Just as we predicted, Trump shrunk two national monuments in southern Utah by more than 2 million acres. President Obama’s expansion of the monuments was in response to consultations with a coalition of Native nations, the Hopi, Zuni, Ute and Navajo Nations, who advocated for the expansion in order to protect the tribes’ ancestral lands and sacred sites. Trump’s decision was made without consulting the Native nations on whose land the monuments sit, and the decision will potentially open up the lands to drilling and mining, which will desecrate and pollute the lands.
These five Native nations are now suing the Trump administration on the grounds that only Congress can change the Antiquities Act (the 1906 act that protects “objects of historic or scientific interest” on federal lands).
Patagonia also called Trump out:
The Republican House Natural Resources Committee fired back, claiming that the company is just taking this action to sell more products. But Patagonia backed their words with action---like the Native Nations, Patagonia sued the Trump Administration for violating the 1906 Antiquities Act.
All-of-us must join the coalition of Native nations and fight to preserve protections for indigenous lands.
1 Learn about the nation-to-nation relationship that Native American tribes have with the federal government here and read a recent New York Times Op-Ed on the Bears Ears decision from a Native perspective here.
2 Take action on the Bears Ears Coalition (a coalition of 30 tribes with ancestral, historical, and contemporary ties to Bears Ears) here.
3 Support the Native American Rights Fund here.
4 Take action on Patagonia’s website here.