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Harjo: Thanks for protectors of sacred places

"As people gather in our great lands to give thanks for the bounty of this time, I am grateful that two threatened sacred places are protected - Medicine Lake and Topock Maze in California - even if one of them is not fully out of danger.

Topock Maze is a complex landscape of earth drawings and sacred areas on a bluff above the Colorado River in the Mojave Desert. It has been revered for millennia by the Mojave and other tribes as a pathway to the afterlife.

Medicine Lake is a ceremonial place of spiritual and physical healing for the Pit River, Wintu, Modoc, Shasta, Klamath and other nations. The lake is in the caldera of a volcano on Pit River Nation territory near Mount Shasta in the northern part of the state.

These sacred places have been threatened and desecrated by energy companies. Pacific Gas and Electric Co. violated Topock Maze with a water treatment plant and the Fort Mojave Tribe sued. On Nov. 9, they announced a settlement, with PG&E apologizing and returning 125 acres of the sacred land to the tribe.

Medicine Lake is the subject of a Nov. 6 protective ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, but federal agencies could appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court."

Get the Story:
Suzan Shown Harjo: Giving thanks for protectors of sacred places (Indian Country Today 11/23)

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