Researchers have found through DNA analysis and with the help of a genetic map designed by them that Kennewick Man is a Native American ancestry. The DNA was extracted from a fragment of a hand bone and has been the subject of numerous studies.
This 8.500-year-old skeleton was discovered in 1996 in the southeastern Washington near the Columbian river in Kennewick and after numerous studies from many Scientific and experts determined that this man is nearly similar to the modern native American. They discovered that this man had a marine diet.
“I am confident that our review and analysis of new skeletal, statistical, and genetic evidence have convincingly led to a Native American Determination,” said Brig. Gen. Scott A. Spellmon, commander of the corp´s Northwestern Division, as reported by ABC News.
At this moment, many tribes want to obtain the skeleton remains. Interested tribes like the Colville, Yakama, Umatilla, Nez Perce and Wanapum Indians must file a claim to obtain the remains of the skeleton for burial, according to Michael Coffey, a spokeswoman for the corps in Portland, Oregon.
After a revision of the claiming statements, it will be decided which tribe will receive the remains. In the meantime, the bones will remain at the Burke Museum in Seattle.
The responsibility of the discovery
Morten Rasmussen and Eske Willerslev were the lead researchers of this study, which took place at the Centre of GeoGenetics, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, and was published in July 2015 in the journal Nature.
Scientists discovered through their studies that isotopes in the bones revealed that the Kennewick man was a hunter of marine mammals, according to Douglas Owsley from the Smithsonian Institution.
“They are not what you would expect for someone from the Columbia Valley,” he said, “You would have to eat salmon 24 hours a day and you would not reach these values. This is a man from the coast, not a man from here. I think he is a coastal man.”
The current days
Now, the claimant Plateau tribes of the Pacific Northwest are claiming ancestral relationship and requested repatriation under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA).
According to The Seattle Times, the legislation does not affect the Corps going forward with its process, Coffey said.