By Cole Grant/UM Legislative News Service
Rep. George Kipp III of Heart Butte wants Montana to ban the sale of culturally significant Native American objects.
House Bill 114, which Kipp is carrying, does just that.
“It does not say you can’t make them, hang them on your wall if you’re an artist. But when you go to try to sell them, it’ll discourage you from doing that.”
Kipp wants the same respect that’s given to endangered species to be given to these objects. He uses the example of getting caught trying to sell a ceremonial pipe that has eagle feathers on it.
“And they’ll say, ‘Oh, you got four eagle feathers on this pipe. You have broken a law. You are trying to sell this pipe.’ So you have violated the law of the feather, but how about the object itself?”
The bill sets fines at however much the object is worth, or a prison sentence of six months, or both.
There was no opposition to HB 114 at the House Business and Labor hearing Wednesday morning.
Cole Grant is a reporter with the UM Legislative News Service, a partnership of the University of Montana School of Journalism, the Montana Broadcasters Association and the Greater Montana Foundation.