A REPORT BY THE COLORADO PLATEAU FOUNDATION SPRING 2020 A TIMELESS VISION
This tribute to the Native people of the Colorado Plateau makes clear, land and water conservation is inseparable from food and water security and preserving Native languages as vessels of traditional knowledge is a critical component of social and environmental resilience, not only in reaction to a crisis but as a human right.
For the respected and endangered tribes of the Colorado Plateau, the COVID-19 pandemic is activating a massive call to action. From the home gardener to the policymakers, there is growing consciousness and agreement that true cultural, en- vironmental, and economic resilience will require grassroots on-the-ground capacity and decades-long effort to create a more stable and sustainable future.
The Colorado Plateau Foundation’s focus has always been on food security through sustainable agricultural practices, protection of clean and safe water for all depen- dent life forms, preservation of languages, and protection of sacred places, often the earliest source of the world’s medicines and settings of identity and solace for millions of people.
CPF remains committed to building resilience and long-term security for the Native people and environments of the Colorado Plateau. If you feel aligned with this time- less vision and wish to learn more about our work, please visit www.coloradoplateaufoundation.org
Jim Enote, CEO Colorado Plateau Foundation TABLE OF CONTENTS
NATIVE PEOPLES’ TIMELESS OBLIGATION TO THE COLORADO5 PLATEAU THE ROLE OF NATIVE-LED10 NGOS AND MOVEMENTS
MODERN NATIVE LEADERSHIP IN FOUR KEY AREAS WATER, FOOD SECURITY,15 LANGUAGES AND SACRED PLACES A NEW WAVE50 OF NATIVE NATION-BUILDING CLOSING60 THOUGHTS Weavers of Diné be’iiná Courtesy Diné be’iiná NATIVE PEOPLES’ TIMELESS OBLIGATION TO THE COLORADO PLATEAU
Since they arrived to their homelands on the Colorado Plateau, Native people have always stewarded this place. Today, Native people across the Colorado Plateau remain deeply committed to the multi-generational task of protecting the Plateau’s lands, waters, and other natural resources. Many Native people living on the Plateau, particularly those born to families steeped in culture, inherit ceremonial obligations that last for the duration of their lives. In turn, these ceremonies and traditions occur at culturally-significant locations across the Plateau – which further deepens ties between Native cultures and their ancestral homelands.
I was always out on the landscape doing something with older members of my family and my generation. So early on, you know, we were instilled with this idea that we were connected to these places out in the landscape. My cousins and I, we would go out hiking for the day or whatever and we’d go visit a spring or some other place far away from home and come back at the end of the day and sit around the dinner ta- ble with my aunts and uncles and grandparents. And they would ask, “Where did you guys go today? What did you see?”…After we relayed where we were, they would inform us about the name of that village or what that spring stands for….It wasn’t until later on. until probably I was in high school and started to assume more responsibil- ity within the culture, taking part in ceremonies, that a lot of that information became more tangible to me. My responsibility to the landscape stands just from that under- standing that Hopi People have a long continuous connection to a lot of these land- scapes. – Lyle BalenquahI
I. Refer to Appendix A for interviewee affiliations and roles
NATIVE PEOPLES' TIMELESS OBLIGATION TO THE COLORADO PLATEAU MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 5 Zuni youth hike across Zuni lands Courtesy Zuni Youth Enrichment Project
My grandfather was a well-known Navajo medicine man who conducted various healing ceremonies for our people and to this day many of those ceremonies have died off. His songs and prayers came with the importance of taking care of the land. It is part of who we are as the Five Fingered Earth People. It’s part of our culture and our responsibility to live up to that purpose. As a Diné woman, I am taught that living with the elements in life comes with gifts, knowledge, and values within our sur- roundings. All living beings have a purpose, story, and obligation on this landscape. These way of life teachings come from oral stories passed down many generations. They bring a lot of understanding of why we carry on this work to speak for the land and to simply be good relatives. That’s my perspective of why this work is important.
