Court rules in favor of Navajo Nation in fight over remains

Judges gavel

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – A federal appeals court has restored a lawsuit that sought to have human remains taken from Canyon de Chelly (dih shay) National Monument on the Navajo reservation and held by the National Park Service returned to the tribe.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday overturned a lower court ruling that dismissed the suit on the grounds that it was premature. The lower court agreed with the park service that it had not yet figured out whether other tribes have cultural affiliations to the remains.

In a 2-1 decision, the 9th Circuit said the park service’s argument was flawed because the Navajo Nation claimed possession of the remains in accordance with a treaty that gave it exclusive use and occupation of Canyon de Chelly, not the inventory process.

A message for a National Park Service spokesman was not immediately returned. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s