The OAC Submits A Friend of The Court Brief in The Kennewick Man Case

Last year, the U.S. District Court of Oregon ruled that former Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbit's decision to repatriate the 9,000-year-old human remains known as Kennewick Man to a coalition of Native American tribes was contrary to law. The District Court firmly overruled Babbit's decision and determined that NAGPRA did not apply to human remains of such antiquity, thereby opening the door for scientists to study this ancient skeleton. The Department of the Interior and a coalition of Native American tribes appealed the District Court's decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

At the request of OAC members Brad Lepper and Al Tonetti, Chair of the Native American Concerns Committee, the OAC's Board of Directors decided to add our voice to that of other scientists concerned about regulatory efforts to reinterpret NAGPRA so as to virtually preclude the study of culturally unaffiliated human remains. Brad Lepper and Al Tonetti worked with former OAC member and attorney Brad Baker to write and submit an Amicus Curiae (Friend of the Court) brief to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the U.S. District Court's decision. The brief focuses on evidence used for determining cultural affiliation under NAGPRA. We are posting the complete brief here on our website to keep our members and all others interested in this matter informed.

More information about the Kennewick Man case, including copies of legal briefs submitted by all parties to this litigation, can be found at the Friends of America's Past website.

View or print the OAC Kennewick Man Brief.

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