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Wed Mar 13, 2019, 06:26 PM

Native Leaders Tell Congress How Trump Trampled 'Spiritually Occupied Landscape' to Carve Up Nationa

Published on
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
by Common Dreams

Native Leaders Tell Congress How Trump Trampled 'Spiritually Occupied Landscape' to Carve Up National Monuments

"It is my firm belief that this was a pre-destined outcome and everything since has been to justify that outcome."

by Julia Conley, staff writer



Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument's boundaries were reduced by about 47 percent after the Interior Department's review last year. (Photo: Bureau of Land Managment/Flickr/cc)



House Democrats, indigenous tribal leaders, and public land protection advocates all rebuked the Trump administration's downsizing of two national monuments Wednesday, arguing that President Donald Trump and former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke acted illegally by conducting what at least one critic called a "sham" review process.

The administration acted in the interest of pro-fossil fuel lawmakers, the oil and gas industry, and other monument opponents when they conducted a hasty review of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in 2017, critics argued.

The House Natural Resources Committee invited several witnesses to testify at a hearing entitled "Forgotten Voices," including three representatives from native tribes which had vocally opposed President Donald Trump's decision to shrink the two monuments by about two million acres in 2017, citing their sacred connection to the lands.

"To Hopi people, the Bears Ears National Monument is a spiritually occupied landscape," said Clark Tenakhongva, vice chairman of the Hopi tribe, at the hearing. "This land is a testament of Hopi stewardship through thousands of years, manifested by the 'footprints' of ancient villages, sacred springs, migration routes, pilgrimage trails, [and] artifacts."

Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.), one of two Native American women who made history when they were elected to Congress last year, expressed solidarity with the Hopi and other tribes.

"I can say the bones of my ancestors are buried in Bears Ears," Haaland said. "It's easy to get emotional about tribal land when your ancestors have lived there for generations and it's only because of them that you're able to sit here today...I appreciate local tribes for coming so far to explain why this land is important."




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Reply Native Leaders Tell Congress How Trump Trampled 'Spiritually Occupied Landscape' to Carve Up Nationa (Original post)
Judi Lynn Wednesday OP
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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 06:35 PM

1. Red Cloud's words live on

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Wed Mar 13, 2019, 06:43 PM

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