On and after August 11, 1978, it shall be the policy of the United States to protect and preserve for American Indians their inherent right of freedom to believe, express, and exercise the traditional religions of the American Indian, Eskimo, Aleut, and Native Hawaiians, including but not limited to access to sites, use and possession of sacred objects, and the freedom to worship through ceremonials and traditional rites.
Cite as 42 U.S.C. § 1996 Source: Pub. L. 95-341, §1, Aug. 11, 1978, 92 Stat. 469. Notes from the Office of Law Revision Counsel current through 8/29/2020 SHORT TITLE OF 1994 AMENDMENT Pub. L. , 103-344 § 1 , Oct. 6, , 108 Stat. 3125, provided that: "This Act [enacting section 1994 of this title] may be cited as the 'American Indian Religious Freedom Act Amendments of 1994'." 1996a SHORT TITLE
Pub. L. 95-341 as amended, which enacted this section, section
of this title, and a provision set out as a note under this section, is popularly known as the American Indian Religious Freedom Act. 1996a FEDERAL IMPLEMENTATION OF PROTECTIVE AND PRESERVATION FUNCTIONS RELATING TO NATIVE AMERICAN RELIGIOUS CULTURAL RIGHTS AND PRACTICES; PRESIDENTIAL REPORT TO CONGRESS
Pub. L. 95-341, §2, Aug. 11, 1978, 92 Stat. 470, provided that the President direct the various Federal departments, agencies, and other instrumentalities responsible for administering relevant laws to evaluate their policies and procedures in consultation with native traditional religious leaders to determine changes necessary to preserve Native American religious cultural rights and practices and report to the Congress 12 months after Aug. 11, 1978.
EX. ORD. NO. 13007. INDIAN SACRED SITES
Ex. Ord. No. 13007, May 24, 1996, 61 F.R. 26771, provided:
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, in furtherance of Federal treaties, and in order to protect and preserve Indian religious practices, it is hereby ordered:
SECTION 1. Accommodation of Sacred Sites. (a) In managing Federal lands, each executive branch agency with statutory or administrative responsibility for the management of Federal lands shall, to the extent practicable, permitted by law, and not clearly inconsistent with essential agency functions, (1) accommodate access to and ceremonial use of Indian sacred sites by Indian religious practitioners and (2) avoid adversely affecting the physical integrity of such sacred sites. Where appropriate, agencies shall maintain the confidentiality of sacred sites.