Friends of America's Past

The Kennewick Man Case | Court Documents | Amici Curiae

Joint Tribal Amicus Opposition to Intervention

Affidavit of William Yallup, Sr.

In Support of Joint Tribal Response Opposing Plaintiffs' Motion to Compel Production of Raw Data and Requesting a Protective Order.

I William Yallup, Sr., being first duly sworn, depose and state as follows:

1. I am seventy-four years old and an enrolled member of the confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation.

2. I currently serve as a member of the Yakama Tribal Council. I am current Chairman of the Cultural Committee, which has been delegated authority by the Council to provide policy direction for Yakama Nation cultural resources issues. I also served as Chairman of the Yakama Tribal Council from 1997 to 1999. I am regarded by my people

3. The Yakama Nation has made a claim for custody of the 9,000 year-old human remains which were discovered at Kennewick in July 1996, called Techaminsh Oytpamanatityt ("from the land the first native') in the Yakama language. I regard him as an ancient ancestor of al lthe Yakama people.

4. It is a basic principle within the traditional law of the Yakama people and other Indian tribes that human remains and their burial sites are sacred and should be treated with the highest respect. Such law dictates that once individuals have died they must be immediately returned to the earth to remain undisturbed for eternity. Past violations of this law by non-Indians led to Congress' enactment of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990.

5. Handling of human remains by anyone is an extremely sensitive issue for myself and other Indian people. The deceased should be treated in a manner that is respectful and not invasive or exploitative. Photographic or other images of human remains are especially disrespectful, as are their reproduction and publication in any form.

6. After excavation of the 9,000 year old man there was only one thing for the government to do under both federal and tribal low, and that was to rebury him in the traditional manner without hesitation. Any reproduction of his image through photographs, x-rays, CAT scans or other means are an offense against Yakama traditional law and cultural beliefs. Any attempts by scientists to thereby exploit his excavation through invasive study, publicity and controversy are also an offense against such law and beliefs.

7. Because the ancient remains have not been reburied, they have been the subject of countless physical and chemical examinations, carbon-14 tests, DNA tests, photographs, x-rays, television recreations, and this court litigation. His remains have been treated with disrespect by those who would use him for their own purposes. Such intrusions upon the integrity and dignity of our still unburied ancestor are violations of traditional law, and they have caused enormous anguish among traditional Indian people.

8. The motion by the plaintiffs to obtain raw computer data from the Burke Museum to create potentially unlimited computer and photographic images of the remains is a further attempt to violate the teachings and laws of my people. It would allow the plaintiffs to do even more harm to the 9,000 year-old man than has already been done. I as well as many other traditional people are opposed to any further study, image creation or image reproduction of the body by the plaintiffs. It must be returned to the Yakama Nation as soon as possible for reburial.

William Yallup, Sr.

Subscribed and Sworn to before me on this 23rd day of January, 2001.
(signed by Notary)

Return to Amici Curiae