Editorial: Native American Sacred Lands in Danger

April 10, 2003

Source: Ethnic News


On April 10, 2003 Ethnic News printed an editorial by Suzan Shown stating that "as the Interior Department is protecting the Delhi Sands fly from developers in its 1,200 acres of Southern California sand dune habitat, the same federal agency is letting water, mining, and farming development trump Indian religious freedom in the same state... Nationwide, federal agencies are giving a green light to private and state development that will damage or destroy Native American sacred places... This is consistent with the long history of federal land managers. From 1880 to 1936, the federal government outlawed Native religious ceremonies and access to sacred places, driving all Native religions underground and many to extinction. The off-reservation sacred places were declared public lands, and the majority of the known reservation sites were opened to tourists and developers."