Congress approves provision to return 'Kennewick Man' to Columbi - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Congress approves provision to return 'Kennewick Man' to Columbia Basin tribes

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Congress approves return of Kennewick Man to Columbia Basin Tribes Congress approves return of Kennewick Man to Columbia Basin Tribes
WASHINGTON, D.C. -

Sen. Patty Murray announced Saturday that a provision in the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act that would begin the process to return the remains of Kennewick Man to his rightful resting place has passed in both the House and Senate. 

The provision is now headed to the President's desk to be signed into law. Senator Murray introduced the bill in 2015. 

“This victory would not have been possible without the determination, collaboration, and leadership of the claimant tribes of the Columbia River plateau, who impressed upon me just how much it meant to them for Congress to end decades of debate and to give them the opportunity to give their descendant a proper burial and a final resting place. I want to thank Congressmen Dan Newhouse and Denny Heck for being my partners in the House to get this over the finish line,” said Senator Murray.

The remains were discovered in 1996 on federal land near the Columbia River, and are 8,400 years old- making them the oldest and most complete of skeletons found in North America. 

In June 2015, new genetic evidence concluded that the remains were closer to modern Native Americans than any other population. 

Several tribes in the area have joined together to call for the return of Kennewick Man's remains to be laid to rest with his descendants. 

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