US Supreme Court

Written by Brennan

"In marked contrast to traditional western religions, the belief systems of Native Americans do not rely on doctrines, creed or dogmas,established or universal truths, the mainstay of western religions--play no part in Indian faith. Ceremonies are communal efforts undertaken for specific purposes in accordance with instructions handed down from generation to generation. Where dogma lies at the heart of western religions. Native American faith is inexorably bound to the use of the land. The site-specific nature of Indian religious practice derives from the Native American perception that land is itself a sacred, living being. Rituals are performed in prescribed locations not merely as a matter of traditional orthodoxy, but because land, like all other living things,  is unique and specific sites possess different spiritual properties and significance."

U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Brennan
Dissenting opinion in: Lying v. Northwest Indian Cemetery Protective Association.

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