Sign the petition to demand Congress protect Native sacred places now
Hundreds of Indigenous sacred sites across the country -- places of Indigenous foods, medicines, ceremony, burial sites, and creation stories -- have been threatened and desecrated by the climate crisis and by harmful development projects like pipelines, mining activities, and resource extraction.
All without the consent of Tribal communities who have traditional and spiritual connections to the land -- and in violation of federal treaties.
We must update federal land management laws to increase protection for federal lands that contain Tribal cultural sites, and to ensure that Tribal governments are afforded the rights due to them as sovereign nations.
Current laws fail to adequately protect Tribal government interests on federal land. For example, public land containing a Tribal sacred site or where a Tribal Nation has a treaty right may currently be sold to private developers -- without any regard for a Tribe’s interest in the land. Numerous federal laws require federal land managers to consult with State and local governments, but many of these requirements ignore Tribal Nations.
Two landmark pieces of legislation would correct these injustices and ensure that Native people have a seat at the decision-making table when it comes to managing and protecting sacred and cultural sites: The Advancing Tribal Parity on Public Land Act and the Tribal Cultural Areas Protection Act.
Advancing Tribal Parity on Public Lands Act:
Prohibits the sale of public land containing a tribal cultural site, where a tribal nation retains treaty or other reserved rights, or that contains a former reservation. Also requires federal land management agencies to provide tribal governments with meaningful public involvement opportunities in land use planning, and requires that public land advisory boards include at least one tribal representative.
Tribal Cultural Areas Protection Act:
Establishes a national system of culturally significant sites on public lands, prohibits mining and other forms of development that would impair Tribal cultural areas’ cultural values, and ensures that tribal nations have the ability to protect, co-manage, and use the cultural sites they have used for generations.
In September 2022, Native Organizers Alliance delivered petition signatures supporting these landmark bills to the House Committee of Natural Resources as the Committee held hearings on the bills. Now we’re calling on Congress more broadly to advance and pass these important bills.Please add your name to tell Congress to pass the Advancing Tribal Parity on Public Lands Act and the Tribal Cultural Areas Protection Act now.