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History and Culture
Indian Religious Freedom Act - 1978

A joint resolution of Congress, the Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978 states that 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 . . including but not limited to access to sites, use and possession of sacred objects and freedom to worship through ceremonials and traditional rites.” As a joint resolution the act had no provisions for enforcement.

An act that was finally passed in 1993 provided American Indians with help to retain their sacred sites and the 1994 act made it legal for peyote to be used and transported for ceremonial purposes in connection with the practice of traditional Indian religion.


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