US Army Corps of Engineers
Northwestern Division Website

Kennewick Man

Discovery site where the Kennewick Man's remains were discovered along the Columbia River near Kennewick, Wash. Questions regarding either the studies or the curation of the remains can be directed to the Public Affairs office via telephone at (503) 808-3722.

Studies and Curation - Kennewick Man

On August 30, 2002 the U.S. District Court (District of Oregon) in determining that the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act did not apply to the set of human remains known as "Kennewick Man", ordered that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers allow for study of the Kennewick collection, subject to the "terms and conditions routinely imposed when studies of objects subject to [the Archaeological Resources Protection Act] are carried out." Bonnichsen v. United States, 217 F. Supp. 2d 1116, 1167 (D. Or. 2002). This decision was affirmed by the Ninth Circuit. Bonnichsen v. United States, 367 F.3d 864, 882 (9th Cir. 2004).

The plaintiff scientists have proposed a number of studies since that time which the Corps has reviewed in light of its responsibility to "protect and preserve the condition, research potential, religious or sacred importance, and uniqueness of the collection." 36 C.F.R. § 79.10(a). The scientists have conducted a number of studies with the aim to learn more about the life and death of Kennewick Man. Given the interest in these studies by the public, this site was developed to provide the public with some of the key documents regarding the curation and study of the Kennewick collection.

Questions regarding either the studies or the curation of the remains can be directed to the Public Affairs office via telephone at (503) 808-3722.

Remains and Cultural Objects

On October 31, 2008, then Northwestern Division Commander, Brig. Gen. William E. Rapp, signed two implementation plans that streamline the process for the reburial of Native American remains and cultural items within the Northwestern Division region. Those plans are available below.

NAGPRA Status and Implementation Plan
The 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) allows for the disposition and repatriation of Native American human remains and certain cultural items to culturally affiliated Indian tribes. The NAGPRA Status and Implementation Plan outlines roles and responsibilities and establishes forms to track compliance status. (.pdf, 579 KB)

Section 208 WRDA Status and Implementation Plan
Section 208 of the WRDA of 2000 gives the Corps authority to set aside areas at civil works projects to rebury Native American remains at government expense. The Section 208 Water Resources Development Act Status and Implementation Plan provides consistent practices for establishing new reburial areas and formalizes those areas which have already been used by the tribes for the burial of human remains. (.pdf, 710 KB)

Tribal and Cultural Policy and Guidance

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tribal Policy Principles.  Policy Guidance Letter No. 57(18 Feb 1998)

Northwestern Division Regulation 5-1-1 Provides information on specific Northwestern Division projects and initiatives involving tribes.