Bears Ears National Monument Threatened; Upcoming “Resistance and Resilience” Event in Minneapolis; and More

This important update from the Native American Rights Fund blog: Stand Firm for Bears Ears.

Last December, President Obama designated an area of great importance in southeastern Utah as a national monument known as “Bears Ears.”  [This week] President Trump signed an executive order directing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to conduct a two-part review, aimed first at the Bears Ears National Monument in Southeastern Utah and then at other post-1995 monument designations made pursuant to the Antiquities Act.

The stated policy of the order is to review all monuments created since 1996 to determine if they were created without “public outreach and proper coordination.”

In an email, the organization gave some additional background:

Bears Ears, an area in southeast Utah, is filled with sacred sites, hunting grounds, and medicines that are still used today; it is a place where Native ancestors are buried and to be honored. Despite being such an incredible cultural treasure, the designation as a monument was made only after persistent efforts of many who spoke to the importance of the region.  President Obama designated Bears Ears National Monument after two years of public input and meetings in both Utah and DC. The effort to protect Bears Ears was very long, very public, and very robust, which makes yesterday’s order especially offensive.

Click here for the full blog.

Keep reading for other news.

Upcoming Event: Resistance & Resilience: Sustaining Faithful Action for Justice & Solidarity in a Hurting World

First Universalist in Minneapolis is hosting an interfaith event about “how to build spiritually rooted, intersectional, faithful movements for justice and solidarity capable of responding to the heartbreaks and challenges of our times.”

It will be held Friday, May 19, 5:30-9:30 p.m. at First Universalist, 3400 Dupont Ave. S. in Minneapolis. Here is the event’s Facebook page.

According to an email from the Minnesota Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance (MUUSJA), the event will feature topics such as:

  • Art & Resistance
  • Alternative funding models for justice collaborations
  • White supremacy culture in congregations
  • Leveraging social media for justice
  • Legislative advocacy as part of a broader strategy for social change
  • Lessons from queer & trans liberation struggles
  • Learnings from a congregation who has been providing direct support and solidarity to the Water Protectors at Standing Rock for more than a year.

Decolonize Lutherans

Among the things I learned from the MUUSJA announcement was that there is a group called “Decolonizing Lutherans.” Here is its Facebook Page. According to the site:

The movement to #decolonizeLutheranism is an intersectional movement working for the liberation of all people.

We tie our identity to the Lutheran confessions, believing that what makes us Lutheran is not culture or cuisine, but our theology.

Oren Lyons Address at the UN General Assembly about Climate Change

Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper, Turtle Clan, Onondaga Nation, Haudenosaunee, addressed the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday. His remarks included the following:

I remind you as we did in the year 2000, and again in the year 2014, that the ice continues to melt in the north. We squandered time.

The ice of course, has its own leader. And it is ultimately our leader as well. We have learned over these fifty years of interaction in these great halls about the importance of terminology. We have had to learn the very special terminology of the United Nations. Territorial integrity is one of those terminologies that reflects the confines of States. It establishes boundaries, and also ideas. I remind you again that the territorial integrity of Mother Earth binds all of us, in a much larger context.

Full speech here.

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