On Wedneday, September 21, 2016, the House will consider H. Con. Res. 122, the PROTECT Patrimony Resolution, as amended, under suspension of the rules. H. Con. Res. 122 was introduced on March 2, 2016, by Rep. Stevan Pearce (R-NM) and was referred to the Judiciary Committee on March 2, 2016.
H. Con. Res. 122 is resolved that the House of Representatives:
Tribal cultural items are essential for tribal cultural preservation and the ongoing maintenance of many tribal ways of life in the United States. For American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians in the United States, the term tribal cultural item can encompass a variety of objects with intrinsic value, including: ancestral remains, funerary items, sacred objects, and other objects of cultural patrimony or memorial. These tribal cultural items all possess continuing historical, traditional, or cultural significance that are central to a Native American group’s way of life. Because the nature and description of tribal cultural items are so sensitive to these groups, they must be treated with care, respect, and confidentiality.
However, criminals often sell and export tribal cultural items overseas with the intent of evading both Federal and tribal laws designed to protect tribal cultural property rights. Over time, the illegal sale and trade of these tribal cultural items on the black market has become more sophisticated, lucrative, and thus increasingly difficult for native tribes to either stop or seek repatriation for their home communities.
In response, Federal agencies have been assigned with the responsibility of consulting with tribes to help stop the theft, unlawful possession or sale, transfer, and export of tribal cultural items. Additionally, many tribes and tribal organizations have passed their own resolutions as a means to further condemn, interdict, and seek repatriation for the illegal theft and sale of tribal cultural items. These resolutions, specifically, include:
A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate is not available at this time.
For questions or further information please contact John Wilson with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 6-1811.