Sunday, June 21, 2009


611 Pennsylvania Avenue,
Washington, DC 20003

202) 547-5531

News Statement


For Immediate Release

Washington, DC (6/18/09)—Observances and ceremonies will be held across the country from June 19 through June 23 to mark the 2009 National Days of Prayer to Protect Native American Sacred Places. The observance in Washington, D.C. will be held on Monday, June 22 at 8:45 a.m. on the United States Capitol Grounds, West Front Grassy Area (see details under the Washington, D.C. listing below).
Times and places for public commemorations are listed in the following pages. Some of the gatherings highlighted in this release are educational forums, not religious ceremonies, and are open to the general public. Others are ceremonial and may be conducted in private. In addition to those listed below, there will be commemorations and prayers offered at sacred places that are under threat at this time.
“Native and non-Native people nationwide gather at this time for Solstice ceremonies and to honor sacred places, with a special emphasis on the need for Congress to build a door to the courts for Native nations to protect our traditional churches,” said Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne & Hodulgee Muscogee). She is President of The Morning Star Institute, which organizes the National Sacred Places Prayer Days.
“Many Native American sacred places are being damaged because Native nations do not have equal access under the First Amendment to defend them,” said Ms. Harjo. “All other peoples in the United States can use the First Amendment to protect their churches, but the Supreme Court closed that door to Native Americans in 1988. Today, Native Americans are the only peoples in the United States who do not have a constitutional right of action to protect sacred places. That simply must change as a matter of fairness and equity. Native nations have been cobbling together protections based on defenses intended for other purposes. Those may permit lawsuits, but they do not provide a place at the table when development is being contemplated, and the Supreme Court does not appear inclined to hear lawsuits which lack a tailor-made cause of action.”
During his presidential campaign in 2008, Sen. Barack Obama addressed this issue as part of his Native American policy platform for religious freedom, cultural rights and sacred places protection: “Native American sacred places and site-specific ceremonies are under threat from development, pollution, and vandalism. Barack Obama supports legal protections for sacred places and cultural traditions, including Native ancestors’ burial grounds and churches.”
“Native Americans were heartened by this statement and look forward to President Obama fulfilling his promise,” said Ms. Harjo.
“Twenty-one years have passed without Congress creating that door to the courthouse for Native Americans,” said Ms. Harjo. “Now, with the support of the President, we pray that this will be the last year we are denied justice. Native and non-Native people are gathering, again, to call on anyone who will listen to help protect these national treasures and to do something about this national disgrace that threatens them.”
The 2009 observances will be the seventh of the National Prayer Days to Protect Native American Sacred Places. The first National Prayer Day was conducted on June 20, 2003, on the U.S. Capitol West Lawn and nationwide to emphasize the need for Congress to enact a cause of action to protect Native sacred places. That need still exists.
Native peoples are encouraged by the United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which includes the following statements:
Article 11, 1: Indigenous peoples have the right to practise and revitalize their cultural traditions and customs. This includes the right to maintain, protect and develop the past, present and future manifestations of their cultures, such as archaeological and historical sites, artifacts, designs, ceremonies, technologies and visual and performing arts and literature.
Article 11, 2: States shall provide redress through effective mechanisms, which may include restitution, developed in conjunction with indigenous peoples, with respect to their cultural, intellectual, religious and spiritual property taken without their free, prior and informed consent or in violation of their laws, traditions and customs.
Article 12, 1: Indigenous peoples have the right to manifest, practise, develop and teach their spiritual and religious traditions, customs and ceremonies; the right to maintain, protect, and have access in privacy to their religious and cultural sites; the right to the use and control of their ceremonial objects; and the right to the repatriation of their human remains.
Article 25: Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinctive spiritual relationship with their traditionally owned or otherwise occupied and used lands, territories, waters and coastal seas and other resources and to uphold their responsibilities to future generations in this regard."
