Native Americans see progress and work first to protect cultural lands.

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The tranquility that wrapped the Chaco Canyon was broken by the sound of the crow’s wings circling overhead.

Later, choruses of leaders from several Native American tribes began to speak, and their voices echoed on nearby sandstone cliffs.

Hopi leaders in Arizona and some indigenous leaders of Pueblo in New Mexico are taking more meaningful steps by the federal government to permanently protect cultural resources in northwestern New Mexico. I wasn’t grateful for believing that.

They discuss the deep connection to the canyon, which is the center of Chaco Culture National Historical Park, and the importance of ensuring that cross-border oil and gas development is tied for future generations. talked.

After years of fighting multiple presidential governments, they found that US Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, who holds the reins of a federal agency overseeing energy development and tribal issues, is moving. I’m optimistic.

US Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland will address the crowd on November 22, 2021 at a celebration at the Chaco Culture National Historical Park in northwestern New Mexico.

Originally from Laguna Pueblo and the first Native American to lead a cabinet agency, Harland is celebrating the start of a process aimed at withdrawing federal land ownership within 10 miles (16 km) of the park this week in Chaco. A borderline that has joined the tribal leaders, the area has been banned from oil and gas leasing for 20 years.

New leasing of federal land in the region will be suspended for the next two years while a withdrawal proposal is being considered.

Harland also promised to consider more broadly how to better manage federal land throughout the region, taking into account its environmental impact and cultural protection.

Hopi Vice President Clark Tenacomba said on Monday, “Today is a good day. It’s a beautiful day when my father’s sun blessed us. The creators laid the foundation for today.”

Hub of indigenous civilization

A World Heritage Site, Chaco was once the center of indigenous civilization and is believed to be the place where many tribes traced its roots, from the southwest to the high desert outposts.

Within the park, stone walls piled up from the bottom of the canyon project, some of which are in perfect agreement with the seasonal movements of the sun and moon. A circular basement called Kibas was cut into the desert floor, and archaeologists found evidence of a wonderful road that now spans New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado.

Visitors are often amazed by the architectural prowess of the early residents of Chaco. But for many indigenous peoples in the Southwest, Chaco Canyon has more esoteric importance.

The Hopi call it “Yupkoivi” and translate it simply as a road beyond the other side of the mountain.

“Which land do we all occupy? We walk in the land of the Creator. That was the first thing we were told — at the bottom of the Grand Canyon,” Tenacomba said. “Many of us have that connection. Many of us have to do with the importance of the Grand Canyon. Ask Zuni, Laguna and Acoma. From there they traveled to the area. We know the importance of these areas. ”

Visitors will approach Pueblo Bonito, the largest archaeological site in the Chaco Culture National Historical Park in northwestern New Mexico, on August 28, 2021.
Visitors will approach Pueblo Bonito, the largest archaeological site in the Chaco Culture National Historical Park in northwestern New Mexico, on August 28, 2021.

Source of strength

Pueblo leaders also talked about areas linked to the Chaco civilization near Zuni Pueblo in western New Mexico and Bears Ears National Historical Park in Utah.

Laguna Governor Martin Cowemi Jr. said Chako is an important part of his people.

“Everyone in Pueblo can be involved through songs, prayers, and pilgrimages,” he said. “More than ever, connections with our people’s identities are a source of strength in difficult times. We need to keep these connections unbroken, but for future generations. Remains intact. “

Brian Vallo, Governor of Pueblo, said the beliefs, songs, rituals and other traditions that have defined the generations of the Pueblo people have their roots in Chaco.

“Our battle to protect this sanctuary is rooted in what our elders teach us and what we know as descendants of those who settled here,” Valo said. Said. “It is our responsibility — to maintain our connections, our deep duty, and the protective control of this sacred place.”

Development pressure

Both the Obama and Trump administrations have put hold leases adjacent to the park through government actions, but some tribes, archaeologists, and environmentalists are seeking permanent protection.

Parliamentary legislation is pending, but there was disagreement over the size of the buffer.

Navajo Nation oversees much of the land that makes up the checkerboard pattern that surrounds the national park. Some parts belong to individual Navajos whose land was allocated by the federal government many generations ago.

Navajo leaders support the protection of parts of the area, but if the land is off limits for development, individual allotters will lose an important source of income. Become. Millions of dollars of royalties are at stake for tribal members working on poverty and high unemployment.

Harland’s agencies have vowed to consult with the tribes over the next two years as proposals for withdrawal are being considered, but top Navajo leaders have suggested they are being ignored. At the celebration on Monday, the leaders elected by the tribal legislature and the highest elections of the government were significantly absent.

Daniel Zo, head of the Navajo Council, talks about pollution concerns from oil and gas development near the Chaco Culture National Historical Park in northwestern New Mexico on November 22, 2021.
Daniel Zo, head of the Navajo Council, talks about pollution concerns from oil and gas development near the Chaco Culture National Historical Park in northwestern New Mexico on November 22, 2021.

Representative of the Navajo Nation Council, Danielzo is one of the minorities within the tribal government who opposes the development of the region. He said the community east of Chaco was “siege” by increased drilling.

“Yes, we want to protect the landscape, we want better air quality, we want to protect the aquifers, we want to protect the sacred,” he said. “Undisturbed landscapes have a lot of holiness. It brings peace of mind, calms the mind, and it gives good spiritual strength.”

On either side, many Navajos feel that they cannot hear their voice.

Listening session

Harland invited everyone on Monday to a listening session as part of the process. This session she calls “Honoring Chaco”.

Environmentalists say the area is a prime example of the issue of tribal consultations, and Harland’s efforts have shifted to more tribal involvement in future decisions regarding the identification and protection of cultural resources. It states that it may show.

“By creating a new collaboration process with Honoring Chaco, we can improve promise breaks and correct consultation mistakes with just a checkbox exercise,” said Rebecca Sobel of the Wild Earth Guardians group. I am. “Hopefully it will be the beginning of a new relationship.”

Native Americans see progress and work first to protect cultural lands

Source link Native Americans see progress and work first to protect cultural lands

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