Avi Kwa Ame

The 5,642-foot-high mountain known as Avi Kwa Ame in the Mojave language is the creation site for ten Yuman-speaking tribes including the Fort Mojave Indian Tribe. In response to more than a decade of efforts to protect the site, President Biden has designated 450,000 acres in Nevada as the “Avi Kwa Ame National Monument,” only the second monument to protect Native history.

Tomales Point

Tomales Point and Point Reyes, the Farallon Islands and the West Berkeley Shellmound, all in northern California’s Bay Area, are sacred places. Their entirety forms an immense ceremonial and mortuary complex for the Coast Miwok and Ohlone, indigenous to the San Francisco Bay Area. These coastal sites are evidence of early Polynesian settlement in the Americas.

Juukan Gorge

In May 2020, while clearing the way for a mine expansion, the transnational mining company Rio Tinto set off explosives that destroyed a site sacred to the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura people in Western Australia. The site included the Juukan Gorge Rock Dwellings, which have evidence of human habitation dating back 46,000 years. The mining company placed their explosives meters from the rock shelters with full permission of the Australian government—and after misleading Traditional Owners.


When Soviet forces forcibly relocated the Yaghnobi from their mountain valley in what is now Tajikistan, the Russians were unable to crush the spirit of the people. Their cultural lifeblood remained in their homeland and they returned to create the Yaghnob National Natural Park to protect their ancient cultural landscape.

Rapa Nui (Easter Island)

Known for its towering stone statues, the island of Rapa Nui holds immense cultural value to its native clans. With more than 100,000 visitors annually, tourism threatens the traditional rights of native people to own land and protect their sacred sites, including more than 900 moai statues, burial sites and ceremonial grounds.