New York Times: New DNA Results Show Kennewick Man Was Native American

By Carl Zimmer
New York Times

tallbear_native coverKim M. TallBear, a cultural anthropologist at the University of Texas, praised the way the scientists worked with the Native Americans. “There’s progress there, and I’m happy about that,” she said.

When Dr. Willerslev and his colleagues looked at the Colville DNA, they found that it was the closest match to Kennewick Man among all the samples from Native Americans in the study.

But other scientists stressed that the new study didn’t have enough data to establish a tight link between Kennewick Man and any of the tribes in the region where he was found.

Unlike in Canada or Latin America, scientists in the United States do not have many genomes of Native Americans. Dr. TallBear saw this gap as a legacy of the distrust between Native Americans and scientists.

In addition to the conflict over Kennewick Man, the Havasupai Indians of Arizona won a court case in 2010 to take back blood samples that they argued were being used for genetic tests to which they didn’t consent. Some scientists may be reluctant to get into a similar conflict.

“People are scared post-Havasupai,” Dr. TallBear said.

Read the full article.

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