The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 (NAGRPA)

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The debate of the reburial of excavated Native American sites has been going on for quite some time now. I believe that the wealth of knowledge gained from these discovered artifacts and bones yield much more valuable information than simply placing them back into the ground, causing them to be lost forever. The remains of Pre-Columbian Native Americans should not be reburied and should be studied and documented for the sake of history
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Once these are placed back to their original site, new technologies in the lab and additional investigations are useless in their attempt to


gain a better understanding of the culture and roots of the evidence. Genetic research on past civilizations requires hard evidence-bones and physical artifacts, not photographs.

In many cases, the bones cannot be returned simply because the ancestry line is missing somewhere along the line and no living person can prove any relationship. Many claims are made that the bones belong to a certain group and in return fight for bones of another tribe or enemies rather than long-lost relatives. Such was the case in 1996 when two young boat-racing enthusiasts in the middle of July stumbled across a skull alongside the Columbia River in Kennewick, Washington. This eventually led to fight between American Indians who believe nature should be left to take its course with the remains and scientists who want to study them. The man found was believed to have lived 9,200 years ago to the age of 45 who was wounded by a stone projectile. After eight years of debate, the district court ruled that no relationship could be established between modern American Indians and Kennewick Man -- physically, contextually, or otherwise. In these cases, It is safe to say what does it necessarily matter if Native American’s alive today want bones that are thousands of years old with barely any ancestral importance or connection? These studies done on bones

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