Native American Natural Burials & Funeral Service Rituals

Native American Natural Burials
Etawah Mounds State Park

Native American traditions follow the belief and practice that the natural world is truly sacred.

Many religious ceremonies are specifically tied to a specific location, and to harm that place would be contrary to Native American beliefs. Because of this, Native American funeral practices have always been eco-friendly.


What are rituals are specific to Native Americans?

  • Although each tribe has its own specific customs, all have great respect for the earth.
  • Many Native Americans believe that birth, life, and death are the elements of something much larger—and endless life cycle.
  • Families take care of deceased, making all funeral arrangements. They transport the body themselves and their burial techniques are eco-friendly.
  • The body is placed in a simple shroud or wooden casket.
  • Although the body is often honored for up to 4 days, embalming fluids are not used.
  • To preserve a body prior to interment, the body is usually kept cold using dry ice.

Native American are not the only green burial traditions, also see Jewish Natural Burials. As green burials become more and more popular many other traditions are likely to adopt similar practices.


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