Law protects export of sacred Native American items from US

Native American Cultural Patrimony
Posted at 11:38 AM, Dec 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-26 11:38:24-05

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A new law increases the penalties for trafficking Native American remains and cultural objects. President Joe Biden signed the Safeguard Tribal Objects of Patrimony this month. Along with stiffer penalties, it prohibits the export of sacred Native American items from the U.S. and creates a certification process to clarify whether items were created as art. The effort largely was inspired by pueblo tribes in New Mexico and Arizona who repeatedly saw sacred objects in auction houses in France. Tribal leaders issued passionate pleas for the return of the items but were met with resistance and the reality that the U.S. had no mechanism to prevent the items from leaving the country.