In an interview with Jackson Hole Radio, Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt commended President Donald Trump and President Sauli Niinistӧ of the Republic of Finland for securing an agreement to return American Indian ancestral remains and funerary objects from Finland to the U.S. taken over a century ago from the Mesa Verde site in what is now Colorado. Bernhardt calls the agreement “really exciting.”
In 1891, Swedish researcher Gustaf Nordenskiold conducted excavations in what is now Mesa Verde National Park, removing a large collection of objects that included the remains and funerary items of the people whose home it was. The objects eventually became part of the ethnographic collection of the National Museum of Finland. In June 2018 the Museum completed an inventory of its Mesa Verde Collection, which contains over 600 items, including about 20 individuals and 28 funerary objects.