This Friday and Saturday, Dartmouth College will host Protecting the Bears Ears National Monument: Tribal, Political, and Social Narratives of Bears Ears, a conference meant to raise awareness about the Bears Ears National Monument, a 1.35 million-acre area of red rock canyons with oil and natural gas deposits in southeastern Utah. The theme of the event, put on by students from the Dartmouth chapter of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, will be recognizing grassroots movements to preserve the cultural, historical and scientific significance of Bears Ears.
The Dartmouth College’s Native American Studies Program is sponsoring the programming, including a panel of speakers from the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, which was formed in 2015 by leaders of five tribes—Hopi, Navajo Nation, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Pueblo of Zuni, and Ute Indian Tribe—who united to conserve the Bears Ears cultural landscape. More details can be found below and at the following Dartmouth News story.
Regina Whiteskunk, former co-chair of the Bear Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition
Ethel Branch, attorney general of the Navajo Nation
Angelo Baca, filmmaker and a member of the Utah Dine Bikeyah
Tara Benally, board member of Utah Dine Bikeyah
Ryan Beam of the Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity
Noah Schlager, graduate student at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
Noon-1 p.m. - Opening Lunch at Occom Commons
1:15-2:45 p.m. - Film Showing/Discussion with Angelo Baca at Dartmouth Hall 105
2:45-3:15 p.m. - Break with snacks
3:15-4:45 p.m. - Cultural Importance of Bears Ears with Regina Whiteskunk at Dartmouth Hall 105
5-6:30 p.m. - Bears Ears Lawsuit and the Navajo Nation with Ethel Branch at Dartmouth Hall 105
6:45-8 p.m. - Dinner with Native Community at Native American House
10:30 a.m.- Noon - Noah Schlager Thesis Presentation at Moore B03
Noon-1 p.m. - Lunch at the Native American House
1:15-2:45 p.m. - Environmental Importance of Bears Ears with Ryan Beam at Moore B03
3-4:30 p.m. - Bears Ears Monument Proposal and Community with Mary Benally
4:30-5 p.m. - Break
5-6 p.m. - Bears Ears Speaker Panel with all speakers at Moore B03
6:30-8 p.m. - Closing Dinner at Occom Commons
The designation of 1.35 million acres as the Bears Ears National Monument in December 2016 was history in the making, as it was only the second time that a tribe, or multiple tribes in the case of Bears Ears, ever co-managed and regulated culturally relevant sites with the United States federal government. Less than a year later, President Trump reduced the size of the monument by approximately 85 percent. Current litigation will not only determine the stability and status of all current national monuments, but also the future for all federally recognized tribes in Indian Country when formalizing co-management systems for connections they foster with off-reservation, sacred sites.
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