The DIA is working with the U.S. Forest Service and meets on a monthly basis here in Juneau to identify and protect sacred sites within our tribal territory. Sacred sites can be burial grounds, former village locations, or other areas traditionally important to the Taku Tribe. Under federal definition, sacred sites are usually limited to a specific and defined area. An old building site, a cave, or a small burial site might qualify to be a sacred site, but whole territories or sections of land cannot be considered sacred sites under the federal definition. The DIA is concerned that areas historically and culturally important to the Taku (Douglas) people will become altered, developed, or in other ways impacted if they do not work to make sure they formally identify and protect these sites. The Taku (Douglas) people are linked to the land and environment and in that respect cultural and sacred sites are intricately linked to natural resources. Protections on the environment are in essence, protections on cultural and sacred sites.
DIA will continue to work on identifying and protecting sacred sites so that these protections will be in place before conflicting development issues arise. By taking action now, DIA hopes to avoid construction or development on these important lands. DIA will continue to coordinate with the U.S. Forest Service on this project and work under an adopted MOU between the DIA and the USFS.