After years of effort, the Pueblo of Acoma took possession of a sacred item from an overseas auction house. It’s one of very few successful repatriation attempts by tribes to get sacred items returned from foreign sellers intent on profiting from Native cultural patrimony. The Acoma shield was missing for decades before it showed up in 2015 at the EVE Auction House in Paris, an establishment notorious for selling off hundreds of Native items, some of which are sacred. Since then, the pueblo, along with the U.S. Department of Justice and political leaders worked to get it back. We’ll talk with Acoma leaders about what it took to see their sacred item returned and some ideas for other tribes fighting to return items.
Brian Vallo – Acoma Pueblo Governor
Kurt Riley – former governor of Acoma Pueblo
Aaron Sims (Acoma Pueblo) – attorney from the Chestnut Law Office and the Acoma Pueblo’s general legal council
John Anderson – United States attorney
Break 1 music: Rolling Stone (song) Burning Sky (artist) A Simple Man (album)
Break 2 music: The Legend of Mother Swan (song) The Hu (artist) The Gereg (album)