24 Ariz. St. L.J. 175 (1992)
Implementing the National Policy of Understanding, Preserving, and Safeguarding the Heritage of Indian Peoples and Native Hawaiians: Human Rights, Sacred Objects, and Cultural Patrimony

handle is hein.journals/arzjl24 and id is 189 raw text is: Implementing the National Policy of
Understanding, Preserving, and
Safeguarding the Heritage of Indian
Peoples and Native Hawaiians: Human
Rights, Sacred Objects, and Cultural
Patrimony
Rennard Strickland*
You whites assumed we were savages. You didn't understand our
prayers. You didn't try to understand. When we sang our praises
to the sun or moon or wind, you said we were worshipping idols.
Without understanding, you condemned us as lost souls just because
our form of worship was different from yours.
We saw the Great Spirit's work in almost everything: sun, moon,
trees, wind, and mountains. Sometimes we approached him through
these things. Was that so bad? I think we have a true belief in the
supreme being, a stronger faith than that of most of the whites
who have called us pagans.
... Indians living close to nature and nature's ruler are not living
in darkness.
-- Walking Buffalo (1871-1967)1
I. INTRODUCTION
During the House debate on the Native American Graves Protection
and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA),2 Congresswoman Patsy Mink of
*  B.A., Northeastern Oklahoma State University; J.D., University of Virginia; M.A.,
University of Arkansas; S.J.D., University of Virginia. Professor of Law and Director, Center
for the Study of American Indian Law and Policy, University of Oklahoma; Editor-in-Chief,
Felix Cohen's Handbook of Federal Indian Law (3d ed. 1982). The author served as the research
associate for the Panel for a National Dialogue on Museum/Native American Relations and was
a member of the Association of American Museums Task Force on Repatriation of Native
American Ceremonial Objects and Human Remains. The author thanks Dr. Edwin L. Wade with
whom he has worked for more than ten years in the study of the art of Native Americans. Much
of the analysis in this essay is the product of that collaboration.
1. GRANT MAcEwAN, TATANGA MANI: WALKING BuFFALO OF TI STONrEs 181-82 (1969)
(quoting Chief Walking Buffalo).
2. 25 U.S.C.A. §§ 3001-3013 (West Supp. 1991) (reprinted in appendix).

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