Entering sacred landscapes: Cultural expectations versus legal realities in the Northwestern Plains

Gregory R. Campbell, Thomas A. Foor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A Northern Cheyenne religious leader who eloquently described his intimate relationship with sacred places spoke these words. Sacred and cultural geography is a universal feature of indigenous religious practices across Native North America. However, in a growing number of cases, conflicts have developed between Native North American religious practitioners and land-managing federal agencies. The contentious situations often come down to Indian peoples struggling to reassert their religious rights within an environment of "due process, federal and state statutes, and administrative policies." Here we take a case study, the Big Horn Medicine Wheel, and examine the problem of weighing a value system based on inextricably associating a spiritual world and physical geography against a system that inherently separates the two.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-183
Number of pages21
JournalGreat Plains Quarterly
Volume24
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2004

Keywords

  • Cultural resource issues
  • Native American religion
  • Sacred lands

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