An Act to Protect Native American Heritage

The Protect Native American Heritage bill had a committee hearing in September. Please help us to get this voted favorably out of committee by using this email letter. Just fill in your MA address and the letter (you can modify the text if you want) will be sent to the committee as well as to your own state rep and senator:

Blackfoot Beaded and Painted Antelope Hide Shirt, c. 1870

Bill Name: “An Act to Protect Native American Heritage”

HD.1611/SD.1410 (Rogers/Biele, Collins)

Bill Description: This would ensure that Native American funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony (those of cultural, traditional or historical importance to their heritage) held in governmental, municipal or non-profit collections are not sold for profit.  Law enforcement efforts to preserve heritage and to deter trafficking of these objects currently rely on Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) and Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA).  NAGPRA currently only applies to publicly funded entities that receive federal funding.  “Tribal cultural heritage belongs to the tribal community of its origin as a whole.  And by tribal custom, cannot be alienated from that community by any individual or group without the expressed free, prior, and informed consent of that tribe.”  Chairwoman Cheryl Andrews-Maltais, Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), testifying before the US Senate Committee on Indian Affairs in 2016.

An Act to protect Native American Heritage: Segment from the 1/11/22 MA Indigenous Legislative Agenda Teach-In