Rescind the Order to Dismantle the Piscataway Nation's SweatLodge sign now

Superintendent John Hale

United States Department of the Interior

National Park Service

National Capital Parks-East

1900 Anacostia Drive, SE

Washington, D.C. 20020



Dear Superintendent Hale,

We are writing to urge you to rescind the February 2, 2001 order to the Piscataway Indian Nation to remove the sacred sweatlodge at the Tayac Burial Site in Piscataway National Park. The dismantling of the sweatlodge is a violation of constitutional religious freedom and a desecration to the sacred ancestral burial grounds at the Tayac Burial Site.

As you know, the sweatlodge at the Tayac Burial Site, known to the Piscataway Indian Nation and to the National Historic Register as Moyaone, has been used by American Indians for over 22 years. The late Chief Turkey Tayac, who is buried at Moyaone (also known as Ossuary 2, Accokeek Creek Site) by a 1979 Act of Congress, constructed the first sweatlodge. In accordance with their ancient spiritual traditions, the Piscataway have prayed in ceremonies in the Moyaone sweatlodge during each of the four annual gatherings. The National Park Service has issued permits for these religious Piscataway ceremonies for over 20 years.

We also remind you that the Piscataway Indian Nation and the National Park Service, National Capital Parks - East, signed an agreement for your agency to provide wood and water for ceremonies. Please do not violate this agreement, and restore these services to the Piscataway Indian Nation during their annual ceremonies at Moyaone in November, February, April, and September. You provide services to other groups utilizing National Parks and must not discriminate against American Indian groups including the Piscataway Indian Nation.

We ask that you engage in a dialogue with the Piscataway Indian Nation to establish a mutually agreeable arrangement for vehicular access across the road that joins Bryan Point Road to the Accokeek Creek Site in Piscataway National Park.

We hope that you will join us in upholding the American ideals - and laws, of religious freedom, and in treasuring American Indian cultures. Do not dismantle the sweatlodge at the Tayac Burial Site in Piscataway National Park. To do so will be a national disgrace.


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Latest Signatures

  • 15 February 20161000. Al C
    This is in violation of both agreements with the Park Service and the First Amendment. You would not tear down a Christian church against the members consent. This is a clear double standard and religious discrimination.
  • 24 January 2016999. Heather Smithf
    I support this petition
  • 11 January 2016998. Cathy Q
    WHEN IS ENOUGH, ENOUGH?????? City, State or Province JOSEPH, OREGON
  • 11 January 2016997. Dr Elizabethm
    The National Park Service needs to model respect for First Nations traditions. City, State or Province CA
  • 09 January 2016996. Nancy M
    I support this petition
  • 08 January 2016995. Rachel C
    Ignorance is forgivable as long as you open yourself to education, correct your mistakes and make amends. I beseech you to take a positive role in fostering harmony and justice, respect and love. We reap what we sow. City, State or Province Cape Cod
  • 06 January 2016994. Victoria W
    We are all related and deserve respect of opinion and religious practice. City, State or Province Beaumont CA, USA
  • 04 January 2016993. Waya Decker
    I find it typical that the gov't is again not allowing one segment of our society to practice their own spiritual beliefs
  • 20 December 2015992. Christina V
    horrible that it would even be considered to dismantle it... City, State or Province NY, NY USA
  • 16 December 2015991. Michael O
    we need to protect the right to 'Freedom of Religion' City, State or Province Craven, Saskatchewan
  • 02 December 2015990. Lisa F
    Unbelievable City, State or Province Everton, MO
  • 27 November 2015989. Gregg M
    I support this petition
  • 22 November 2015988. Robin R
    Let there be peace, these people and there tribes have nothing wrong to deserve this! City, State or Province West Virginia
  • 19 November 2015987. Max M
    I support this petition
  • 18 November 2015986. Mike Lg
    Showing respect for our heritage on our true home land is not a request!!! City, State or Province Oklahoma
  • 15 November 2015985. Robert Millerhewhothinkslikeab
    If the park service and Mr. Hale which to do something useful with the sweatlodge, then "LEAVE IT BE!" How would you feel if we came along and tore down one of your holy sites? City, State or Province Clayton, Georgia USA
  • 09 November 2015984. Martha S
    I support this petition
  • 03 November 2015983. James Runningt
    Let my people be! City, State or Province Plainwell, MI
  • 02 November 2015982. James Coryb
    I support this petition
  • 23 October 2015981. Craig A
    do harm to others, do harm to yourself City, State or Province chapel hill, NC
  • 23 October 2015980. Mdavalos Farrell
    we were given these rights, again another broken treaty? City, State or Province usa
  • 22 October 2015979. Susan H
    I support this petition
  • 22 October 2015978. Cody C
    I support this petition
  • 20 October 2015977. Dennis Bengeyonvu
    You have my support!! City, State or Province Herscher, IL
  • 19 October 2015976. Susan Es
    my heart is with you City, State or Province Ambler, PA
  • 19 October 2015975. James K
    let them have their sweatlodges. City, State or Province Murchison, Texas
  • 16 October 2015974. Perry R
    I support this petition

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Olga BowersBy:
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Petition target:
National Park Service/Department of the Interior

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