Congressman Hastings Announces Bill Protecting Kennewick Man - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Congressman Hastings Announces Bill Protecting Kennewick Man

KENNEWICK, Wash.- A new bill from Washington Congressman Doc Hastings is a response to Senate legislation that would further limit study on historical artifacts like Kennewick Man and Nevada's Spirit Cave Man.

The legislation would prevent artifacts' fate from ending up in court like Kennewick Man did.

Though courts ruled in favor of studying the skeleton, it wasn't until the burial ground had been filled with rocks.

Hastings said his bill would stop this from happening, ensuring that further study can take place. He believes studying remains like Kennewick Man are vital to our nation's history.

"I think it's important for us to understand our past, because, it's been said that history repeats itself over and over again," Hastings said.

"I think when we understand where we've come from, particularly in the Americas, I think that is very important for us."

Hastings says the bill would also extend Native Americans' rights when claiming remains not directly related to them, a rule that created controversy around Kennewick Man.

Hastings says studying remains like this can also help the area's economy by putting the Tri-Cities on the map.