Posted on August 6, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Aug. 5 letter outlines tribal concerns
Native Americans are seeking meaningful protection for the culturally and environmentally important Bear’s Ear area in southeastern Utah.
FRISCO — A coalition of Native Americans say they’re “concerned at the lack of involvement of Tribes” in the current efforts to create a protective designation for the Bear’s Ear area in southeastern Utah’s San Juan County. The Native Americans say that, despite two years of dialogue with local stakeholders, San Juan County officials have failed to “reach out to, consult, and respond to feedback from Tribes within or outside of Utah.”
The concerns were expressed in an Aug. 5 letter from Diné Bikéyah — the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition — to Utah congressmen Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz, and highlights the complex tangle of issues surrounding several different land-protection proposals for the area, with some Native American tribes seeking a federal designation, while the strong local-control movement in Utah explores different alternatives. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, public lands | Tagged: Bear's Ear conservation, Diné Bikéya, Native Americans, public lands, Rob Bishop, San Juan County Utah | 1 Comment »
Posted on July 26, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
New study confirms Bering Land Bridge migration theory.
Northern and southern Native American populations diverged between 11,500 and 14,500 years ago …
FRISCO — Scientists say they’re a lot closer to pinpointing how and when the first Native Americans came to the Americas, and how they spread across two continents.
The findings came from a detailed analysis of genetic material from 31 living Native Americans, Siberians and people from around the Pacific Ocean, and the genomes of 23 ancient individuals from North and South America, spanning a time between 200 and 6,000 years ago. Continue reading
Filed under: Archaeology | Tagged: Bering land bridge, Beringia, Native Americans | 2 Comments »
Posted on November 15, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
War over the Keystone XL pipeline?
‘We are a sovereign nation and we are not being treated as such … We will close our reservation borders to Keystone XL’
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Conservation groups and climate activists aren’t the only ones hopping mad about the Congressional rush to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. Native Americans in South Dakota say they consider last week’s House vote to approve the pipeline “an act of war.”
The proposed project, aimed at pumping tar sands crude oil from Canada to U.S. refineries, would completely cross South Dakota. Environmentalists oppose the pipeline because it represents continued reliance on fossil fuels. Most, if not all, of the oil would be exported to other countries, so the argument that it would somehow lower fuel prices rings hollow and false. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, energy, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate, energy, Environment, global warming, Keystone XL pipeline, Native Americans, Rosebud Sioux, South Dakota | 36 Comments »
Posted on March 4, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Federal experts will use Clean Water Act standards to assess the potential impacts of a proposed open-pit mine in the Bristol Bay watershed.
Mining would threaten cherished and culturally critical natural resources
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — The environmental impacts of a proposed mine along the Alaska coast will be scrutinized through the lens of the Clean Water Act, the Environmental Protection Agency announced last week.
The proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay could become one of the world’s largest open pit mines if it’s approved, but conservation advocates have launched a fierce campaign to halt the mine. The EPA’s announcement to apply Clean Water Act standards came as welcome news to environmentalists. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment | Tagged: Bristol Bay, Environment, EPA, Native Americans, Pebble Mine, sockeye salmon, water quality | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 31, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
At its peak, Spanish colonization stretched the length and breadth of the Americas.
Short-lived settlement offers clues to early colonial history
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — More than a generation before the English established the Jamestown colony in what is now Virginia, early Spanish explorers were roaming the southeastern U.S. and establishing forts as far north as the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.
University of Michigan archaeologists recently discovered the remains of the earliest European fort in the interior of the United States, providing new insight into the early colonial era. The site is located near Morganton in western North Carolina, nearly 300 miles from the Atlantic Coast. Continue reading
Filed under: Archaeology | Tagged: American colonial period, history, Joara, Juan Pardo, Native Americans, Spanish exploration of north america, University of Michigan | Leave a comment »
Posted on December 29, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Tribes say more meaningful collaboration needed
A decision by the U.S. Forest Service to allow snowmaking with reclaimed water at the Arizona Snowbowl Ski Area soured the agency’s relationship with Native Americans
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — With more than 3,000 miles of contiguous border with American Indian and Alaska Native-owned lands, the U.S. Forest Service wants to work more closely with tribal governments in the protection, respectful interpretation and appropriate access to Indian sacred sites.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary John Vilsack this month released a new report recommending that the agency should take steps to strengthen the partnerships between the agency, tribal governments, and American Indian and Alaska Native communities to help preserve America’s rich native traditions.
According to the report, many tribes have historically managed their forests well and in ways the Forest Service hopes to emulate: “Tribal land management is a testament to the Tribal land ethic, an ethic rooted in traditions, stories, and cultures. Sacred sites … are important facets of that land ethic and a common bond between us,” the report states. The report and related documents are online at this Forest Service website. Continue reading
Filed under: Archaeology, public lands, US Forest Service | Tagged: Native Americans, Native Americans in the United States, public lands, sacred sites, San Francisco Peaks, U.S. Forest Service | 1 Comment »
Posted on December 19, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
The Interior Department will help Tribal Nations consolidate splintered parcels of land. Bob Berwyn photo.
Voluntary program aimed at boosting community land use for Tribal Nations
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Thousands of smaller parcels of land owned by individual Native Americans could be consolidated for beneficial use by tribes under a new $1.9 billion buy-back program announced by the Department of Interior this week.
The buy-back program for tribal nations will purchase fractional interests in American Indian trust lands from willing sellers. Fractionation of Indian lands stems primarily from the General Allotment Act of 1887, when tribal lands were allotted to individual tribal members, often in 80 or 160-acre parcels. The lands have been handed down to heirs over successive generations, causing the number of shared interests in one parcel to grow exponentially. Currently, more than 92,000 tracts of land held in trust for American Indians contain 2.9 million fractional interests.
When tracts have so many co-owners, it is often difficult and impractical to obtain the required approvals to lease or otherwise use the lands. As a result, highly-fractionated tracts lie idle, unable to be used for any economical or beneficial purpose or for direct use by tribal communities for their members. Continue reading
Filed under: West, world news | Tagged: Bureau Indian Affairs, Claims Resolution Act of 2010, Native Americans, Native Americans in the United States, Tribal Nations | Leave a comment »