USDA Blog: Learning the meaning and power of a sacred site

Tim Mentz Sr., the cultural resource expert for the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, and Chief Arvol Looking Horse, the 19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Pipe, share the meaning of a sacred site in South Dakota:
Our curiosity was palpable in our expressions, we visitors to this South Dakota field, as we pondered the patterns produced by the tops of rocks pressed into grass and soil, patterns tantalizingly organized and purposeful: shapes of things that have been. What stories were held in this small corner of the Black Hills National Forest?

As members of the Forest Service’s sacred sites executive and core teams, our task is to develop ways to fulfill the recommendations from the Report to the Secretary of Agriculture: USDA Policy and Procedures Review and Recommendations: Indian Sacred Sites.

Visiting this sacred place was the starting point of our learning and working together as a team. We needed to experience firsthand the feeling and meaning of this place to help us incorporate an appropriate attitude as we started three days of meetings on how to best implement the recommendations, to better protect and provide access to Indian sacred sites.

Get the Story:
Fred Clark: The Shape of Things That Have Been: the Power of Sacred Sites (USDA Blog 1/29)

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