Hopi Leaders Attend Restoration of Bears Ears”

“On Oct. 8, 2021, President Joe Biden signed a proclamation restoring the Bears Ears National Monument to 1.36 million acres in San Juan County, Utah, effectively reinstating environmental protections to an expansive and varied landscape.” Navajo Times, November 9, 2021

Courtesy photo Vice Chairman Clark Tenakhongva at the Perfect Kiva in Bears Ears National Monument on Oct. 1 after a grueling, six-mile hike.

Excerpt:  Hopi leaders attend Biden restoration of Bears Ears, Navajo Times, Nov. 9, 2021

“Hopi Chairman Timothy L. Nuvangyaoma and Vice Chairman Clark W. Tenakhongva attended the signing of the proclamation along with other federal, state and tribal leaders, according to a news release from the Hopi vice chairman’s office.

‘The signing of this proclamation and the restoration of Bears Ears is an important victory for all Native people,” Tenakhongva said. “On behalf of the Hopi people, I thank President Biden…’

The Bears Ears monument was originally established in December 2016 by the Obama administration following a multi-year effort by Indigenous-led organizations to protect the public lands.

The creation of the Bears Ears monument was significant because for the first time in history, Native nations were given a voice in managing a national monument as the proclamation called for the establishment of a Bears Ears Commission, staffed by a representative of each of the tribes comprising the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition.

These tribes include the Hopi Tribe, Pueblo of Zuni, Navajo Nation, Ute Indian Tribe (of the Uintah and Ouray), and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe…Following the signing of the proclamation, Biden was gifted with a hat, Hopi tribal flag, and a Hopi veteran’s lapel pin by Tenakhongva, to which Biden reportedly responded, “Clark, you are one man who has worked so hard on this matter, and I have so much respect for you. You never gave up. Please continue the work of the Nation, your people and the world.”