Finland agrees to return Native American remains to tribes in Colorado, other states

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CORTEZ, Colo. — Finland has agreed to return to Native American tribes ancestral remains and artifacts taken more than a century ago from what is now Mesa Verde National Park in southwest Colorado.

The White House announced the agreement during a news conference in Washington on Wednesday. The agreement involves the remains of about 20 people and 28 funerary objects.

The remains and items were excavated by a Swedish researcher in 1891 and later became part of the collection at the National Museum of Finland.

U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt says President Donald Trump and Finnish President Sauli Niinisto acknowledged the sanctity of the items to the two dozen tribes that are culturally connected to the Mesa Verde region.

That list includes tribes in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Texas.

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