Hale wants to regulate Native American practices after sweat lodge deaths

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PHOENIX (AP) - An Arizona lawmaker wants to regulate the use of traditional Native American practices after three people died last year following a northern Arizona sweat lodge ceremony.

St. Michaels Democrat Sen. Albert Hale announced on Tuesday that he plans to introduce a measure requiring the state health department to develop rules governing rituals advertised as Native American.

Hale is a member and former president of the Navajo tribe. He says Native American rituals are sacred and can be dangerous without training. He also says people should be protected from paying for inauthentic Native American ceremonies.

The restrictions would not apply to ceremonies taking place on tribal land or with the authorization of a tribal governing board.