– Cynthia Wilson
My family is a big Zuni family. Traditional, follows a lot of traditional practices. In- cluding that we have a lot of sheep. And just managing the sheep automatically ties you close to the land and the resources and understanding of those relationships. And then our family being very traditional follows the Zuni religion and all the dif- ferent things that go on with that. In addition to that, specifically, some of my family members are rain priests. So that involves some obligations and thinking of rela- tionships with the rain and the values there and what the rain priests’ functions are and being the family member, you tend to support that role and that brings a whole mindset to it as well. And we also are caretakers for one of the Zuni religious Kachi- na dancer representatives, a very sacred entity – we’re caretakers for that entity
NATIVE PEOPLES' TIMELESS OBLIGATION TO THE COLORADO PLATEAU MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 6 through the year. And so that also brings another sort of commitment and mindset and experiences that, that you get involved with through the years. And these are all lifetime commitments generally that start growing up as a kid and through time, ev- ery year, there’s something involved that brings you back to that kind of mindset. And then I’m also initiated into the Kiva with the dancing....So there’s lots of aspects that have tied me to my Zuni culture growing up, even though I didn’t grow up in Zuni. I grew up in the Midwest; I grew up visiting Zuni every year at least twice a year. And having a big family with all of those roots going down, it kept me connected to Zuni. So all of that Zuni experience helped me appreciate and value the land and resourc- es, and I had that growing up.
– Kirk BemisII
I was told by one of my grandfa- thers, “If you really want to live this sacred spiritual way of life, you have to continue to pray and have faith. One day, someplace, you will know the answer will come and only you will know it, but it’s going to be for the rest of your life. That’s for you. You worked at it, you received it, and you’ll know. No more will human beings answer your questions. It’s going to come from the spiritual world.” So I don’t question those things anymore. And that’s what keeps me strong. You must con- tinue to run or walk. You must be out there. When you go out there on the land, all the answers are out there. The spiritual beings will talk with you, all the birds, insects, you know, they’ll give you answers and it’s so amazing. You know? It’s really something that you have to find out for yourself.
Hopi youth farmers – Bucky Preston Courtesy Hopi Tutskwa Permaculture
II Kirk Bemis, a Zuni Tribal member and long-time employee of the Zuni Tribe, was interviewed in his capacity as a citizen and tribal member. Mr. Bemis’s thoughts and quotes in this paper do not represent the official position of the Zuni tribal government, but rather express his thoughts as a tribal member and longtime resident of the Colorado Plateau.
NATIVE PEOPLES' TIMELESS OBLIGATION TO THE COLORADO PLATEAU MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 7 This agriculture work is healing. Honestly, if I weren’t doing a lot of stuff – if I weren’t in my field every day irrigating and all these different things, I wouldn’t have that space to connect with the land, connect with the plant life, connect with the water, and just be there in a good space from growing, growing things for people’s nourish- ment....There’s a lot of healing that our people and our communities need. And I think there’s a big wave right now, we’re seeing this wave of movements happening to heal our communities. And that’s being done in so many different ways, through mental health and through nutritional practices, language, restoring traditional knowledge and, and just being outside and with our ancestral places, ancestral lands, and the places we connect to spiritually, that’s our connection to culture.
– Aaron Lowden
And that’s where I am now; I’m trying to use that same information that I received from the elders, being out there walking with them, listening to them, these are the same words that I use when I talk to people about Zuni. It’s not coming from me. It’s not anything that I made up. It’s coming from my elders.
– Octavius Seowtewa
NATIVE PEOPLES' TIMELESS OBLIGATION TO THE COLORADO PLATEAU MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 8 Courtesy Colorado Plateau Foundation Grantees1 THE ROLE OF NATIVE-LED NGOS AND MOVEMENTS
Native people on the Colorado Plateau often face the preconception that tribal governments hold full responsibility for shifting narratives, building sustainable economies, and advancing cultural precepts. While tribal governments occupy a critically important role across the Colorado Plateau and across Indian Country gen- erally, Native-led NGOs, nonprofits, and grassroots movements play an increasingly visible, additive, and complementary role in modern Native movement-building. For Native people on the Plateau, this work often grows directly from a community or culturally-identified need that a tribal government or federal government agency is not addressing, either due to a capacity gap or differing priorities.
