Bill seeks to regulate 'ceremonies' off the reservation
Three Indian lawmakers in Arizona are sponsoring a bill that would regulate sweat lodges and other "ceremonies" that take place off the reservation.

Last year, three people died after participating in a "sweat lodge" at a resort near Sedona. The state lacks regulations to cover such practices, which poses a danger to health and safety, the lawmakers said.

"This process has been a perversion of our traditional ways," said Sen. Albert Hale (D), a member of the Navajo Nation, the Associated Press reported. "The dominant society has taken all that we have: Our land, our water, our language, and now they're trying to take our way of life."

The bill requires the Department of Health Services to adopt regulations in consultation with the Arizona Commission of Indian Affairs. The regulations would not apply on reservations or to ceremonies that are authorized by tribal governments.

Get the Story:
Bill in Senate targets fake tribal rituals (AP 1/19)
Navajo lawmaker: Ceremonies should be held off reservations (Cronkite News Service 1/19)
Hale files bill to regulate Native American rituals (The Arizona Capital Times 1/19)

Related Stories:
Jim Kent: Theft of Indian spirituality often ignored (10/22)
Three die after paying for 'spiritual warrior' quest (10/22)
Mary Annette Pember: Selling Indian spirituality (10/20)
Arvol Looking Horse: Respect sacred traditions (10/16)
Valerie Taliman: Selling the sacred for a big price (10/15)
Johnny Flynn: A new sweat lodge movement (10/13)
Two dead after 'sweat' incident in Arizona (10/9)