EchoHawk upset by 'trading' of Indian artifacts
Assistant Secretary Larry EchoHawk, the head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, said he was upset to learn that defendants in the Indian artifact case were stealing and selling sacred burial items.

EchoHawk said federal investigators showed him pictures of the items that were seized from the homes of the defendants, most of whom live in Utah. "I looked at those things and didn't want to see them," EchoHawk said at the Utah State History Conference on Friday, the Associated Press reported. "Many of them would be sacred, part of a burial, private - I didn't want to look at them. People were trading them, making profits from them, like commodities in the marketplace."

EchoHawk, who went to college in Utah and served as a law professor there, wants tribes to reclaim the stolen property. "Native people in their hearts are going to feel a connection," he said.

The thefts occurred on public and Indian lands in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. EchoHawk was raised in New Mexico, in a town near the Navajo Nation.

Get the Story:
Give artifacts to tribes, federal appointee says (AP 9/20)
Farmington grad serves in nation's top American Indian post (The Farmington Daily Times 9/21)

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