At the Clubhouse Turn, Luiza Noses out Kennewick

Article excerpt

In a recent Insight feature story ["Boneheaded About History," Aug. 30] and in continuing coverage in this column, it has been noted that the forces of political correctness are determined to slam a lid on Kennewick Man, a skeleton found in Washington state that apparently predates the arrival of Siberian immigrants to this country and appears to be Caucasian. A recent statement from the Department of the Interior reinforces the perception that a purely political decision will be reached in the matter, allowing American Indians to rebury Kennewick and be done with the challenge to their claims as the first Americans.

"If the remains are found to be older than the earliest documented arrival of Europeans in the Pacific Northwest, they will be considered Native American," according to Francis P. McManamon, chief archaeologist for the Department of the Interior. This means they will be subject to the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and rebuffed without further ado once the feds have designated a tribal affiliation.

The issue is far more controversial than would seem from its treatment in the popular press. Among powerful forces at play are those who, while they shudder at the thought of creationism as a subject in mainstream public schools, side with the American Indians, who claim that their creation myths are more true than any findings of modern science. …