

"I'm sure Native Americans see it differently, but this suit was against the government, not the Indian tribes," said anthropologist Richard Jantz at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, one of the eight scientists.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: archaeology; clovis; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; kennewick; kennewickman; nativeamericans; preclovis; precolumbian
Surprised this wasn't posted, but negative search. I wonder if this judgement will stand?
1 posted on 09/03/2002 6:03:39 AM PDT by Pharmboy
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To: Pharmboy
Ainu it would end this way.
2 posted on 09/03/2002 6:09:43 AM PDT by Physicist
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To: Pharmboy
Hooray! This is great news!
3 posted on 09/03/2002 6:11:19 AM PDT by B Knotts
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To: Physicist
LOL. Awful pun.
4 posted on 09/03/2002 6:11:42 AM PDT by B Knotts
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To: Physicist
*groan*, good one :-)

But they'll probably just Sioux again, until they win.

5 posted on 09/03/2002 6:12:48 AM PDT by egarvue
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To: Pharmboy

Make it so!

6 posted on 09/03/2002 6:16:04 AM PDT by B Knotts
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To: B Knotts
Boy, he looks like an IT guy in my company...
7 posted on 09/03/2002 6:19:23 AM PDT by Pharmboy
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To: Physicist
Huron to bet it's not over?
8 posted on 09/03/2002 6:22:23 AM PDT by Pharmboy
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To: Pharmboy; Admin Moderator
Incidentally, if an AM should happen across this, there's a misspelling in the title. It should be "Kennewick Man." Could be important in the future when searching.
9 posted on 09/03/2002 6:23:37 AM PDT by B Knotts
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To: Pharmboy
Good catch on this information!

The judge also criticized former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt and the Army Corps of Engineers for the way they handled the case.

Babbitt used a VERY liberal interpretation of the Indian Graves act in making his decision (DUH---it WAS Babbitt afterall).

I actually hope that the DOJ will drop this case now. A decision will probably not be made until they analyze their 'liability exposure' under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990, a law intended to prevent theft and illegal trafficking of Indian artifacts, protect tribal burial sites and restore the remains of ancestors to the tribes.

To US it is a no-brainer.

10 posted on 09/03/2002 6:24:13 AM PDT by justshe
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To: B Knotts
Thanks for pointing that out...my bad.
11 posted on 09/03/2002 6:25:01 AM PDT by Pharmboy
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To: Pharmboy
This is good news, the last I had heard was that the bones were to be turned over to the tribe for re-burial. I's sad that it takes this much screwing around (and taxpayer $$$) to gry to discover the truth about an archeological find. Some have speculated that the tribes don't want it examined because it might prove that they weren't the 'first' ones here.
12 posted on 09/03/2002 6:25:55 AM PDT by libertynews
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To: B Knotts
Fixed. Thanks, AM
13 posted on 09/03/2002 6:29:45 AM PDT by Admin Moderator
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To: Pharmboy
Bonnichsen was one of eight scientists who sued soon after the 9,300-year-old skeleton was discovered in July 1996 in Kennewick, Wash.

There was as many tribal indians in the Americas 9,300 years ago as there were Vietnamese and Swiss.

14 posted on 09/03/2002 6:29:59 AM PDT by dead
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To: Physicist
Wasn't this the one where they dumped a load of gravel on the site to cover it up?
15 posted on 09/03/2002 7:01:50 AM PDT by KayEyeDoubleDee
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To: Pharmboy
in a careful examination of the administrative record

6 years! DUH

16 posted on 09/03/2002 7:05:20 AM PDT by Drango
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To: Pharmboy
I bet the government will Sioux.
17 posted on 09/03/2002 7:07:34 AM PDT by Seti 1
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To: Pharmboy
Decisions that are heavily factual are rarely reversed on appeal. Appeals courts can reverse the legal findings of a trial court simply because they conclude differently, but when it comes to facts, the decision of the trial court (here a Magistrate) is entitled to "great weight."