Among the many sacred places in danger of being destroyed by energy developers are the Medicine Lake Highlands and Hatchet Mountain in traditional Pit River Territory in northeastern California. The Medicine Lake Highlands, a ceremonial and healing place in the Modoc National Forest, is proposed for geothermal development. The Bureau of Land Management says a Ninth Circuit ruling in the matter is not clear enough and it will issue leases to developers.
Hatchet Mountain is proposed as a site for the construction of massive windmill towers and the harnessing of wind energy. The wind towers, which are known as “chop shops” for birds, will kill eagles and other migratory birds, along with bats, and will disturb the natural living patterns of all species in the region. The wind towers are proposed for placement on a sacred site.
In addition to those listed separately, prayers will be offered for the following sacred places, waters and beings: Indian Pass, a Quechan sacred place in southern California, which won a favorable ruling against gold mining in a NAFTA proceeding in 2009. Medicine Bluff, a sacred place to the Apache, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Comanche and Kiowa Tribes, which was protected in a District Court decision in a Comanche Nation lawsuit against the Department of Defense in 2009. Coastal Chumash sacred lands in the Gaviota Coastal region in southern California. Yurok Nation's salmon fisheries in the Klamath River. Berry Creek, Moore Town and Enterprise Rancherias' lands. The sacred Puvungna of the Tongva and Acjachemen Peoples. The sacred Katuktu (Morro Hill) of the San Luis Rey Band of Mission Indians. Mount Graham, Apache holy land in Arizona. Hualapai Nation landforms in Truxton and Crozier Canyons of Arizona. The Boboquivari Mountain of the Tohono O’odham Nation. Zuni Salt Lake. Carrizo/Comecrudo lands flooded by Amistad Lake and Falcon Dam in Texas. The Badlands. Bear Butte. Black Hills. Lummi Nation Tsi-litch Semiahmah Village and the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe Tse Whit Zen Village - Ancestor burial grounds. Cold Water Springs and Pipestone National Monument in Minnesota. Ocmulgee National Monument and Ocmulgee Old Fields in Georgia. Petroglyphs National Monument and the micaceous clay-gathering place of the Picuris Pueblo in New Mexico. Sweetgrass Hills (Badger Two Medicine) in Montana. Endangered salmon in the Pacific Northwest. Sacred places of all removed Native nations.
Arizona: San Francisco Peaks, Ceremony, Sunday, June 21
The San Francisco Peaks are sacred to Apache, Hopi, Hualapai, Navajo, Yavapai and other Native nations. The San Francisco Peaks are home to many sacred beings, medicine places and origin sites. Myriad ceremonies are conducted there for healing, well being, balance, commemoration, passages and the world’s water and life cycles.
The U.S. Forest Service and private business plan to expand the Snowbowl ski resort and to use recycled sewage to make artificial snow. The Native nations and environmental organizations opposed those efforts in court, losing a final round in June, when the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a petition for review of a pro-development decision. The Native nations now seek administrative and legislative remedies.
These expansion and sewage-to-snow plans could have a disastrous impact on the Native religions and people and on the water and health of the entire region. The creeping recreational development has concerned Native spiritual leaders and tribal officials for decades, but current plans far exceed the past activity at the resort. The area is within the Coconino National Forest.
Native nations attempted to protect the San Francisco Peaks in court. The District Court ruled for the development in January 2006. In March 2007, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the lower court’s decision and ruled for the Hopi Tribe, Navajo Nation and others. A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit ruled that the Forest Service violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the National Environmental Policy Act in allowing the Snowbowl Resort to expand over 100 acres of rare alpine ecosystem, part of the area which is sacred to Native Peoples.
The federal government challenged that decision and petitioned the Ninth Circuit for rehearing en banc. Such petitions are rarely granted, but the Court granted this one. The case was argued in front of the 11-judge en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit in Pasadena in December 2007. The Ninth Circuit issued the decision of the en banc panel on August 8, 2008, ruling in favor of development. The Native nations submitted a writ of certiorari for the U.S. Supreme Court. On June 8, 2009, the Supreme Court declined to review the decision.
Ceremonies and gatherings for Solstice prayer will take place on June 21 at the San Francisco Peaks. For more information and updates, contact the offices of the Apache, Hopi, Hualapai, Navajo and Yavapai Nations.

