MEDIA ADVISORY: House Natural Resources Committee Staff to Hold Tribal Listening Session on the American Indian Religious Freedom Act

Washington, D.C.On Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. Central in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, House Natural Resources Committee staff will hold an in-person listening session in conjunction with the Native American Church of North America to hear from tribal communities about the challenges facing their practice of ceremonies and religion and how the American Indian Religious Freedom Act (AIRFA) can be strengthened.

For generations, the federal government enacted assimilationist policies that prohibited tribal communities from practicing their traditional religions, languages, and cultures. Despite the First Amendment’s protections around the freedom of religion, Indian Country was barred from such protections until the passage of AIRFA on Aug. 11, 1978. AIRFA protects the rights of American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians to practice their traditional religions, including access to sacred sites, use and possession of sacred objects, and the freedom to worship through ceremony.

The listening session will be held in Room 104 of the Oklahoma City Convention Center and is open to press.

Press Contact

Media Contact: Lindsay Gressard

202-225-6065 | cell: 202-740-4715