Tribes support prosecution of artifact theft case
The National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers praised the federal government for prosecuting two dozen people for stealing Indian artifacts.

"Looting and trafficking is a serious threat to tribal communities as a whole," said Reno Franklin, the chairman of NATHPO who serves on the tribal council of the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians in California. "Some of our most sacred items -- which were never meant to be disturbed let alone be sold -- are being trafficked throughout the world for the selfish and exclusive financial gain of a few. Hopefully these arrests will alter the market for our objects and help our communities maintain a proper level of respect for our ancestors and ways of life."

NATHPO recommends people who suspect the theft of artifacts from public and Indian lands to contact tribal law enforcement or the Interior Department at 1-800-637-9152.

Relevant Documents:
DOI Press Release: Federal Agents Bust Ring of Antiquity Thieves Looting American Indian Sites for Priceless Treasures | DOJ Press Release: Arrests Made in Operation Targeting Network Selling Stolen Native American Artifacts | Remarks of Deputy Attorney General David W. Ogden at a Press Conference

Related Stories:
Defendant in DOI artifact theft case found dead (6/12)
Two dozen indicted for theft of Indian artifacts (6/11)
Salazar, EchoHawk in Utah for press conference (6/10)

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