NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ912995
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 22
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0161-6463
In the Eyes of the Beholder: Understanding and Resolving Incompatible Ideologies and Languages in US Environmental and Cultural Laws in Relationship to Navajo Sacred Lands
Milholland, Sharon
American Indian Culture and Research Journal, v34 n2 p103-124 2010
In this article, the author raises a few examples of incompatible concepts and languages in US federal environmental and cultural laws affecting the management of indigenous sacred lands. She explains these examples by describing the management of a selection of Navajo (Dine) sacred places and elsewhere. Through fundamental concepts rooted in postcolonial theory and critical race theory, she suggests an intellectual framework for understanding why traditional indigenous values and knowledge are marginalized and why incompatible Western values have been privileged and enshrined in US law and policy in relationship to the management of Native sacred lands. Finally, she introduces "hozho," the Navajo philosophy of harmony and natural beauty, which is intimately related to the Navajo orientation to their land. This is an abstract, complex, highly spiritual doctrine of Navajo philosophy and spiritual practice. The environmental and cultural laws and policy of the United States are not inclusive of the philosophy of "hozho." By considering the Navajo traditional philosophy of "hozho," the author discusses how incorporating traditional indigenous values and knowledge in sacred lands management can resolve values conflict for Native peoples, as well as raise some complex issues regarding the introduction of traditional, cultural and spiritual concepts into the language of tribal or federal law. (Contains 96 notes.)
American Indian Studies Center at UCLA. 3220 Campbell Hall, Box 951548, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1548. Tel: 310-825-7315; Fax: 310-206-7060; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A