Judge: Navajo lawsuit over human remains premature - CBS 5 - KPHO

Judge: Navajo lawsuit over human remains premature

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A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit that sought to have human remains taken from the Navajo reservation returned to the tribe.

The Navajo Nation had argued in a 2011 lawsuit that hundreds of sets of human remains and associated funerary objects taken from Canyon de Chelly National Monument are tribal property. The tribe says the National Park Service unrightfully is holding them in a collection in Tucson.

The Park Service argued that the lawsuit was premature because it had not yet determined whether other tribes have cultural affiliation to the items.

U.S. District Court Judge Paul Rosenblatt agreed last week and dismissed the case. He says the government has not yet identified a final action that would allow the United States to be sued.

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