The Naabik’iyati Committee is now on Legislation 0076-15: An Action relating to the Resources and Development Committee and the Nabik’íyáti’ Committee; Supporting the Utah Diné Bikyah Conservation Proposal for the Federal Designation of Bear’s Ears National Conservation Area/National Monument in San Juan County, Utah, to Protect Native Rights and Interests on Federal Lands for Future Generations Sponsor: Hon. Walter Phelps Co-Sponsor: Hon. Davis Filfred
According to 0076-15, the purpose of 0076-15 is to support the Utah Dine’ Bikeyah conservation proposal for the federal designation of some 1.9 million acres of land in San Juan County, Utah, as the Bear’s Ears National Conservation Area/National Monument and wilderness to forever protect federal lands for their cultural, natural, scenic and archaeological values. The Bear’s Ears region is the ancestral home of the Dine’ and many other Southwestern Native American Nations and includes the birthplace of Navajo Headman Manuelito and is world renowned for its integrity and abundance of archaeological sites. This legislation seeks a collaborative management role for the Navajo Nation and other tribal governments to ensure that traditional stewardship practices, wisdom and cultural activities are elevated in the future management of this cultural landscape. Utah Navajo communities have been involved in developing and advancing the proposal to protect an area they depend upon for food, medicine, firewood and their spiritual well-being.
The region is the ancestral home of many Southwestern Native American Nations, including the Navajo, Hopi, Zuni, Acoma, Zia and Jemez Pueblos along with the Ute Mountain, Southern and Uintah Ouray Utes, the San Juan, Kaibab and Utah Paiute Tribes and the Jicarilla Apache Tribes.
The proposed National Conservatoin Area/National Monument is bordered on the west by the Colorado River and on the south by the San Juan River and the Nation Nation.
FORMER NAVAJO COUNCIL DELEGATE KENNETH MARYBOY
Public lands belong to anyone that is a citizen of the United States.
GRAND CANYON TRUST SPOKESPERSON NATASHA
There was a lot of cultural mapping, interviews with elders, Zuni stories of their migration from Grand Canyon to their area now. In Washington, D.C., there is interest and support. There is even a possibility of a shared Native American Nations’ monument.
COUNCIL DELEGATE TOM CHEE
without land, we cannot maintain the language. if you cut to the chase here, this is a battle, a fight for our way of life. it has to do with out life. from bilaagaana perspective, it’s just land but for us, it’s our life, our way of life, places that produce a response from us that is more than visiting wilderness area. When we went to Washington, D.C., we were asked about our culture. And some people asked why we go “begging” to Congress for money because they understood that this is our homeland and we should be demanding rent.
COUNCIL DELEGATE LEONARD TSOSIE
There is no language regarding Navajo aboriginal areas in legislation. and you are relying too much on other tribes’ assertion to this land. this is suppose to be our legislation. why are we relying on other tribes? we need Navajo facts, rather than relying on other tribal stories. I represent area east of Chaco Canyon and Hopi showing up and claiming it. I think when we do these things like this then we admit that other tribes may have claims. whose aboriginal area was this? It was Navajo. Let other tribes make their case. based on how US National monuments created, I recommend that group study history. for example, when grand canyon established, the boundaries were never established without acknowledgement of Navajo boundaries.
And in the development of Lake Powell, on the southern border, I thought it was Navajo Nation but it isn’t. We gave it away. National Park Service is now telling us to get out. We need t obe careful. another example is Canyon de Chelly. WE have had fights with National Park Service. We need to learn from those histories.
and also there is issue of mineral rights. i’m sure there is oil and gas and who lays claim to that. because of energy development, the National Park Service is very aware and now NPS is wanting to stop the creation of national monuments. and by us supporting, we will be told that we waive oil and gas development which feeds our budget and provides employment. and that is why Four Corners Power Plant was ordered to put scrubbers on.
Also where is local resolutions of support? i thought most sacred area was Gobernador Peak where there is oil and gas and trash. so why do Navajo people say let’s protect this area because it’s sacred but then they don’t ask to protect other areas. And if we don’t include language regarding development, we will face another Escalade Project controversy. There is one group of Navajos on one side and there is another group on the other side. There needs to be a balance.
END OF DELEGATE L.TSOSIE STATEMENT
SOME BACKGROUND INFO: The Navajo wedding basket also reflects many values of traditional life and so often contains all six sacred mountains, including Huerfano and Gobernador Knob, though the size of the basket may determine the numher of mountains in the design. The center spot in the basket represents the beginning of this world, where the Navajo people emerged from a reed. This is where the spirit of the basket lives. The white part around the center is the earth, the black symbolizing the sacred mountains upon which are found water bowls. Above them are clouds of different colors. The white and black ones represent the making of rain. A red section next to the mountains stands for the sun’s rays that make things grow. (Sacred Land Sacred View, Robert McPherson (1992).
GRAND CANYON TRUST
none of this is reservation land. and the other tribes
as navajo, we want to extend elbows out. we reached out to other tribes and this opportunity might not come again. none of this land will be designated to one tribe and probably Navajo will benefit the most. our people get wood there, collect herbs. other tribes make spiritual pilgrimages. and this monument will make a strong navajo statement.
SPEAKER LORENZO BATES
Given strong concerns of Naabik’iyati Committee, there is suggestion to include first two pages of Navajo Red Book.
VOTE ON AMENDMENT ONE: 16 IN FAVOR, 0 OPPOSED
VOTE ON 0076-15, 15 IN FAVOR, 0 OPPOSED
Naabik’iyati Committee has final action on 0076-15.
Without debate, Naabi votes 15 in favor, 0 opposed on LEGISLATION 0080-15: An Action Relating To Health Education And Human Services And Naabiki’yati’; Supporting School Construction Project For Cove Day School; Authorizing Office Of Facilities, Property And Safety Management, Indian Affairs, U.S Department Of Interior To Design And Construct, And Further Authorizing The Same Office To Assume Ownership Of Project Once Completed.
Naabi has the final action authority on 0080-15.
NAABIK’IYATI COMMITTEE HAS FINISHED THEIR AGENDA. I’M HEADING TO NAVAJO GOVERNMENT DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE & OFFICE LISTENING SESSION ON NAVAJO GOVERNMENT REFORM AT THE FORT DEFIANCE, ARIZ., CHAPTER. WAS SCHEDULED TO START AT 1 P.M.