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Reporter's Notebook: ‘What part of sacred don’t you understand?’

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Photo shows a Katsina Eewiro mask (circa 1880-1900) from the Hopi tribe in Arizona during an auction of sacred objects from the Hopi and San Carlos Apache Native American tribes in Paris on December 9, 2013. A Paris auction of the sacred objects will go ahead despite objections from the United States and activists, auctioneers EVE said. The US embassy had asked Paris to suspend the sale of the colourful ceremonial masks, head-dresses and other objects after the failure on December 6 of a legal challenge by advocacy group Survival International on behalf of Arizona's Hopi tribe.
JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images
Photo shows a Katsina Eewiro mask (circa 1880-1900) from the Hopi tribe in Arizona during an auction of sacred objects from the Hopi and San Carlos Apache Native American tribes in Paris on December 9, 2013.

American Indian religions are uniquely tied to the land, and for many there is no separation between spirit and nature.

American Indian religions are uniquely tied to the land, and for many there is no separation between spirit and nature.

But as industries like mining or tourism push further into undeveloped areas, they can run into conflicts with tribes, who sometimes see their sacred land as more valuable than economic development. From the Changing America Desk in Flagstaff, Laurel Morales reports.

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