Notice that in his decision, the Magistrate finds rampant prejudice and disonesty in the Department of the Interior under Bruce Babbitt. Babbitt came into the Clinton Adminstration with a reputation for strict honesty. He left it as a criminal who would lie to protect his dishonest bosses, and turn his Department upside down to do whatever his bosses commanded.

Of course, he was an unindicted criminal, since Janet ("the Just") Reno was then the Attorney General. Whatever happened to "Shaky" Janet? I haven't heard a word about her since she hung up her spurs as a burner and kidnapper of children, defender of the Clintons (him and her), and a general credit to her sex (whatever that may be).

Congressman Billybob

Click for latest column: "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Click for latest book: "to Restore Trust in America"

18 posted on 09/03/2002 7:27:33 AM PDT by Congressman Billybob
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To: B Knotts
Wow! Was this guy separated from Captain Picard at birth, or what?

Billybob

19 posted on 09/03/2002 7:28:52 AM PDT by Congressman Billybob
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To: Congressman Billybob
That was my first thought when I saw the picture on the right.
20 posted on 09/03/2002 7:38:22 AM PDT by ELS
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To: Pharmboy
Boy, he looks like an IT guy in my company...

He looks like most of today's IT guys.

21 posted on 09/03/2002 9:09:20 AM PDT by BlazingArizona
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To: Pharmboy
Seems to me that if the judgement hadn't been overturned, then every museum in the country would have had to fork over its human remains to anyone who could claim even a remote ancestry.
22 posted on 09/03/2002 9:12:46 AM PDT by mewzilla
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To: libertynews
That was definitely the subtext, but it couldn't be mentioned.
23 posted on 09/03/2002 9:43:45 AM PDT by firebrand
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To: aculeus; blam
*Ping*
24 posted on 09/03/2002 9:56:21 AM PDT by Pharmboy
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To: Pharmboy
"Surprised this wasn't posted, but negative search. "

Kennewick Man Awarded To Scientists

Wouldn't you know it, happens to me all the time..

25 posted on 09/03/2002 10:13:07 AM PDT by blam
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To: Pharmboy
Good news! Thanks for the ping.
26 posted on 09/03/2002 10:20:27 AM PDT by aculeus
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To: dead
"There was as many tribal indians in the Americas 9,300 years ago as there were Vietnamese and Swiss."

There are no skeletons of Native Americans/American Indians (as we know them today) ever found in North America that are older than 6,000 year old.
Some Native American FReepers have told me that it doesn't matter, who-ever was here, "that's us."
Assimilation(sp) works for me.

27 posted on 09/03/2002 10:24:23 AM PDT by blam
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To: mewzilla
"Seems to me that if the judgement hadn't been overturned, then every museum in the country would have had to fork over its human remains to anyone who could claim even a remote ancestry."

That's already happening. Buhl Woman, who looked like (from quick observation) Kennewick Man was reburied by the Indians immediately after it was discovered.

28 posted on 09/03/2002 10:28:58 AM PDT by blam
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To: blam
Katie bar the door. The Egyptians will be demanding their mummies back next.
29 posted on 09/03/2002 10:31:47 AM PDT by mewzilla
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To: Pharmboy
I wonder if this judgement will stand?

Probably.
Common sense is returning slowly to our court system, albeit at a crawl.

And PC is increasingly being shown to be the fraud that it is, simply a way to manipulate other people.

Science is the only venue where artifacts like this one belong.

30 posted on 09/03/2002 10:33:10 AM PDT by Publius6961
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To: Congressman Billybob
"Wow! Was this guy separated from Captain Picard at birth, or what?"

9,400 year old, Spirit Cave Man

I've read that there are eight of these Kennewick Man like skeletons around.

31 posted on 09/03/2002 10:33:17 AM PDT by blam
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To: Pharmboy; All
This is the LINK for the court documents (pdf).
32 posted on 09/03/2002 4:08:17 PM PDT by aculeus
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A Blast from the Past.

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33 posted on 02/22/2006 7:35:00 AM PST by SunkenCiv (The love of learning, the sequestered nooks, And all the sweet serenity of books. (Longfellow))
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34 posted on 06/15/2009 9:40:52 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__Since Jan 3, 2004__Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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