H.R.2930 – Safeguard Tribal Objects of Patrimony Act (STOP Act)
Posted: Wednesday, December 1, 2021
The U.S. House of Representatives considers H.R.2930, the Safeguard Tribal Objects of Patrimony Act, on December 1, 2021. The bill, also known as the STOP Act, addresses the illegal trafficking of tribal cultural items by facilitating their repatriation to tribal nations. It was written in response to an alarming number of auctions of tribal property taking place overseas. “Due to colonization, it’s no secret that the exploitation of Native American cultural items, like human remains sacred objects and other tools, have been looted and sold by collectors around the world,” said Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez (D-New Mexico), the sponsor of H.R.2930 and the chair of the House Subcommittee on Indigenous Peoples of the United States. The STOP Act increases penalties for trafficking in tribal cultural patrimony. It also creates a federal framework to assist in the repatriation of stolen objections to tribal nations. “It is important that we protect cultural items and historic significance to our Indian tribes,” said Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Arkansas), the ranking Republican on the House Committee on Natural Resources, the legislative panel with jurisdiction over Indian issues.
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