Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Bears Ears tribal coalition blasts Zinke, executive order on monuments review

Leaders and members of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition are demanding newly appointed Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke stand by the promise he made weeks ago at a Senate committee meeting when he said tribal sovereignty should "mean something." The coalition held a news conference Wednesday morning at the National Press Club in the nation's capital, where leaders complained their meeting requests with Zinke over the new monument in southeast Utah have been ignored. "If you want to come talk to me, I am right across the hall," said Shaun Chapoose, chairman of the Ute Indian Tribe, noting that many Native American leaders are in Washington, D.C., to attend the 2017 National Tribal Energy Summit.Navajo Nation Councilman LoRenzo Bates said the "few" local Native American supporters of overturning the monument have been "cherry picked" to advance a cause contrary to the coalition's goals. Some of the divisiveness among Native Americans over the monument surfaced this week with a commentary offered by Darren Parry, vice chairman of the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone. Parry said tribal support of the monument was given in June 2016 by another member who did not speak on the tribe's behalf. "The great American lie is that all tribes are for the Bears Ears National Monument," he wrote. "They are not!"...more

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