California: Needles – Saturday, June 20, Sunrise
The Ft. Mojave Indian Tribe remains in emergency need of prayer to protect the Maze and surrounding sacred areas along the Lower Colorado River. The Maze is both a physical manifestation and a spiritual pathway for the afterlife. It has always been, and will always be, an integral and significant part of the Mojave way of life, beliefs, traditions, culture and religion. The Mojave will observe the Prayer Day in Needles at the Maze property, on June 20, and pray for continued guidance, preservation and national support to defend this sacred area.
Pacific Gas & Electric, by its ownership and operation of the Topock Natural Gas Compressor Station near Needles, California over the last 50 years, has polluted the groundwater under and around the Maze with hexavalent chromium, a toxic chemical that can cause numerous human and ecological health problems. PG&E, BLM and California Department of Toxic Substances Control proceeded with Interim Measures to contain and investigate the contamination, which included the construction of a new Treatment Plant within the Maze area and the drilling of many new wells in California and Arizona, on either side of the Colorado River. These, taken together, create continuing cumulative adverse impacts to the sacred landscape and tribal beliefs.
In 2005, Ft. Mojave filed a lawsuit seeking the removal of the plant, total restoration of the sacred area, an environmental baseline of prior to the plant's construction and any other actions that could serve to remedy the desecration. Settlement negotiations concluded in November 2006 aimed to achieve each of these goals and secure other remedies including repatriation of the sacred area to tribal ownership, sensitivity training for PG&E employees and contractors, a written public apology and reimbursement of past and future tribal costs.
Even though settlement was achieved, deep prayer is needed to ask for further understanding by PG&E and the agencies, particularly the BLM and USDOI, as to the nature of this traditional cultural landscape and that they should not be afraid to acknowledge it as such during investigations and selection of the Final Remedy which may occur next year (2010). Prayer is also needed to ask for forgiveness for any continuing desecration that may occur until the offending facilities are actually removed and that the Final Remedy will respect the sacred nature of this area.
A new Tribal concern for this area is the recent installation of additional facilities at the nearby Pirate Cove marina, a private concession on BLM land but managed by the County of San Bernardino. Even though a seasonal facility, the operational impacts of the expanded recreational facility on the Tribe's sacred lands are already being experienced (including traffic, noise, off-road tours, opportunistic off-road activity into sensitive areas, website exposure of sensitive areas and parking outside designated areas). Also, BLM’s management of the larger area, which has been designated an Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC), continues to be insensitive to the Tribe's concerns. No management plan has been put together for this area even though the designation was approved in 2007. This type of BLM/DOI disregard for tribal concerns fails to take into account the continued desecration of the area as a whole, further exacerbating the concern of the Tribe as it views this spiritual landscape for what it is: “Sacred in its entirety.”
This issue is national in scope: the Maze has been officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1978 and is formally recognized as nationally significant. Moreover, the failure of state and federal agencies to consider direct and indirect impacts to Native sacred places during pollution remediation activities remains a national problem requiring congressional oversight.
Contact: Nora McDowell-Antone, Tribal Project Manager, at (928) 768-4475, or Courtney Ann Coyle, Tribal Attorney, at (858) 454-8687.

California: World Peace and Prayer Day, Sunday, June 21, Ceremony at 11:00 a.m. in San Francisco, and Gathering at 3:00 p.m. in Oakland
Arvol Looking Horse, 19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe and organizer of the global World Peace and Prayer Day, will conduct two public ceremonies in San Francisco and Oakland, California, on Sunday, June 21.
The ceremony for the Summer Solstice and World Peace and Prayer Day will take place at 11:00 a.m. at the Yerba Buena Gardens on Mission between 4th and 5th Streets in San Francisco.
The gathering of prayer for sacred places will be held at 3:00 p.m. at the Intertribal Friendship House, 523 International Blvd. in Oakland.
Contact: Paula Horne-Mullen at or Janeen Antoine at or the Intertribal Friendship House at 510-836-1955.

