Environment | National

Federal agencies issue action plan to help protect sacred sites





The Obama administration released an action plan on Tuesday as part of an effort to help protect sacred sites on federal land.

The Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Energy and Interior, along with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, agreed to work together to protect sacred places and ensure greater tribal access to those sites.

“The federal family has a special, shared responsibility to respect and foster American Indian and Alaska Native cultural and religious heritage, and this action plan will guide us in that important role,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a press release. “We have dedicated considerable staff and resources to address this important issue and will continue to work with the tribes and their spiritual and religious leaders to carry-out the action plan.”

As part of the effort, the agencies will establish a working group to review federal laws, including the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, the American Indian Religious Freedom Act and the National Historic Preservation Act.

Get the Story:
Feds unveil plan to guide protection of sites held sacred by American Indians, Alaska Natives (AP 3/5)

Relevant Documents:
Action Plan to Implement the Memorandum of Understanding Regarding Interagency Coordination and Collaboration for the Protection of Indian Sacred Sites (March 2013)

Related Stories:
Agencies reach memorandum of understanding for sacred sites (12/6)