Research science and physical anthropology has taken a giant leap backward under the stewardship of the hard left, politically correct, multiculturalists running the Department of Interior. It is no surprise that the Obama Administration will now enforce radical racial and ethnic litmus tests on scientifically significant human remains up to 12,000 years old.
From the Boston Globe:
New federal protections could mean that most of the remains of an estimated 160,000 Native Americans held by universities, museums, and federal government agencies may soon be transferred to tribes.
Under the new regulations, museums and agencies are required to notify tribes whose current or ancestral lands harbored the remains that the tribe is entitled to have them back.
Prestigious institutions from Harvard to the University of California Berkeley have already begun working through storehouses of remains uncovered by archeologists, highway and building contractors, and others since the 19th century. A few are surrendering bones to Native American tribes, and others are evaluating whether to do so.
Tribes have hailed the new federal rules, saying they will help close a long and painful chapter that saw native peoples' bones stolen by grave robbers, boxed up in dusty storerooms, and disrespected by researchers.
"These are people,'' said Louis Guassac, a member of the Kumeyaay Cultural Repatriation Committee. "This isn't stuff. You don't do this to people. I don't care how long they've been there. You respect them.''
The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 provided for the return of remains connected to modern-day tribes. But it was not until 2010 that a rule on the disposition of so-called culturally unidentifiable remains was finalized by the Department of the Interior.
Until then, more than 650 universities and other institutions had no clear guidance about how to return those remains, which account for the bones of about 116,000 people in their collections.
Let's look closely at the second paragraph. "Have them back" from some mythical ancestral lands? This is anti-science lunacy cloaked in 21st century Marxist rhetoric. Weren't these tribes nomadic? How can we determine what tribes existed six thousand years ago? Will our enlightened government decipher that Aztec Mesoamerican remains should go to Mexico and while Mayan remains should be repatriated to Belize or El Salvador?
This is an election year. How long until some tribes demand tens of millions of dollars in reparations plus the costs associated with storing, transporting, and re-burying these "culturally unidentifiable remains?
Is it also possible that the Democrats just want an opportunity to register 116,000 new voters?