Editorial: Prosecute theft of sacred artifacts
"It never ceases to amaze us what unthinkable acts can occur, prompting the need for state or federal laws to set certain matters straight - and strong enforcement of those laws.

The latest examples are cases that involve Native American artifacts.

Three men face federal indictments because they're accused of trafficking in copper arm bands, arrowheads and other Native artifacts.

Federal laws deems it illegal to remove human remains, funerary items and other sacred items from Indian land and public land. It's also illegal to knowingly buy those items.

Landowners, however, can dig or collect those items on their own property.

Nonetheless, Donna Rae Petersen, cultural programs administrator for Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, says that looting of Native artifacts is common."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Native American artifacts should stay sacred (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 12/29)