Friends of America's Past

The Kennewick Man Case | Court Documents | Affidavits & Declarations

Affidavits Address Oral Tradition and Cultural Affiliation

Five affidavits addressing oral tradition and cultural affiliation were filed with the Department of the Interior to consider in their administrative process. (Click the name to link to the affidavit.)

JoAllyn Archambault, Ph.D., Director of the American Indian Program of the National Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. Dr. Achambault is an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North and South Dakota. Her father was Sioux and her mother was Creek

"Kennewick Man is part of the human past, and we have an obligation to preserve as much knowledge of the human past as we can. We owe this obligation not only to ourselves, but more importantly to future generations, both Indian and non-Indian. They will judge us harshly if we needlessly allow part of their heritage to be lost."

Clayton C. Denman, Ph.D., retired from full time teaching in 1996 from Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA. As a field foreman in 1957, he was told by Mr. Frank Buck, then chief of the Wanapum Band, that "...the Stick People came before his people, and that they were said by some to be the ones who made the petroglyphs."

[Note: the Wanapum Band is one of the five tribes who have claimed the Kennewick remains. The Wanapum are not a federally recognized tribe.]

Allan R. Taylor, Ph.D., professor emeritus of linguistics, Department of Linguistics, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado. His area of specialization and primary research throughout his academic career was Native American languages and linguistics. "Linguistics can tell us nothing about the cultural affiliation of the Kennewick Man skeleton."

Harold K. Lindsay is descended from Old Chief Joseph through his daughter (his great grandmother) Julie Whitewolf who was born at the Whitman Mission, Washington in 1854. "We must learn from the past, but look to the future. The past is a nice place to visit, but we cannot live there."

Andrei Simic´Ph.D., professor of anthropology in the Department of Anthropology, University of Southern California ("USC"), Los Angeles, California, specializes in ethnic studies, including the role played by folklore and oral tradition in the formation and development of the cultural identity of ethnic groups.

"It is one thing to use folklore and oral tradition as a means of ascertaining or demonstrating what the members of an ethnic group believe (or once believed) about the world and their collective past. It is another thing entirely to use folklore and oral tradition as proof of the truth of what the group believes. "

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