A growing number of native American sacred sites are under threat from new sprawling housing developments and industrial plants.
The Los Angeles Times (Aug. 16) reports that from Florida to Ohio to Arkansas, Native American groups are fighting battles with state and federal governments to protect places, including burial sites, where ancestors worshipped. Targets of recent native American protests include a Chicago-based company’s plans for an open-pit clay mine and cat-litter plant in a community north of Reno, Nev; and the construction of a casino in Black Hills, N.D., that threatens an area prominent in native American history.
One consultant of a Florida tribe says “It is the official opinion of any native American that if you disturb a burial site, the soul or spirit … will forever be at unrest.”
Carrie Lewis, a representative of the Quapaw tribe, says she is afraid more industry will prevent archaeologists from studying the area around the sites that could have artifacts or remains.