/ Modified oct 3, 2016 11:19 a.m.

Congress Condemns Trafficking of Native American Objects

The resolution targets the export of sacred artifacts, calls for collaboration to stop the trade.

Hopi Katsina Hopi Katsina friend. (PHOTO: Craig Smith and the Heard Museum)
By Laura Morales, Fronteras Desk

The House and Senate have passed a resolution to help stop the trafficking of sacred Native American artifacts.

For several years art dealers have purchased sacred artifacts for export overseas, where often French auction houses have sold them off to the highest bidder.

For the Hopi, these ceremonial artifacts are their ancestors - living beings who belong home on Hopi land. They are protected in the United States and cannot be sold here, but several sales have occurred in France in the last decade.

The resolution condemns the theft or sale of the cultural items and calls on several federal agencies to work with the tribes to stop the trafficking and help repatriate the artifacts. It also calls on the comptroller general of the U.S. to study the scope of the problem and what needs to be done to stop it.

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