The 1000 Nations reprint of a report to the United Nations on Native American sacred sites and religious freedom in North America — authored by Winona LaDuke and Sean Cruz — brought back memories of when my father took me to Celilo Falls to see the Indians fishing salmon from platforms in the Columbia River. Noted as one of the most sacred sites before it was flooded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1957, the header of 1000 Nations includes a photo.
In the report is cited a 2008 9th Circuit Court of Appeals dissenting opinion by Judge William Fletcher on the San Francisco Peaks case, which reminds us of the importance of federal judicial appointments. Like William’s mother before him, intellect and integrity are critical to tribal-federal relations. Thank goodness Judge Betty Fletcher, who served on the 9th Circuit until her passing last month, instilled these essential values in her son.
While the dominant societies remain controlled by what author Jerry Mander called the Absence of the Sacred, consciousness is steadily inserting itself in ways that give one hope for humanity. Remaining steadfast in our consciousness raising efforts might not be easy, but it is sometimes rewarding.