Ancient One / Kennewick Man


In July of 1996 a set of human remains was unearthed along the Columbia River (near Kennewick, Washington) and found by people attending the annual hydroplane races. The remains have been determined to be approximately 9,000 years old.

Local Tribes, including the CTUIR, Nez Perce Tribe, Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and the Wanapum Band, want the remains reburied as required by traditional tribal law and according to a federal law called the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA).

The remains, which came to be known as the Ancient One to the tribes and known as the Kennewick Man in the press, were found on Army Corps of Engineers lands and subject to federal law including NAGPRA. In September of 1996, the Corps announced that they intended to turn over the remains to the five tribes under NAGPRA. Shortly thereafter, a small group of eight academics filed a lawsuit against the federal government to prevent the transfer and arguing that they had Constitutional and statutory rights to conduct extensive studies on the remains irrespective of NAGPRA.

Since this case was first filed in October of 1996 there have been numerous filings, arguments and orders from the court. The following is a summary of press statements, news releases and position papers by officials of the CTUIR during the pendancy of the case.


CTUIR Position Papers and Press Statements

Press Statement, July 19, 2004 - Tribe decides not to pursue case in Supreme Court

Press Statement, Feb. 4, 2004 -- reaction to 9th Circuit ruling

Press Statement, February 13, 2003 -- stay granted

Press Statement, January 9, 2003 -- reaction to motion

Press Statement, Oct. 22, 2002 -- Tribes granted party status

Press Statement, Sept. 27, 2002 - Tribes file motion

Press Statement, Aug. 30, 2002 following Court ruling

Press Statement regarding June 19-20, 2001 Court Hearing

Ancient One determined to be culturally affiliated with the five tribes
(press statement Sept. 25, 2000)

Tribe opposed to DNA testing of Ancient One (Feb. 1, 2000)

Tribal leader reacts to feds determination that Ancient One is Native American (January 13, 2000)

Position paper by Chairman Antone Minthorn: "Ancient One issue damages relationships"
(op-ed piece in response to CBS's 60 Minutes broadcast

Position Paper by Donald Sampson: (former) Tribal Chair Questions Scientists Motives and Credibility

Position Paper by Armand Minthorn: "Human Remains Should Be Reburied"



Links to related information:

Anthropology in the News

National Park Service - National Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act Program

National Park Service - Kennewick Man

Tri-City Herald's Kennewick Man web site


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