Don’t Desecrate Sacred Native American Site for Tourism

Rattlesnake Mountain

Target: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

Goal: Don’t give away sacred Native American land for tourism development and road building

Washington State may be permitted to desecrate a sacred and protected Native American site by paving over the land to make roads and tourist sites if pending defense bill passes in the Senate. Although this extremely important ceremonial site was designated as a Traditional Cultural Property under the National Historic Preservation Act, if the new defense bill is passed by the Senate and signed into law by President Obama, those protections will vanish and the Washington State government will be able to do anything it wants to the land.

The U.S. has a long history of breaking promises to the Native peoples whose land we stole after committing widespread genocide, wiping out 95 percent of their population. We’ve already disrespected and developed over so much of their sacred land, each time promising we’ll leave them something and then later taking it away. In the year 2014, our government is still trying to break more of its promises so that yet another protected area can make the state tourist money.

Enough is enough. By signing this petition, you’ll urge the Senate to reject this bill or remove the unnecessary amendment that’s completely unrelated to defense. We cannot allow our government to once again spit in the faces of the people we’ve devastated with our greed and cruelty. The past can never be righted as long as we continue to steal sacred land from Native Americans.


Dear Mr. Reid,

The U.S. House just passed the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act, which includes an amendment that would allow development and road-building on land that has long been protected as a Traditional Cultural Property for the region’s Native American tribe. The land in question is a sacred ceremony site in Washington State, commonly called Rattlesnake Mountain.

Clearly, this amendment has nothing to do with defense. But the real problem here is that, once again, the U.S. government is attempting to break a promise to the Native American people whom we’ve already committed so many atrocities against. At what point are we going to stop taking from them? Was genocide and the nearly total conquering of their land not enough? Do we have to desecrate every sacred site they have left for the sake of tourist money and corporate interests?

This amendment must be removed from the bill or the bill needs to be voted down. There is absolutely no excuse for letting this bill go through when it includes an allowance for the further desecration of sacred Native American land. If you care about the exploited Native American tribes of our country at all, you’ll take a stand against this amendment. Stop repeating history and start showing respect for a people that we’ve already hurt so much.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Williamborg via Wikimedia Commons

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