I’ve been doing reasearch for my paper for my Religions of North American Aboriginals course. I’m learning about the Sacred Places of the Hopi and the Navajo. These are two Native groups that have gone through many political conflicts in relation to land. The US government declared that the land (in the Arizona area) was the land of the Navajo, but the Hopi had been living there too. This caused much conflict between the groups.
There was also difficulty for the Navajo and the Hopi when the US Forest Service was going to permit the expansion of a Ski Resort that was encroaching the Sacred land that surrounded the Mountains that they believed the Spirits to reside in. A forest ranger asked the Hopi:
“‘Just show us on this map which parts of the mountain are sacred so we can protect them.’ And like the elders of Taos twenty years earlier, the Hopi answered, ‘How can we point on a map to a sacred place? The entire mountain, the land surrounding the mountain, the whole earth is sacred.'” – Peter Nabokov, Where The Lightning Strikes