News / Utah / 

Return artifacts to tribes, fed appointee says

Return artifacts to tribes, fed appointee says



This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The federal appointee in charge of Indian affairs says tribes should have first priority for reclaiming artifacts being seized by the government in a sweeping prosecution of theft and trafficking of items taken from tribal and federal lands across the Southwest.

Larry Echo Hawk, a law professor on leave from Utah's Brigham Young University, praised his former student -- U.S. Attorney Brett Tolman -- for taking a tough stance on looting after decades of government indifference.

The number of defendants in the case has grown to 26 in Utah, New Mexico and Colorado. More indictments are expected out of Arizona.

Echo Hawk acknowledged repatriating artifacts under federal laws will be arduous. It isn't always clear which modern tribe can claim ownership of an ancient object.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Related Stories

SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast