Indigenous Tribes to Jointly Manage Bears Ears National Monument

Representatives from 5 Native American tribes and US authorities officers on June 22 signed a historic agreement putting Bears Ears Nationwide Monument within the joint care of the tribes and the federal authorities. The Utah park, encompassing roughly 1.8 million acres and comprising pink rock canyons and energetic pasturelands and residential to quite a few petroglyphs and pictographs, will probably be comanaged by the Hopi Tribe, the Navajo Nation, Pueblo of Zuni, the Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe together with the Inside Division’s Bureau of Land Administration and the US Forest Service.

The signing marked the fruits of a years-long effort on the a part of the tribes to realize management of their homelands, which have been inhabited by people for thirteen thousand years. After years of trying to regain management of their homelands, thought-about by Indigenous residents to include sacred websites, the 5 tribal nations in 2015 converged to create the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition. Then-president Barack Obama in 2016 promised to switch stewardship of the land to the tribes, as was permissible beneath the Antiquities Act of 1906, however didn’t handle to take action earlier than leaving workplace. The Trump administration in 2017 redrew the monument’s boundaries, shrinking the positioning by 85 p.c in a bid to extract assets and prompting the World Monuments Fund to proclaim it an endangered web site. President Biden undid the boundary change in 2021.

Bureau of Land Administration Director Tracy Stone-Manning known as the settlement “an essential step as we transfer ahead collectively to make sure that tribal experience and conventional views stay on the forefront of our joint decision-making for the Bears Ears Nationwide Monument.”

The transfer comes because the US Division of inside makes an attempt to restore its relationships with Indigenous populations, whose residents it has traditionally uprooted. “Immediately, as a substitute of being faraway from a panorama to make manner for a public park, we’re being invited again to our ancestral homelands to assist restore them and plan for a resilient future,” mentioned Carleton Bowekaty, cochair of the Bears Ears Fee and lieutenant governor of the Pueblo of Zuni.


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