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U.S., French Officials Want to Protect Native Artifacts

U.S., French Officials Want to Protect Native Artifacts
December 07
08:26 2015

French and U.S. officials are working together to address the issue of Native American artifacts being auctioned off against a tribe’s will.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and French Minister of Justice Christiane Taubira have agreed to form a working group to attempt to resolve the issue.

Native artifacts – such as the Hopi Tribe’s sacred katsina friends – have been legally sold at French auction houses. Several Native American tribes – and even U.S. government officials – have asked the French courts to intervene, but to no avail.

Though details on this working group are vague, Jewell and Taubira are hopeful of finding ways to better protect Indian artifacts and religious items in the future.

French courts have repeatedly denied requests by the Hopi Tribe to delay auctions so the tribe can investigate how the sacred items came to be in France. The Hopi katsinas are not supposed to leave northern Arizona.

In 2014, the Navajo Nation retrieved several of its objects by sending then-Vice President Rex Lee Jim to Paris to buy the items in question.

The latest French auction to include Native American artifacts is slated for today (December 7th).

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