top of page

Repatriating the "Ancient One"

In 1990, the US Congress passed landmark legislation called the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA, since amended). The primary purpose of this act was to give federally-recognized Indian tribes and other culturally affiliated Native American groups a formal and rightful place in determining the treatment of human remains found during various federal construction or other activities. One of the most storied examples was the discovery in 1996 of "Kennewick Man" eroding out of the bank of the Columbia River in Kennewick, Washington. The discovery pitted US scientists against local tribal groups in a years-long legal battle to determine the appropriate disposition of the human remains. At long last, the "Ancient One" has been repatriated for reburial.


Ancient One, also known as Kennewick Man, repatriated

By Cary Rosenbaum

Tribal Tribune

February 18 (updated February 19), 2017

bottom of page