The Federal Government Has a Long History of Stealing Land from Tribes. But Comanagement Is a Step in the Right Direction.
, 2022-12-13 05:44:25,
As a teenager, I lived on the edge of Canyon De Chelly National Monument in the Navajo Nation, near the Arizona-New Mexico border. The red rock canyon system stretches like fingers out from the Chuska Mountains, carving deep into a broad plateau. Ultimately it converges into a canyon as it emerges in the Chinle Valley nearly 2,000 feet below and more than 25 miles from where it started.
Multiple civilizations of indigenous peoples have called the canyon home thanks to its abundance of water, fertile soils, and fortress-like impenetrability from intruders. Ancient structures, burial sites, plants, animals, and pictographs are scattered throughout Canyon De Chelly and are of immense importance to native people today. The Navajo still live and farm in the canyon.
This national monument, unlike many others, lies entirely within the boundaries of the Navajo Nation on trust reservation lands. It was not until 2018 that this park embraced a new structure: managed cooperatively between the tribe, the National Park Service and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, a rarity in park management. But now this type of partnership is becoming a model for US agencies that are finally beginning to adopt tribal co-management of public lands.
Last year, Secretary of the Interior deb halland and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, leaders of the two agencies that oversee the majority…
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