American Indians see lessons in sweat lodge trial - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

American Indians see lessons in sweat lodge trial

PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) -- New age guru James Arthur Ray faced more than a judge at his sentencing last week for a sweat lodge ceremony that left three people dead.

Members of the American Indian community sat through almost the entire trial in silent protest of Ray's use of a sacred tradition.

Ray is serving two years in prison and has vowed not to hold another sweat lodge ceremony.

Ivan Lewis of the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation says he's hopeful Ray has learned a lesson in misappropriating Native cultures.

Lewis was among a group who sued Ray following the October 2009 ceremony near Sedona, alleging that Ray violated the Indian Arts and Crafts Act by running the sweat lodge. A federal judge quickly dismissed the complaint, saying the act applies to goods, not services.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

APNP-11-23-11 1615CST

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