French Officials Reject Hopi's Attempt To Stop Sale Of Sacred Items

By Laurel Morales
May 29, 2015

The Hopi Tribe has lost another overseas battle over sacred ceremonial items. French government officials have turned down the Hopi Tribe’s latest request to stop Monday’s sale. It’s the sixth such legal challenge the tribe has lost in the past three years.

The Hopi consider their “katsina friends” to be living spirits. And the Hopi Chairman said to lose one is to lose a loved one.

Attorney Pierre Ciric represents the tribe. He filed this request with a French government agency that has the power to suspend the sale. He said previously they tried to argue in civil court.

"Here it’s an actual government entity that states policy from the French government that says U.S. tribes do not exist legally speaking, so they cannot appear before us," Ciric said.

Ciric called the decision "discriminatory" and "disconcerting." The Hopi, along with the entire Arizona congressional delegation, has called on the U.S. Justice Department to block these sales. Another auction is scheduled for June 10th.