WASHINGTON, D.C. ― U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M) is unveiling the Safeguard Tribal Objects of Patrimony (STOP) Act this week at events in Albuquerque and Washington, D.C.
Tuesday at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, Heinrich was joined by tribal leaders to discuss the details of the STOP Act and highlight the urgent need to stop the theft and sale of priceless Native religious and cultural items in international markets.
Wednesday on Capitol Hill in the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs hearing room, Heinrich will host a press conference to announce the introduction of the STOP Act. He will be joined by senators supporting the legislation, along with tribal leaders and cultural patrimony experts.
The STOP Act would prohibit the exporting of sacred Native American items and increase penalties for stealing and illegally trafficking tribal cultural patrimony. Heinrich worked with tribes in New Mexico and across Indian Country to draft the legislation. The bill’s introduction comes after Heinrich worked to help halt the auction of a Pueblo of Acoma ceremonial shield that was scheduled to be sold at the Eve auction house in Paris in May.