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Environment | National
National Day of Prayer for sacred sites on June 21


The fifth annual National Day of Prayer for Sacred Places will be observed across the country on June 21.

The day highlights the dangers posed to sacred places like the San Francisco Peaks in Arizona, where a ski resort wants to use wastewater to make snow, and the Wakarusa Wetlands in Kansas, where a proposed highway would affect burial sites near Haskell Indian Nations University.

"Native and non-Native people nationwide are gathering to honor sacred places, with a special emphasis on those that are endangered by actions that can be avoided," said Suzan Shown Harjo, the president of the Morning Star Institute.

Harjo said participants will call attention to the need for a cause of action in federal law to protect sacred sites. "All other people in the United States have the First Amendment to protect their churches. Only traditional Native Americans cannot get into the courthouse through the Freedom of Religion Clauses. That simply must change as a matter of fairness and equity," she said.

In Washington, D.C., the day will be observed on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol on the West Front Grassy Area at 8am. The public is invited.

Other observances take place in Arizona, California, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, North Dakota and South Dakota. For more information see http://www.indianz.com/board/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=27548.