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Zuni Protection of Cultural Resources and Religious Freedom

The protection of cultural resources is regarded as fundamental to religious freedom for the Pueblo of Zuni. Ancestral and culturally affiliated cultural resources simultaneously embody the past, history, culture and traditions. Cultural resources include archaeological sites, human burials, shrines, rivers. Spring, trails, plants, animals and minerals. They are integrally related into Zuni life…

Xavante Education Fund - 19.4

The Xavante education fund seeks to assist individual Xavante who aspire to earn advanced degrees that directly benefit the Xavante and decrease their dependence on outsiders. The Fund currently supports Mr. Lino Tsere' ubudzi Moritu in his efforts to become a nurse practitioner. Today, some 6,000 Xavante live on six reserves in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil. Medical attention is deficient in…

They Called It Prairie Light: The Story of Chilocco Indian School

Just across the state line from Arkansas City, Kansas, in north-central Oklahoma, stand the abandoned buildings of Chilocco Indian School, among the best-known examples of the federal government's experiment in educating Indian children in off-reservation boarding schools. The school opened in January 1884 with about 150 pupils from 17 tribes. Chilocco graduated its first class of six boys and…

The Indigenous of the Paraguayan Chaco: Struggle for the Land

Deep within the heart of South America lies the Paraguayan Chaco, a desolate, semi-arid region - similar topographically and climatically to the Australian Outback - that is home to nine different indigenous peoples with a total population of approximately 40,000. These groups include the Ayoreo, Chamacoco, Enxet, Nivakle, Manjuy, Maka'a, Toba Qom, Nandeva, and the Guarayo. These groups, in…

The Fight for Dzil Nchaa Si An, Mt. Graham: Apaches and Astrophysical Development in Arizona

The Fight for Dzil Nchaa Si An, Mt. Graham: Apaches and Astrophysical. Development in Arizona In the Sonoran desert of Arizona, Dzil Nchaa Si An (also know as Mt. Graham) rises, and island in the sky. It is contested land, traditionally Apache territory, a fundamental sacred site. The Apache wish to protect it from astronomical development. An international consortium of astronomers composed of…

Standing in the Light: A Lakota Way of Seeing

Songs and singers are respected, and even revered, in may cultures. The Porcupine Singers from the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota enjoy an international reputation as well as a place of distinction among Lakota traditional singers at powwows across the north Plains. Newcomers sometimes get the impression that they are an indigenous version of The Beatles. But the comparison with pop music…

Paavahu and Paanaqawu: The Wellsprings of Life and the Slurry of Death

Paavahu So identical are they in Hopi thought that the very word for (natural) water and spring is the same: A reflection f experience in this semi-arid environment. No rivers or streams flow near the Hopi villages, except for the Moenkopi wash (the name, an index of its social importance, means "continuously flowing water place") that runs past the westernmost settlement of the name. Springs are…

Native Worship in American Prisons

As stated by Lenny Foster, Director of the Navajo Nation Corrections, "The Paramount Native American human rights problem in American prisons today is the denial of their right to practice tribal religion." In recent months, Indian country has become increasingly concerned with this issue. Organizations such as the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) have issued resolutions addressing…

Managing Hopi Sacred Sites to Protect Religious Freedom

The Hopi Reservation in northeastern Arizona encompasses lands that the Hopi people have inhabited for more than a thousand years. Unlike many other tribes, the Hopi people have never been relocated from their ancestral lands to other geographical areas by the United States government. Over the past century, however, the sovereign lands of the Hopi Tribe have been continually reduced through…

Ituri Forest Peoples Fund

The Ituri Forest Peoples Fund exists to assist the Efe and Lese of northeastern Zaire to provide themselves with basic education and health care. For the past 5 years Zaire has been without a unified and effective government. The economy has collapsed and inflation remains at approximately 70% per month. In the northeastern region's Ituri Forest, the three dirt roads, built in the 1940s and 1950s…

Fried Chicken Democracies and the New South Africa

At Frederic Jameson's recent conference in North Carolina on globalization and culture, speaker after speaker proclaimed the slow but inevitable demise of the nation-state, the intrinsically reactionary nature of nationalism, and the inexorable spread of transnationalism, global capitalism and cultural homogenization. After sitting through mostly Western-based scholars' accounts of the "hyper…

Existing Federal Law and the Protection of Sacred Sites: Possibilities and Limitations

Many of the initial European settlers in North America migrated to what became the United States of America to worship the Creator in the manner they freely chose. Their descendants, however, have failed to equally respect the religious traditions of the people who preceded them to the North American continent. As a result, even today, sites which are sacred to those Native American Indians who…

Editorial - American Indian Religious Freedom: First People and the First Amendment

From the very beginning America has been about religious freedom. That is why the puritans came to these shores. That is why we insist on the separation between church and state - because people should be free to worship as they choose without permission from or consultation with any authority other than their own consciences. It is, therefore, especially ironic that this very freedom which is so…

American Indian Religious Freedom: First People and the First Amendment

Modern Native American activism in defense of sacred sites and the quest for religious freedom owes its inspiration to the long but ultimately successful battle of the Toas Pueblo people of New Mexico to regain their sacred Blue Lake watershed on the mountain just to the north of the Pueblo. The Blue Lake, which they believe to be the primordial home from which their ancestors emerged onto this…

"Raising the Stakes" Raises the Issues: Indian Gaming Conference Sponsored by Cultural Survival

On October 21, 1995, Cultural Survival sponsored "Raising the Stakes" Indian Gaming Conference at the Peabody Museum, Harvard University. The event was conceived and coordinated by Directors, Nicholas Ribis and Michelle Traymar, fellows of Cultural Survival. The eight-hour conference was held in order to facilitate dialogue among tribes on the recent controversy over gaming on tribal lands.…

The Bedul Bedouin of Petra, Jordan: Traditions, Tourism and an Uncertain Future

The Bedul Bedouin of Petra, Jordan: Traditions, Tourism and an Uncertain. Future The Bedul Bedouin inhabit the region around Petra, a United Nations World Heritage Site, and the best known archaeological site in Jordan (See fig. 1). Known for its magnificent facades carved in the cliff faces and dating to Nabataean-Roman times, Petra has attracted tourists since the site was rediscovered for the…