California, Winnemem Wintu: Prayer Day Ceremony
The Winnemem Wintu will hold a prayer day ceremony at the village for tribal members to pray for the preservation of our sacred places and to pray for a successful outcome to the lawsuit filed in April regarding harms committed by the government against the tribe and the destruction of sacred places within the McCloud River watershed.
While this ceremony is closed to outsiders, the Winnemem Wintu hope that people around the world will add their voice and prayers for us and all people facing the same actions elsewhere.
This ceremony will also include prayers for those Indigenous Peoples facing violence and the suppression of their voices by governments around the world. The Winnemem Wintu hope that governments will adhere to the principles stated in the United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of indigenous Peoples.
Contact: Mark Franco, Winnemem Wintu Headman, at
Colorado: Boulder - Native American Rights Fund, Friday, June 19, at 7:00 a.m.
The National Day of Prayer to Protect Native American Sacred Places is being observed at the Native American Rights Fund on Friday, June 19, 2009.
The public is welcome to a sunrise ceremony that will be held on NARF's front lawn beginning at 7:00 a.m. The program is expected to last for one hour with a prayer ceremony. Andy Cozad from the Native American Church and John Echohawk, NARF Executive Director, will be speaking, as well as other NARF staff. Speakers will be followed by a moment of silence to show concern for the sacred places that are being damaged and destroyed today.
The Native American Rights Fund is headquartered at 1506 Broadway in Boulder, Colorado. NARF extends an open invitation to its program and requests that participants bring a chair or a blanket to the front lawn and to bring food and/or beverages to share at the completion of the program.
As part of its mission, the Native American Rights Fund advocates for sacred site protection, religious freedom efforts and cultural rights. NARF attorneys and staff participate in local and national gatherings and discussions about how to protect lands that are sacred and precious to Native Americans. The NARF utilizes its resources to protect First Amendment rights of Native American religious leaders, prisoners and members of the Native American Church, and to assert tribal rights to cultural property and human remains, in compliance with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.
Contact: The Native American Rights Fund at (303) 447-8760.

Kansas: Lawrence - Wakarusa Wetlands, Sunday, June 21, at Noon
(Storm date, in case of severe weather: Monday, June 22, at Noon)
Haskell Wetland Preservation Organization (WPO) and Save the Wakarusa Wetlands will observe National Prayer Day at Noon on Sunday, June 21, beside the Wakarusa Wetlands at the Haskell Medicine Wheel south of Lawrence, Kansas. Haskell WPO is a Native student organization, and Save the Wakarusa Wetlands, Inc., is an association of Lawrence-based Haskell Indian Nations University alumni, students and community supporters. In case of lightning strikes, funnel clouds or other severe weather, the observation will take place on Monday, June 22, at Noon.
The ceremony will be led by Patrick Freeland, President of WPO, and is open to all who wish to add their prayers to save this sacred place from the highway builders.
Participants will ask for the protection of the Wakarusa Wetlands (aka, Haskell-Baker Wetlands), threatened by an eight to ten lane highway project approved by the Army Corps of Engineers, but delayed by state budget constraints.
After years of claiming the trafficway had been "de-federalized," in an attempt to render federal laws protecting Native sites inapplicable, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is back in the game due to a midnight earmark from a pro-trafficway senator. FHWA adopted an outdated and severely flawed Corps of Engineers Environmental Impact Statement in order to expedite federal funds for the beleaguered project, the went along with the state's plan to pave the Wetlands. A lawsuit has been filed in federal court to stop the South Lawrence Trafficway (SLT) project.
This sacred place is the last significant trace of the original Wakarusa Bottoms, an 18,000-acre prairie wetland environment that existed for thousands of years before whites drained and dammed the wetlands, which supplied Native peoples of the region with valuable medicines and important ceremonial items.
Elders have said the Creator caused the course of the Wakarusa River to go directly east toward the rising sun, in sharp contrast to the other rivers in the region, as a sign of sacred healing plants and herbs found there.
About 600 acres of the Wakarusa Wetlands was located directly south of the dorms at Haskell Institute. This last major remnant of the Wetlands was a crucial refuge where Native students from all across the country survived government efforts to exterminate their cultures in off-reservation boarding schools.
There, in the Wakarusa Wetlands refuge, young Indians from Maine to California sang forbidden songs, performed dances that were federally punishable with jail time and refused to let the authorities "kill the Indian" in them.
Parents and other tribal leaders camped, often for weeks or longer, beside these wetlands on the bank of the Wakarusa, awaiting permission from school officials to retrieve or at least visit their children. These elders used the Wetlands as an outdoor classroom to pass on final lessons about healing and other traditional knowledge.
Despite efforts to drain the Wetlands in the early twentieth century, and Haskell's loss of this property during the Eisenhower termination era, the Wakarusa Wetlands, like Haskell Indian Nations University itself, has survived and flourished. The entire historic Haskell campus, including the Wetlands, is being considered for designation as a National Historic Heritage area.
Contact: Patrick Freeland, President, Haskell Wetlands Preservation Organization (WPO), Haskell Indian Nations University, at (816) 591-7441 or by email at
Contact: Michael Caron at (785) 842-6293 or by email at with Save the Wakarusa Wetlands