Through my work with those organizations and connections with the people in those places, I was able to see a larger movement, which is both political and cultural. And I’ve always thought of this as cultural sovereignty. Even when the lands are not with- in the control of a given tribal government, there’s still a cultural form of sovereignty that is exerted…even where they don’t have jurisdiction over that land as a political entity, yet they maintain a cultural form of sovereignty as they say what is appropri- ate or not appropriate for development of that site. The language of cultural sover- eignty is very important. Cultural sovereignty is not an unbounded thing, it really has to be rooted in something much more ancient, deeper, the knowledge, the epistemol- ogies that Indigenous peoples have. Today, the new Native-led movements are very interesting to me because they often evoke that cultural sovereignty.
– Rebecca Tsosie
I think nonprofits help fill a void. They really help. They help in that capacity work because again, we can’t be everywhere. The tribal employee can’t be everywhere that they need to be. They can’t always say what they want sometimes or be that pres-
THE ROLE OF NATIVE-LED NGOS AND MOVEMENTS MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 10 Courtsey Grand Canyon Trust / Blake McCord
ence there. So I think nonprofits, whether they’re tribally formed nda led, or outside of working with Tribes, I think they help really fill that space and give us different ave- nues in which to advocate for ourselves. And I think it is self-empowering.
– Lyle Balenquah
And I often think about this, working for a tribal government, wondering if we could do everything that we want to do. And if we had all the resources that we needed, would we really need anyone else, any other groups helping us? And one answer is, obviously, we don’t have everything we need. Sometimes other entities get that and they can fill in that void. But there may be other reasons, even when Tribes do have the resources and the desire, that is sometimes politics or other governmen- tal bureaucracy, things that go along with any government, sometimes can stand in the way and either prevent things from happening or make those things happen at a much slower rate or with lots of strings attached that make it less productive or less attractive. Sometimes just being a government, by its nature, does have some inherent factors that may make an effort not as successful as having a non-gov- ernment entity doing it or, or helping with it or facilitate it….And with the government status, even community members can have some attitude or mindset towards the government, even to the extreme of not trusting them. Especially in tribal commu-
THE ROLE OF NATIVE-LED NGOS AND MOVEMENTS MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 11 nities that, you know, there, there is some mistrust with federal government, right? And then sometimes that extends to their own tribal government and sometimes in an even more personal negative way because sometimes they have more experi- ence with their own tribal governments than they do with the federal government. And sometimes if those don’t have a good outcome, that can then lead to an ongoing aversion to wanting to deal with the tribal government. So, sometimes having a tribal government lead an effort or want to help the community will be a nonstarter for some community members. And having another entity do the same thing might have more doors open and more welcoming input….And finally, so many other people in the community want to help, but they can’t work for the tribal government, but they find other ways to get money and start their own groups to help. And just having that possibility and opportunity is useful….It’s always going to be helpful to create new opportunities and new ways.
– Kirk Bemis
The world that we’re talking about is one where cultural sovereignty can be exerted through non-governmental organizations, expanding the range of alternatives and providing a powerful interface with tribal political sovereignty....So the model that we’re talking about, blending cultural and political sovereignty together offers the opportunity to think about that collectively into the future.
– Rebecca Tsosie
Interviewees also commented on the inherent tension caused by the influence of federal funding on tribal government programming and priorities, as well as the variability of federal budgeting depending on the tenor of the current administration toward issues in Indian Country.
This is an era where the success of what a tribal government can do in and of itself within a federal framework is going to have natural limitations because of the poli- tics. And I think that you see that in this administration, the availability of funding, the willingness of federal agencies to do something or not do something, everything in that federal system is conditional. And so as long as you’re in that conditional envi- ronment, that means if you have a friendly administration, you’re good to go on the renewable energy projects for two years, then the administration changes and then all bets are off. You can’t get it done. It’s not going to be renewed. Somebody else was in charge. And that is not a sustainable model for any government. But for tribal governments particularly, because history tells us that the challenges that tribal gov- ernments have faced have been directly related to the shifting pendulum of federal policy and what the federal government wants from Tribes.
