Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963879 | Print ISBN: 9781412926942 | Online ISBN: 9781412963879| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Sacred Sites, Native American
Gregory R. Campbell
Sacred and cultural geography is a universal feature of Indigenous religious practices across Native North America. Traditional religious and ceremonial practices of Native peoples are inseparably bound to land and natural formations. Sacred places are locales where Indigenous Peoples interact with the environment to carry out their religious practices or exercise beliefs. For centuries, religious practices of Native peoples have either been denigrated or actively oppressed. However, the rise of Native American political activism during the late 1960s and early 1970s sparked an ethnic resurgence that demanded self-determination and renewed resolve to actively practice cultural and religious traditions. Sacred lands or sites emerged as an issue during this period of social and political struggle. An evolving body of law has provided limited but not complete protection for these important places, as this entry describes. To comprehend religious beliefs and practices associated with sacred landscapes, it is necessary to examine indigenous ...