2017 Montana Legislature
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HOUSE BILL NO. 114
INTRODUCED BY G. KIPP III
BY REQUEST OF THE STATE-TRIBAL RELATIONS COMMITTEE
A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT PROHIBITING THE SALE OR OTHER COMMERCIAL TRANSACTION OF CULTURAL PATRIMONY AND SACRED OBJECTS; PROVIDING REQUIREMENTS TO ESTABLISH AN OBJECT AS CULTURAL PATRIMONY OR A SACRED OBJECT; PROVIDING A PENALTY; AND PROVIDING DEFINITIONS."
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
NEW SECTION. Section 1. Prohibition against sale or trade of cultural patrimony or sacred object. (1) A person may not purposely or knowingly buy, sell, exchange, distribute, market, or otherwise conduct a commercial transaction for profit that involves an object of cultural patrimony or a sacred object.
(2) For purposes of [sections 1 through 3], the following definitions apply:
(a) "Cultural patrimony" means an object:
(i) that has ongoing historical, traditional, or cultural importance central to an Indian tribe, group, or culture itself, rather than property owned by an individual; and
(ii) for which the duties as a caretaker are transferred through a ceremonial transfer.
(b) (i) "Sacred object" means a specific ceremonial object that is necessary to traditional Native American religious CEREMONIAL leaders for the practice of traditional Native American religions CEREMONIES by their present-day adherents and requires a ceremonial transfer to be transferred from one person to another.
(ii) The term does not include a LAND, WATER, OR ANY OTHER geographical feature.
(III) THE TERM DOES NOT INCLUDE A FISH OR WILDLIFE SPECIES OR ANY PORTION OF A FISH OR WILDLIFE SPECIES LEGALLY TAKEN PURSUANT TO THE LAWS OF THIS STATE, ANY OTHER STATE, THE UNITED STATES, OR ANY FEDERALLY RECOGNIZED INDIAN TRIBE.
NEW SECTION. Section 2. Establishment of object as cultural patrimony or sacred object. An object may be established as an object of cultural patrimony or a sacred object by obtaining evidence of the history and nature of the object from:
(1) an Indian tribe or group that can show that the object of cultural patrimony was owned or controlled by the tribe or group;
(2) a direct lineal descendant of an individual who owned the sacred object;
(3) an Indian tribe or group that can show that the sacred object was owned or controlled by a member of that tribe or group; or
(4) an Indian tribe or group that can show that the object of cultural patrimony or the sacred object transferred through a ceremonial transfer.
NEW SECTION. Section 3. Criminal penalty. A person who violates [section 1] is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction shall be fined an amount equal to the value of the object or be imprisoned in the county jail for not more than 6 months, or both.
NEW SECTION. Section 4. Notification to tribal governments. The secretary of state shall send a copy of [this act] to each tribal government located on the seven Montana reservations and to the Little Shell Chippewa tribe.
NEW SECTION. Section 5. Codification instruction. [Sections 1 through 3] are intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 22, chapter 3, and the provisions of Title 22, chapter 3, apply to [sections 1 through 3].
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