Montana: Little Big Horn Horse Ride Prayers for Our Sacred Places, Sunday, June 21
The Little Big Horn Horse Ride of June 17 to 25, 2009, commemorates the Battle of Little Big Horn (Battle of the Greasy Grass) of June 25, 1876. The Ride starts at Ashland, Montana, with Prayers and Honoring Songs on June 17, and ends at the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Montana on June 25.
The Little Big Horn Horse Riders will have Prayers for Our Sacred Places on Sunday, June 21.
Prayers will be offered by Wilmer Mesteth, a Wicasa Wican (Spiritual Leader) of Pine Ridge, Oglala Sioux Nation, South Dakota.
Contact: Wilmer Mesteth at or 605-867-5245.

New Mexico: Mount Taylor
Mount Taylor is sacred to pueblos and tribes throughout the Southwest. The Acoma, Laguna and Zuni Pueblos, the Hopi Tribe and the Navajo Nation are actively seeking protections for Mount Taylor. They are concerned that the renewed uranium rush in the area will threaten the sacred mountain.
Mount Taylor, a lush forested mesa, is an ancient volcano west of Albuquerque, New Mexico, near Acoma and Laguna Pueblos and the town of Grants. At 11,301 feet, it is the highest point of the Cibola National Forest and the San Mateo Mountains. An origin, worship and pilgrimage site, Mount Taylor is home to many sacred beings, waters and shrines. It also is a vital religious and subsistence hunting and gathering place.
The New Mexico Cultural Properties Review Committee unanimously decided to place Mount Taylor permanently on the State Register of Traditional Cultural Properties. This designation follows a year-long battle between private landowners, who say the designation will affect development that may occur on their lands, and Native American tribes, who honor Mount Taylor as a sacred place central to the cultures and livelihoods of Native Americans. The decision was rendered June 5, 2009.
The permanent designation of Mount Taylor as a Traditional Cultural Property is the culmination of hard work for five lead tribes acting on behalf of all tribes in the southwest and the residents of New Mexico. The five nominating tribes -- Acoma Pueblo, Laguna Pueblo, Zuni Pueblo, and the Hopi and Navajo Nations -- began the application process over a year ago in order to protect Mount Taylor from renewed uranium mining interests.
This designation will ensure that the public has the opportunity to give proper comment on any new mining proposals that are within the TCP boundary.
Last year, the New Mexico CPRC took emergency action to protect Mount Taylor from potential uranium mining for one year by designating it as a traditional cultural property. The Committee voted on June 14, 2008, to list 422,840 acres (660 square miles) of Mount Taylor on New Mexico’s Register of Cultural Properties. The designation lasted for one year, during which the Committee decided that Mount Taylor had a permanent listing as a traditional cultural property. The TCP listing will not prevent mining or other development, but will halt expedited mining permits and will give the pueblos and tribes a voice in the permitting process when development is being considered.
For additional information, contact the offices of the Acoma Pueblo, Laguna Pueblo, Zuni Pueblo, Hopi Tribe and Navajo Nation.
New York: Ganondagan State Historic Site, Monday, June 22, 11:45 a.m. to Mid-day
At Ganondagan State Historic Site in New York, there will be a Gahnonyoh (Thanksgiving), starting at 11:45 a.m. and ending at Mid-day, on Monday, June 22, to protect sacred places and to promote world peace. “We invite spiritual leaders and the general public to join us on that day as we offer words of Thanksgiving or Gahnonyoh in Seneca,” says G. Peter Jemison (Seneca), who is the Caretaker of Ganondagan.
“We will gather before noon near the Great White Pine at the head of the Trail of Peace to offer a Thanksgiving,” says Jemison. “Members of the Faithkeepers School from Coldsprings, New York, will join us this year. The event is open to the general public, but no photography, please.”
Ganondagan is the site of the seventeenth century town, once the capitol of the Seneca Nation, which was destroyed by the French in 1687. Today, it is the only historic site in New York dedicated to a Native American theme. Ganondagan is sacred to the Seneca People because nearby are the remains of Jikonhsaseh the Mother of Nations, who was the first person to accept the message of Peace brought by the Peacemaker, who united the Haudenosaunee or Five Nations: Seneca Nation, Cayuga Nation, Onondaga Nation, Oneida Nation and Mohawk Nation.
Contact: G. Peter Jemison at (585) 924-5848 or by e-mail (

