In a letter sent to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on June 23 Washington Governor Jay Inslee requested that the remains of The Ancient One, or Kennewick Man, be turned over to Native American tribes.
“Now that DNA analysis has demonstrated a genetic link to modern Native Americans, including those in the State of Washington, I am requesting that the Ancient One be repatriated to the appropriate tribes as expeditiously as possible,” Inslee said in the letter. “Our Washington State tribes have waited 19 years for the remains to be transferred for reburial. During this time several studies have been completed, from the recent DNA analysis to numerous books. Rarely have Native American human remains been subjected to such intensive investigations and examinations.”
The DNA proof that Kennewick Man is Native contradicts the conclusion of a team of scientists that he was not.
“The latest results, having ended many of the questions surrounding the identity of Kennewick Man, means that it is time we respect the tribes’ repeated requests for repatriation,” Inslee said.
The governor requested that the Corps of Engineers provide a timeline for repatriation, and offered assistance from the State of Washington Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation to facilitate the transfer.