Dine' Medicine Men's Association halts bill to regulate ceremonies

Dine' Medicine Men's Association said Arizona legislation could open the door to state control of Native American ceremonies

Statement from Sen. Albert Hale, Navajo, regarding Native American practices bill
Censored News

STATE CAPITOL, Phoenix – A bill to regulate the use of traditional Native American practices off of Indian Nation lands will not be heard Thursday, Feb. 11 by the Senate Committee on Government Institutions at the request of Sen. Albert Hale, Dist. 2, the sponsor of the bill.
"I asked to have the bill held at the request of the Diné Medicine Men Association. After a lengthy discussion with the Association it appears that they still have significant questions about the bill. I explained to the Association that the bill intends to direct the Arizona Department of Health Services, in conjunction with the Arizona Commission on Indian Affairs, to develop rules to regulate the off-reservation practice of Native American traditional ceremonies by non-Indians or others, and did not apply to ceremonial practices on Indian reservations.
“The state does not have jurisdiction to regulate or apply its laws on Indian reservations. I further assured them that an amendment was to be considered to make clarifications. The amendment would clarify that the bill did not apply to ceremonies performed by enrolled members of an Indian tribe for another enrolled member on or off Indian Nation lands.
“The Diné Medicine Men Association were opposed to the bill in its present form and wanted further discussion of the bill. I understand and appreciate the fear that these regulations may open the door to state regulations of Native American ceremonies. Pursuant to the Association's request, I request the bill to be held and it was subsequently removed."
Media Contact:
Jeanette Tejeda de Gomez, Director of Communication
Senate Democratic Caucus
602-926-4477, jtejeda@azleg.gov


Nihba said…
A bill regulating the use of Native American practices off Indian Nation Lands? this is absurd! as Dine' people, most of our sacred mountains are outside the reservation line and I'm sure other tribes sacred sites are off reservations as well. How can ceremonies be regulated at such a sacred place? How dare they try to regulate our ceremonies in general! We are already fighting for our sacred sites, we are already fighting to hold on to the ancent ways of life and to be told ceremonies are regulated....... When will the day come when we can continue the ancent way of life with out worrying of sacred sites under threat, with out being watched under regulation. when will elected officials understand?
Anonymous said…
Although I agree that only traditional leaders and teachers should preform Native American Sweats, don't other cultures also use sweats for cleansing?
I believe I remember reading that in Scandanavia and other far northern european Nations they still use a sweat to this day for cleansing of the body and some claim also of the spirit and body.
I don't want the American government writing ceremonial rules for Native Americans of any tribe..including the White tribe.
A person's spiritual practices are between them and The Creator in my opinion and certainly are not the place of The United States Government to dictate.
bud said…
no law should inhibit our right to pray in our own ways,who would decide who is qualified to run a lodge? who would decide who these judges would be? My grand father told me year ago, if someone elses ways were not your way, look the other way!! I didn't even know what that meant then but I do now. If your part of somthing that don't feel right to you, get out of there

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