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.

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Newly Created Bears Ears Monument Already Under Attack; Feb. 7 ‘Water is Sacred’ Event, and More

Bears Ears formation (Image from Wikimedia Commons)
Bears Ears formation (Image from Wikimedia Commons)

One of President Obama’s last acts in office was to create the Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah, protecting 1.35 million acres around a pair of distinctive buttes that look like, well, bears ears.

The monument is barely a month old. The commission that will oversee the monument hasn’t been appointed yet. Already, the monument is under attack by Utah state leaders and apparently by the Trump administration. Continue reading

This Day in History: Wounded Knee Massacre; Obama Designates Bears Ears Monument; Native Youth Trekking From Canada to Join DAPL Opposition

Burial of the dead in a mass grave after the massacre of Wounded Knee. (Wikimedia Commons)
Burial of Lakota men, women and children in a mass grave after the Wounded Knee Massacre. (Wikimedia Commons)

Today is the anniversary of the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890, an incident that resulted in U.S. soldiers getting the nation’s highest military honor for killing Lakota men, women and children who were trying to surrender. As a 2014 opinion piece in Native News Online summarizes: some 150 Lakota people, and possibly up to 300, were massacred by the US 7th Calvary Regiment near Wounded Knee Creek on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. It continues:

History records the Wounded Knee Massacre was the last battle of the American Indian war. Unfortunately, it is when most American history books drop American Indians from history, as well. As if we no longer exist.

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