Sinema-backed bill protecting tribal heritage clears key senate committee

Pictured: Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ-9).(Photo: sinema.house.gov)

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Bill ends illegal sale of sacred tribal objects through increased protections and penalties

News Release

Office of Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ-9)

The Senate Indian Affairs Committee passed the bipartisan Safeguard Tribal Objects of Patrimony (STOP) Act cosponsored by Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema. The Sinema-backed bill protects tribal communities’ heritage by ending the illegal sale of sacred tribal objects through increased protections and penalties.

“Our bipartisan bill ensures sacred objects honoring tribal communities’ heritage return to their rightful homes,” said Sinema.

Tribes across Arizona have seen the continued illegal sale of sacred objects at auctions around the globe. The Sinema-backed STOP Act strengthens tribes’ ability to protect their sacred objects by imposing heightened penalties and prohibiting traffickers from exporting these items. The STOP Act also allows the federal government to assist with the return of tribal cultural heritage.

The STOP Act is endorsed by the Hopi Tribe, the Navajo Nation, and the National Congress of American Indians.

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