AIRFA represents the first cultural resource preservation law enacted specifically for American Indians, as opposed to the NHPA or ARPA.
AIRFA Protections Do Not Extend Beyond Those of the First Amendment's Free Exercise Clause
115) American Indians have sought rights beyond these two protections, using AIRFA as a legal cause of action to preclude government development of natural areas on the grounds that these areas constitute sacred sites.
For example, in addition to the NHPA claim in the aforementioned Attakai case, Navajo plaintiffs also claimed that BIA installation of fencing and construction of livestock watering stations on Hopi Partitioned Land would interfere with the practice of their religion, therefore constituting a violation of AIRFA.
119) In finding plaintiffs to have no legally cognizable claim under AIRFA, the Attakai Court cited the following quote from U.
Incarcerated Native Americans have also tried to evoke AIRFA in support of their struggles for First Amendment religious protections.
Senator Daniel Inouye, chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs, has been taking testimony at various locations around the country in preparation for the introduction of federal legislation to amend AIRFA.
Lenny Foster cautions that, without the level of specificity achieved in the New Mexico state law, the new AIRFA amendments may still be subject to the subjective interpretation of prison officials.
Additional testimony will be taken in Washington once the legislation to amend AIRFA is formally introduced.
With more state legislation in the works and the introduction of federal amendments to AIRFA expected in 1993, one hopes that more drums will be heard inside American prisons, and more hearts will return to the religious traditions of their grandfathers and grandmothers.
36 (1993) [hereinafter Proposed AIRFA Amendments--Part I]; American Indian Religious Freedom Act--Part II: Oversight Hearing Before the Subcomm.
17) Proposed AIRFA Amendments-Part I, supra note 16, at 317.