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PHOTOS: Heinrich, Leger Fernández Host Event With Tribal Leaders To Celebrate STOP Act Becoming Law

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representatives Teresa Leger Fernández (D-N.M.), Melanie Stansbury (D-N.M.), and Gabe Vasquez (D-N.M.) joined Tribal leaders to celebrate the Safeguard Tribal Objects of Patrimony (STOP) Act becoming law.
The STOP Act prohibits the exporting of sacred Native American items and increase penalties for stealing and illegally trafficking Tribal cultural patrimony. It will help prevent instances like the auction of a shield, stolen from the Pueblo of Acoma. Senator Heinrich played a role in the effort to bring the shield home by working with Governors Kurt Riley and Brian Vallo to call for its return.
Senator Heinrich first introduced the STOP Act in 2016. He championed the bill in the Senate alongside U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). U.S. Representative Teresa Leger Fernández led on the bill in the House of Representatives alongside the late U.S. Representative Don Young (R-Alaska), and U.S. Representatives Tom Cole (R-Okla.) and Sharice Davids (D-Kan.).
Key attendees:
  • U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.)
  • U.S. Representative Teresa Leger Fernández (D-N.M.)
  • U.S. Representative Gabe Vasquez (D-N.M.)
  • U.S. Representative Melanie Stansbury (D-N.M.)
  • Pueblo of Acoma Governor Randall Vicente
  • Former Pueblo of Acoma Governor Kurt Riley
  • Former Pueblo of Acoma Governor Brian Vallo
  • Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren
  • Former Navajo Nation Speaker Lorenzo Bates
  • All Pueblo Council of Governors Chairman Mark Mitchell