– Rebecca Tsosie
THE ROLE OF NATIVE-LED NGOS AND MOVEMENTS MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 12 So if you have a nonprofit that’s supporting workers or industries in a certain way in, let’s say workforce development, that’s a federally funded program that has nev- er been able to be that successful or to reach these people. And the reason why is because there’s always this influence within tribal policy that comes from the federal government. And you can’t get away from that if you have a federally funded pro- gram. Those programs are doing what the federal government wants the Tribes to do, not necessarily what might be good for the people. I think that people are starting to realize that. And so with nonprofits and Native entrepreneurs finding their own resources, I think that’s been really important to uplift voices that have always been there, but really do have a connection with their community. And that is able to make an impact that’s going to be much greater than what the tribal government will be able to do.
– Jessica Stago
Native nonprofits and grassroots movements across the Plateau are responding to community needs by growing vibrant, culturally-grounded work to protect water, sustain Native languages, protect ancestral homelands and sacred places, and to advance food security through community-based sustainable agriculture. We now turn to listen to the voices of the Native leaders building and uplifting the work in these four key areas.
THE ROLE OF NATIVE-LED NGOS AND MOVEMENTS MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 13 Courtsey Grand Canyon Trust / Blake McCord MODERN NATIVE LEADERSHIP IN FOUR KEY AREAS
Beginning in the mid-2000s, a series of gatherings of Native cultural and traditional leaders from the 11 Colorado Plateau Tribes were convened with the goal of reviving ancient inter-tribal networks and deepening inter-tribal collaboration. Out of the discussions that took place over years, four areas emerged as those needing deep and sustained attention from Native leaders over the coming decades: sustaining and reviving Native languages; protection of water; advancing community-based sustainable agriculture; and protecting culturally important lands and sacred places. Water, language and traditional knowledge, seeds and agricultural know-how, and sacred places are all interwoven with Native cultures on the Plateau and are deeply threatened today. As such, each of the movements described below serves as a part of the larger, collective effort to sustain Native lifeways and culture, and to heal the Plateau itself.
SUSTAINING NATIVE LANGUAGES
One of the greatest challenges facing Native people on the Colorado Plateau today is the effort to sustain and revive Native languages. The number of living Native languages spoken and number of speakers both testify to the Tribes’ strength in overcoming decades of directed federal and state policy efforts designed to eradicate these languages forever. As shown in Figure 1 below, the Colorado Plateau houses eight of the nine counties in the United States with the highest percentage of Native language speakers. The only outlier is the Bethel Census area in Alaska. A full 20% of all American Indian language speakers live in one of two Colorado Pla- teau counties: McKinley County, New Mexico, which overlaps with both the Navajo Nation and Zuni Pueblo; and Apache County, Arizona, over one-half whose land area lies within the Navajo Nation.2
MODERN NATIVE LEADERSHIP IN FOUR KEY AREAS MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 15 FIGURE 1. NUMBER OF SPEAKERS OF NATIVE NORTH AMERICAN LANGUAGES BY COUNTY: 2006-2010 4
Figure 1. Number of Speakers of Native North American Languages, by County: 2006–2010
0 300 mi 0590 km
Speakers per county
Less than 500
500 to 999 1,000 to 4,999 5,000 to 9,999 10,000 and over
U.S. Census Bureau 0200 mi
0150 mi 075mi 0300 km Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2006–2010 American Community Survey, 2006–2010 Puerto Rico Community Survey. 0150 km
Yet, as Figure 2 shows, many Native languages on the Colorado Plateau remain critically endangered with some speakers, particularly in small Tribes, numbering only in the hundreds. A few things about Figure 2 are worth noting from the outset, both for their own merit and as an illustration of larger trends related to data in Indian Country. While the information displayed was developed on the best, most recent data available, census or other survey data in Indian Country is generally unreliable, particularly with regard to language questions. For example, while the U.S. Census does publish data on Native populations, the Census Bureau counts anyone who says they are Indian, regardless of tribal enrollment, in its Indian popu- lation numbers.III Additionally, Figure 2 does not reflect the demographic distribution of Native language speakers and the sharp decline in language speakers in younger generations. To provide a concrete example, estimates from the American Commu- nity Survey on the Hualapai Reservation indicate that 77% of the population over the age of 65 speak Hualapai as compared to only 7.4% of children ages 5-17.3
MODERN NATIVE LEADERSHIP IN FOUR KEY AREAS MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 16 FIGURE 2. DATA ON NATIVE LANGUAGE SPEAKERS IN SELECT COLORADO PLATEAU TRIBES
Est. Native Language Speakers in Select Colorado Plateau Tribes
100% 91% 85%
56% 50% 47% 50% 43%
Tribe Name (Est. Number of Language Speakers)
Refer to Appendix B for the sources for the data in Figure 2.
