95-346--the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978 (AIRFA) -

The American Indian Religious Freedom Act legalizes traditional spirituality and ceremonies, overturning local and state regulations still on the books banning American Indian spiritual practices. American Indians are the only Americans whose religious practice is covered by a law other than the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

There is no "official" Native American religion, nor should their be.

American Indian Religious Freedom Act - Wikipedia

The American Indian Religious Freedom Act 1978

Forest Service to construct a road onUSFS land, despite recognizing that construction through the cemetery would"destroy the...Indians’ ability to practice their religion." Althougha 1996 Executive Order instructed federal agencies to accommodate NativeAmericans’ use of ceremonial sites and to avoid "adversely affecting thephysical integrity" of sites, Native Americans have nonetheless had tostruggle to protect sites on a case by case basis.

American Indian Religious Freedom Act | United States [1978]

1996) establishes as policy of the United States the protection and preservation for American Indians of their inherent right to freedom to believe, express, and practice their traditional religions.

SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the

Religious Freedom for Native Americans

Any regulation promulgated pursuant to this section shall be subject to the balancing test set forth in section 3 of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (Public Law 103-141; 42 U.S.C.

1978: American Indian freedom of religion legalized

The return of Blue Lake and the 48,000-acre tract in which it is set is of unique historical significance because it marked the first time that the federal government returned a significant parcel of land to its original owner in the name of indigenous religious freedom. The quotation which opens this introduction is excerpted from a latter of appeal the Taos people mailed out nationally in the spring of 1968 to plea for support for their cause, and it very well sets the tone for other on-going struggles to protect and/or restore other sites sacred to Indian peoples in the U.S. The people of Zuni Pueblo, nearly 300 miles from Taos, also fought successfully in the early 1980s to have their own sacred lake and surrounding area set aside for their exclusive use. Thanks to the Taos precedent and example, their own fight was not as protracted as that of Taos.

American Indian Religious Freedom Act

Activism on other religious fronts began to accelerate almost at the very moment of the Taos people's triumph. Repeated acts of harassment on the part of law enforcement officials of peyotists and other Indian people in possession of eagle feathers in the early 1970s gave rise to the anger and unity which resulted in the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978 (AIRFA). However, AIRFA lacked specifics both as the kinds of religious sites and practices to be protected, and as to specific penalties for transgressions and other enforcement provisions. Consequently, it has not been very helpful in protecting and the very things it presumably was designed to protect. Among the kinder epithets used by activists to describe AIRFA after only a few years of court tests were "a toothless tiger," "a statement of good intentions," and "a pious wish."

Freedom Act Amendments of 1994’.” 1978 ..

There were concerted efforts between 1990 and 1994 to amend AIRFA by giving it some "teeth" and, later, to substitute another bill altogether. But those efforts were stalled by the Republican Congressional landslide of November 1994. These efforts will undoubtedly be revived when and of the political climate changes in Washington. Jack Trope's essay, next following, provides a splendidly succinct overview of other relevant federal legislation bearing on issues of American Indian religious freedom, while the remaining authors provide case studies in which the available legal remedies are tested and applied.