White House, Indigenous Leaders Discuss Indigenous Sacred Sites

The White House wants to increase protection and access to sacred Indigenous sites.

On Wednesday, the White House Council on Native American Affairs (WHCNAA) held a listening session with Indigenous leaders to hear their feedback on how to improve land stewardship and the preservation of sacred sites across the Indian country.

The listening session followed an initiative launched last November by Home Secretary Deb Haaland. Following last fall’s Tribal Nations Summit, eight federal agencies signed a Memorandum of Understandingcommitting to consult with Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian tribes to improve the protection of Native sacred sites.

This week’s session was led by WHCNAA Executive Director Morgan Rodman and included Assistant Secretary of the Department of the Interior for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland, as well as representatives from the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Transportation and Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, White House Council. on Environmental Quality, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Some of the objectives identified were: to establish an inter-agency working group; integrating the consideration of sacred sites from the start of decision-making processes; and stress the importance of public stewardship to protect sacred sites, according to an Interior press release.

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About the Author

Jenna Kunze
Author: Jenna KunzeE-mail: This email address is protected from spam. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Personal editor

Jenna Kunze is a reporter for Native News Online and Tribal Business News. His bylines have appeared in The Arctic Sounder, High Country News, Indian Country Today, Smithsonian Magazine and Anchorage Daily News. In 2020, she was one of 16 American journalists selected by the Pulitzer Center to report on the effects of climate change in the Arctic region of Alaska. Previously, she was a senior reporter at the Chilkat Valley News in Haines, Alaska. Kunze is based in New York.

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