I would like to begin with an overview of the current federal court case regarding the human remains found along the Columbia river in Washington state in the summer of 1996. On the 28th of July 1996 the bones of an unidentified man were found along the Columbia river in Washington state by two men at an off shore powerboat race, the first pieces of the skull were discovered ten feet from the shore line and reported to the authorities. There was a subsequent search of the area that turned up a nearly complete male skeleton, initial thoughts were that the remains were from a settler possibly one to two hundred years old. Further study by Jim Chatter a forensic investigation and archeologist discovered what looked like a spear point logged in the mans hip. The radio-carbon dating placed him at around nine thousand three hundred years old. The skeleton showed that the man suffered several sever injuries over his forty to fifty years of life. He had broken bones and injuries that could have easily been fatal. A broken infected elbow, crushed chest and separated ribs, and a fractured skull that all healed, he lived a brutal life but survived all of theses injuries. Other interesting traits that stood out were that his skull was caucasoid (European, west Asian, and North African.) not Native American. This raised a few questions, Jim contacted Doug Owsley an anthropologist at the Smithsonian to set up a team to study the skeleton and set up a dig site. What happened next would lead to a ten year long court debate between 8 scientist and 4 local Indian tribes hoping to get the rights to the remains. The local tribes are relying on a government law drafted in 1990 called the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act or N.A.G.P.R.A. this was enacted on November 16, 1990, to address the rights of lineal descendants, Indian tribes, and Native Hawaiian organizations to Native American cultural items, including human...
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