Earlier this week, Hoopa Tribal Council Members Leilani Paul and Bradley Matthews led a prayer at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C.
They joined other Indian leaders to protest the sale of ceremonial objects scheduled for Monday at the auction house EVE (Estimations Vente aux Enchère) in Paris.
The auction features a Hupa sacred deer (Hupa is the spelling used to describe the sacred items and culture of the Hoopa Tribe), plus a Pueblo war shield, ancient Puebloan bone fragments and Hopi Kachinas.
Matthews and other tribal leaders called on the auction house to return the items, which have powerful religious significance.
“It’s almost like a search for a lost family member on an international level,” Matthews said in an interview Friday. “And we’re hopeful that somehow we’ll be able to bring it home.”