Environment | Law

Judge dismisses Navajo Nation's lawsuit for ancestral remains

A federal judge dismissed a Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation lawsuit filed by the Navajo Nation.

The tribe sought the returns of ancestral remains and funerary objects that were taken from Canyon de Chelly National Monument. The monument sits within reservation boundaries.

Judge Paul Rosenblatt, however, said the lawsuit was premature. The National Park Service must first determine whether the remains and artifacts are culturally affiliated with a present-day tribe, he concluded.

The remains and funerary objects are being held in Arizona. The tribe wants them reburied.

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Judge: Navajo lawsuit over human remains premature (AP 2/19)