SUZAN SHOWN HARJO Observances and ceremonies will be held across the country from June 17 through June 21 to mark the 2011 National Days of Prayer to Protect Native American Sacred Places. “Native and non-Native people nationwide gather at this time for Solstice ceremonies and to honor sacred places,” said Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne & Hodulgee Muscogee). She is President of The Morning Star Institute, which organizes the National Sacred Places Prayer Days. “Ceremonies are being conducted as Native American peoples engage in legal struggles with federal agencies that side with developers that endanger or destroy Native sacred places,” said Ms. Harjo. “Once again, we call on Congress to build a door to the courts for Native nations to protect our traditional churches. Many sacred places are being damaged because Native nations do not have equal access under the First Amendment to defend them.”

All other peoples in the United States can use the First Amendment to protect their churches, but the Supreme Court closed that door to Native Americans in 1988. The Court, in the 23 years from 1988 to 2011, has declined to allow federal religious freedom statutes to be used to protect Native American sacred places or the exercise of Native American religious freedom at sacred places.

EVAN PRITCHARD New York - www.algonquinculture.org/ A descendant of the Micmac people (part of the Algonquin nations) is the founder of The Center for Algonquin Culture, and is currently Professor of Native American history at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York, where he also teaches ethics and philosophy. He is the author of Native New Yorkers, The Legacy of the Algonquin People of New York. Evan talks about his involvement with a 92 year old elder William Commanda.

ALEX ALEXANDER New York - www.alex-alexander Performs live in-studio with FVIR host Tiokasin. Alex has invented an instrument called the Electric Djembe and performs in-studio. Alex has recorded and performed worldwide with numerous high profile acts among them: Dido, Eminem, Chaka Kahn, Ritchie Blackmore, Joy Askew, Bernie Worell, The Association, Toots and the Maytalls, Sophie B. Hawkins, J.C. Chasez (NSYNC), Montel Jordan, Dougie Fresh, Julia Fordham, Youssou N'Dour and The Barrio Boyz

In 2005 he performed at the largest Multi-Artist concert in the history of music, (Live Aid -Live 8- London), in front of 250,000 fans and over 3 Billion Television and Internet viewers Worldwide with Dido & Youssou N'Dour.

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