New York: Willow Bay in Onondaga Lake Park, Tuesday, June 23, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Onondaga Nation invites all to Honor the Lake with a peaceful gathering at Willow Bay in Onondaga Lake Park, Tuesday, June 23, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.
All who wish for the full clean up and healing of the Onondaga Lake are invited to attend and to bring friends and family.
For more information, contact Onondaga Nation communications at 315-492-1922 or

Oklahoma: Hickory Ground Ceremonial Ground
Traditional religious leaders of Oce Vbofv Cuko Rakko (Hickory Ground Ceremonial Ground) are continuing their work to protect their pre-removal lands near Wetumpka, Alabama, and the dozens of human remains which have been disinterred without their consent. Summer requires their attention to be focused on annual ceremonies to close the old year and start the new year.
As other Muscogee people gather for ceremonies, the tragic case of the Hickory Ground site is discussed in wider and wider circles. Absent from the southeast for 170 years, and separated by 800 miles, many traditional people in Oklahoma were unaware of the destruction of sacred places and the looting of burials in their ancient homelands.
Discussions also have spread into the Christian community about the documented reports of complete disrespect for human remains and burials, and a growing consensus between the major Muscogee religious communities is that Muscogee common law regards a burial as a permanent resting place for the dead, to remain undisturbed.
The Inter-Tribal Sacred Land Trust is working to promote the protection of sacred sites throughout the southeastern United States, and to develop model policies and procedures, which could have applications across the nation. Contact for more information.

Oklahoma: Bristow: Sunday, June 21, Prayer Service and Ceremony, 2:00 p.m.
Traditional Sweat 3:00 p.m.
Supper, 5:00 p.m.
The Tulsa Indian Coalition Against Racism (TICAR) invites all to participate in the 2008 National Day of Prayer to Protect Native Sacred Places on Sunday, June 21, starting at 2:00, at the Watashe Family Native American Church site, in Bristow, Oklahoma.
The address of the Watashe Family Native American Church site is 27151 W. 141st St. South, Bristow, Oklahoma.
TICAR and the Watashe Family are hosting a Prayer Service and Ceremony honoring American Indian Sacred Places throughout the country, beginning at 2:00 p.m.
The Traditional Sweat begins at 3:00 p.m.
Supper begins at 5:00 p.m.
All are welcome to join in prayer for sacred places.
Contact: Cindy Martin, TICAR Coordinator and Founding Member, at (918) 633-3381 or at

