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S. 1471: Safeguard Tribal Objects of Patrimony Act of 2021


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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jul 28, 2021.


Safeguard Tribal Objects of Patrimony Act of 2021

This bill prohibits the exportation of Native American cultural items and archaeological resources that were illegally obtained; provides for the return of such items, including voluntary returns; and establishes and increases related criminal penalties.

The bill requires the Department of the Interior and the Department of State to each designate a liaison to facilitate and hold trainings and workshops on the voluntary return of human remains and cultural items.

Additionally, Interior must

refer individuals and organizations to Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations to facilitate the voluntary return of human remains and cultural items; convene an interagency working group; and convene a Native working group consisting of representatives of Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations to provide advice on issues concerning the return of, and illegal trade in, human remains and cultural items. The bill also increases from 5 years to 10 years the maximum prison term for an individual convicted of selling, purchasing, using for profit, or transporting for sale or profit human remains or cultural items that were illegally obtained.