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Defend the SacredNative American Religious Freedom beyond the First Amendment$
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Michael D. McNally

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691190907

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691190907.001.0001

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Religion as Cultural Resource

Religion as Cultural Resource

Environmental and Historic Preservation Law

(p.127) 4 Religion as Cultural Resource
Defend the Sacred

Michael D. McNally

Princeton University Press

This chapter explores what results when Native peoples articulate religious claims in the language of culture and cultural resources under environmental and historic preservation law. It argues that cultural resource laws have become more fruitful in two respects. First, there is more emphatic insistence on government-to-government consultation between federal agencies and tribes. Second, in 1990, National Historic Preservation Act regulations were clarified by designating “Traditional Cultural Properties” as eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places and in 1992, that law was amended to formally engage tribal governments in the review process. In light of these developments, protection under the categories of culture and cultural resource have proved more capacious for distinctive Native practices and beliefs about sacred lands, but it has come at the expense of the clearer edge of religious freedom protections, while still being haunted, and arguably bedraggled, by the category of religion from which these categories ostensibly have been formally disentangled.

Keywords:   cultural resources, environmental preservation, historic preservation, cultural resource laws, National Historic Preservation Act, Traditional Cultural Properties, tribal governments, Native culture, Native people, religious claims

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