Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights 2020

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Navajo Human Rights Commission: US Sacred Sites Sessions 2012

San Francisco Peaks/Photo

US Interior issues short notice on Sacred Sites Listening Conferences

Update Aug. 2: See listing below, still no details for the Portland session

NNHRC learns of U.S. Department of Interior’s sacred sites listening sessions
By Rachelle Todea
Posted at Censored News

SAINT MICHAELS, Navajo Nation— Today, the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission requested a letter from the U.S. Department of Interior regarding the upcoming sacred sites listening session scheduled for the month of August.
According to U.S. Department of Interior Counselor to the Assistant Secretary Dion Killsback, a press release will be issued soon.
Soon, however, may not be soon enough.
Because the Interior’s listening sessions begin in approximately two weeks, NNHRC wants to ensure the public is aware of the listening sessions.
According to a letter from the U.S. Department of Interior Acting Assistant Secretary Donald E. Laverdure, the dates, times and locations are as follows:

·        August 13, 2012 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the BIA Southwest Regional Office, Pete V. Domenici Bldg., 1001 Indian School Road in Albuquerque, New Mex. Contact: (505) 563-3103.

·        August 16, 2012 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., at the Holiday Inn-Grand Montana Billings, 5500 Midland Road in Billings, Mont. Contact: (406) 248-7701.

·        August 23, 2012, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd., in Prior Lake, Minn. Contact: (952) 445-9000.

·        August 24, 2012, from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., at the Mohegan Sun Casino, 1 Mohegan Sun Blvd., in Uncasville, Conn. Contact: (860) 862-7311.

·        (Tentative) August 28, 2012, a time, location to be determined for the Portland, Ore., area.

The Interior’s sacred sites listening sessions should not be confused with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s sacred sites listening sessions, which took place last year.

 The Department, through the Office of the Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs, intends to develop policy to strengthen the protection of sacred sites on Federal lands. For many years the Department has received input on sacred sites and to that end, the Department is seeking input specific, but not limited to, the following topics regarding sacred sitesShow citation box
  • Meanings of sacred sites and whether the Department should attempt to define the term “sacred site”;Show citation box
  • Personal views of existing Departmental practices or policies, if any, that should be revised to protect sacred sites and steps necessary to make appropriate revisions;Show citation box
  • Potential development of Departmental practices or policies to protect sacred sites;Show citation box
  • How the Department should facilitate tribal access to sacred sites;Show citation box
  • How the Department should control and grant access to tribally provided information regarding sacred sites;Show citation box
  • Whom the Department should include (recognized leaders of tribal government, tribal spiritual leaders, in determining whether a site is considered “sacred” by a tribe.Show citation box
Tribal listening sessions will be held at the following dates and locations:Show citation box
August 13, 20121 p.m.-4 p.mBIA Southwest Regional Office, Pete V. Domenici Building, 1001 Indian School Road, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87104, (505) 563-3103.
August 16, 20129 a.m.-12 p.mHoliday Inn-Grand Montana-Billings, 5500 Midland Road, Billings, Montana 59101, (406) 248-7701.
August 23, 20121 p.m.-4 p.mMystic Lake Casino Hotel, 2400 Mystic Lake Boulevard, Prior Lake, MN 55372, (952) 445-9000.
August 24, 20129 a.m.-12 p.mMohegan Sun Casino, 1 Mohegan Sun Boulevard, Uncasville, Connecticut 06382,(860) 862-7311.
Dated: July 27, 2012.
Donald E. Laverdure,
Acting Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs.
[FR Doc. 2012-18891 Filed 7-30-12; 4:15 pm]

Press statement at top of this post from:
Rachelle Todea, Public Information Officer
Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission
P.O. Box 1689
Window Rock, Navajo Nation (AZ)  86515
Phone: (928) 871-7436
Fax: (928) 871-7437

"Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development," according to Article 3 of the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, G.A. Res. 61/295, U.N. Doc A/RES/295 (Sept. 13, 2007), 46 I.L.M 1013 (2007).

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