Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Native Alaskans trace ancestry to 10,000-year-old skeleton
The fact that Southeast Alaska Native elders approve of the experiment - just as they earlier endorsed requests to examine the human remains - contrasts sharply with the protests and pitched legal battles Indian leaders in Washington state waged over the fate of "Kennewick Man," the 9,000-year-old Columbia River skeleton.
Tlingit elder Rosita Worl, president of the Sealaska Heritage Institute - the Southeast Alaska Native non-profit group that's helping stage the study - partially credits the institute's Council of Traditional Scholars.

"When this 10,300-year-old person was found on Prince of Wales, the way it was interpreted was that we had one of our ancestors offering himself to give us knowledge," Worl said. "They were also saying that if our culture is going to survive and flourish, then we have to be receptive to science."