Advertise:   712.224.5420

Editorial: Nothing to fear from sacred sites policies

"The issue [of sacred sites] is important to both Indians and non-Indians because federal judicial review has favored policies that respect Indian religious practices on federal lands.

A presidential executive order in 1996 directs federal agencies to 'accommodate access to and ceremonial use of Indian sacred sites by Indian religious practitioners and avoid adversely affecting the physical integrity of such sacred sites.'

Non-Indians have little to fear if familiar sites are designated as sacred; visitors are still allowed at Bear Butte, Devil's Tower and Rainbow Bridge, even though they are being managed as Indian sacred sites. And in fact, expanding non-Indians' knowledge and appreciation of the Indian lore surrounding such sites could lead to greater cultural understanding."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Respect for sacred sites (The Rapid City Journal 2/24)

Related Stories:
U.S. Supreme Court won't hear sacred site case (2/23)
Sacred site law spurs $50M claim from mine firm (2/23)
Forest Service hears concerns about sacred sites (2/18)
Forest Service seeks better relations with tribes (2/17)