Washington, DC: U.S. Capitol, West Front Grassy Area - June 22, Monday, at 8:45 a.m.
The observance in Washington, DC, will take place at the U.S. Capitol on the West Front Grassy Area on Monday, June 22 at 8:45 a.m. The public is invited to attend this respectful observance to honor sacred places and sacred beings and all those who care for them and protect them from harm. The observance will take the form of a talking circle. All are welcome to offer good words, songs or a moment of silence for all sacred places, especially for those that are being threatened, desecrated or damaged at this time.
This observance is organized by The Morning Star Institute, a national Native rights organization founded in 1984 and dedicated to Native Peoples’ cultural and traditional rights, including religious freedom and sacred places protection.
Contact: The Morning Star Institute at (202) 547-5531 or Suzan Shown Harjo at
Co-sponsoring the commemoration in Washington, D.C. again is the General Commission on Religion and Race of The United Methodist Church, which issued the following statement:
“As stated in The 2008 United Methodist Book of Resolutions,‘…
the position of The United Methodist Church, expressed through the
2008 General Conference, is to strengthen the American Indian
Religious Freedom Act of 1978 and preserve the God-given and
constitutional rights of religious freedom for American Indians,
including the preserving of traditional Native American sacred sites
of worship.’ (3332, page 449).
“National Day of Prayer to Protect Sacred Places is a day for the
Church to stand in solidarity with Natives to strengthen this protection.
The General Commission on Religion and Race encourages United
Methodists, Christians and all people to join in this observance and
ask Congress to protect Native sacred places.”
Contact: Suanne Ware-Diaz, Assistant General Secretary, General Commission on Religion and Race, The United Methodist Church, 202-547-2271 or

Washington: Snoqualmie Falls, Friday, June 19, 10:00 a.m.
The Spirit of Snoqualmie Falls will be honored on the National Day of Prayer for the Protection of Native Sacred Places on Friday, June 19, at 10:00 a.m. All are invited to gather and to bring food to share afterwards. (Private observances will continue through the weekend.)
The Snoqualmie Tribe has been engaged in a longstanding struggle regarding the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license to Puget Sound Energy for hydroelectric project 2493.
Lois Sweet Dorman of the Snoqualmie Falls Preservation Project invites “all to join in the much needed prayers” for the Protection of Native Sacred Places. “Protection of Snoqualmie Falls is foremost in our hearts and minds,” says Sweet Dorman. “We believe in the power of prayer. We add our hearts, voices and strength to all who continue this work and will also be praying on this.”
Snoqualmie Falls is where the Transformer created the first man and the first woman and then climbed back to his Star Father’s people where he can still be seen through the hole his Snoqualmie mother poked in the sky with her digging stick. He is Moon, the Transformer the Changer, providing light in the darkness for the people of the Valley of the Moon. “This is our Snoqualmie Creation history,” says Sweet Dorman.
“Snoqualmie Falls is a sacred place, where the water’s journey completes its sacred cycle at the base of the falls and a transformation of Spirit takes place. The mist creates the connection between worlds and at the same time delivers prayers and blessings.”
Snoqualmie Falls is deemed eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places as a Traditional Cultural Property.
Snoqualmie Falls is 30 miles east of Seattle and is visited by more than 1.5 million people from around the world each year. It is 268 feet high, which is 100 feet higher than Niagara Falls.
“When it comes to our Sacred Snoqualmie Falls,” says Sweet Dorman, “our hearts are strong and we will continue our prayers and our work to strengthen all voices and efforts of securing, protecting and celebrating our Native Sacred Places and Ways. I ask for everyone's prayers for keeping us intact and moving forward together.
“Go to our Sacred Places, be still inside and strengthen your Spirit and your connection to the Creator. Give thanks that we still remain to carry on this Sacred Connection. May you be uplifted.”
Contact: Lois Sweet Dorman (Snoqualmie) at (425) 941-5795 or by email at
The Morning Star Institute, 611 Pennsylvania Ave., SE #377, Washington, DC 20003 (202) 547-5531

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