Woodruff Butte is a volcanic cinder cone that is known as Tsimontukwi to the Hopi. It is one of nine major pilgrimage shrines that encircle Hopi traditional territory, and was for many years the site of nine clan shrines, until eight were destroyed by mining.
While many threats to sacred places come from natural-resource extraction and development, a different sort of battle continues in Wyoming, at a place the Lakota call Mato Tipila (The Lodge of the Bear), better known as Devils Tower.
The Supreme Court case known as G-O Road set an extremely damaging precedent regarding legal protection of Native American sacred sites on federal land.
Pipestone National Monument, located in southwest Minnesota, is named for the red stone (catlinite) that has been quarried there for centuries by native people, including the Lakota, Dakota and Yankton Sioux, to make ceremonial pipes.
The upper Missouri River ran freely through Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota until six massive dam and reservoir projects were built during the second half of the twentieth century.
The Mattaponi River, considered by the Mattaponi Tribe in Virginia to be the place where life begins, will be impacted by a proposed reservoir and dam project that will pump water from the river and could damage its ecosystem.
Nowhere north of the Valley of Mexico is there a more robust expression of prehistoric Native American culture and religion than in the ceremonial mound complexes of the Mississippian culture.
The Wolf River, its watershed, and the surrounding hill country have been used by generations of Sokaogon peoples for activities that pass on traditions and sustain their community’s identity. These activities include religious observances at Popple Pond and Oak Lake and gathering pure water from springs for use in water ceremonies.
Construction of an astronomical observatory threatens the integrity of Mount Graham, Ariz., sacred to the San Carlos and White Mountain Apache. This ironic conflict pits the Vatican against Apache spiritual leaders, and astronomers against biologists.
Sixty miles south of the Zuni Pueblo in New Mexico lies Salt Lake, home of the Zuni’s Salt Mother deity. When water evaporates in the summer, it leaves a layer of salt on the lake bottom, which is harvested by pilgrims, including medicine men coming from Zuni and other neighboring tribes.