American Indian Religious Freedom Act
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Time Period
The 1970s saw a resurgence of pride and interest in religious traditions and culture within Native American communities -- and activists exhibited renewed protest against the incursions of federal authorities. In 1977, representatives of the Iroquois Confederacy presented a list of religious grievances to the United Nations.

The next year, Congress passed the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, which pledged to protect and preserve religious freedom for American Indians, Eskimos, Aleuts and Native Hawaiians. It also promised non-interference with the free exercise of Native religions.

The act acknowledged that traditional American Indian religions are "an integral part of Indian life, are indispensable and irreplaceable." And it admitted that "the lack of a clear, comprehensive, and consistent Federal policy has often resulted in the abridgment of religious freedom for traditional American Indians."
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Race/Ethnicity and Religion in American History
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Tipi for peyote ceremony- Wikimedia Commons- photo by Haiduc

American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978- US Congress
Book/Journal Source(s)
Jenkins, Philip , 2004. Dream Catchers: How Mainstream America Discovered Native Spirituality. New York: Oxford University Press.
Web Source(s)
Text of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act 1978
Web Page Contributor
Sandi Dolbee
Affliated with: Former Religion and Ethics Editor, The San Diego Union-Tribune

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