As the interviewees make clear, the risks posed by language loss runs deep and extends far into Native culture and traditional lifeways.
I see languages as that thread that holds a basket together, and when you start to unravel that basic weaving of language, then things begin to fall apart. And so lan- guage is an integral part of not just learning how to speak it, but knowing the so- cial, cultural context of how that language is used and how it can carry a particular community’s perspectives on things and why we believe the way we do and why we value the things that we do. In that way, I think, language is really critical to a lot of understanding of these other places and things that we talk about.
– Dr. Christine Sims
Language is a big part of our lives that we as Hopi people ourselves don’t realize because when we want to talk about deeper things, we use the Hopi language be- cause it’s easier and you can explain yourself really in more detail. Where in English, you can talk about it, but you can’t really express and explain yourself. In the Hopi
III For a detailed explanation of the manifold problems resulting from no entity taking responsibility for accurately tracking tribal enrollment through the census or other means, see DeWeaver, Norm, Assessing the Challenges in American Indian Population Data in The State of Indian Country Arizona, Volume 1 (2013) pp 23-25. As a result of the problems described by DeWeaver, the data in Figure 2 should be considered estimates and nothing more.
MODERN NATIVE LEADERSHIP IN FOUR KEY AREAS MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 17 language, we understand how the communication is more deeper without hesitation... the songs are all in Hopi and Tewa. It’s our language and I don’t know how many people really, really know what the songs are about. That’s a real issue. I think if we lose that, we also lose the rest of the culture. I think that it is all based on language.
– Bucky Preston
Hearing words in Diné language has more meaning and significance. Especially when you hear it in ceremonial settings, it brings puzzles and pieces together. For example, plants are named in ways that connects you to be identified by the plant for its use and purpose, opposed to how it’s viewed as a scientific name. Our lan- guage has a stronger purpose and brings more power hearing it through songs and prayers. It’s more inspiring when we speak our language to acknowledge the universe, the earth, and all beings in our surroundings before we acknowledge our- selves. These teachings are the fundamental laws of nature, taught by our elders. It’s really a good teaching to speak our language and to be recognized by the holy people.
– Cynthia Wilson
MODERN NATIVE LEADERSHIP IN FOUR KEY AREAS
MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU Courtsey Grand Canyon Trust / Blake McCord 18 The youth are coming to realize that there is a place for Zuni language only and the fact that they have been a part of having activities within our religious activities drives home that point. There aren’t prayers that are recited in English. It’s all Zuni. And in order for them to grasp that prayer and come to an understanding of what the prayer is, they have to speak and learn Zuni.
– Octavius Seowtewa
Despite the widely-recognized im- portance of sustaining and protecting Native languages, Native children today are growing up predominantly exposed to English. Both in the school setting and at home, Native children on the Plateau do not have the same, or even moderately similar, exposure to their Native languages that children did even one generation ago. Unfortunately, research indicates that heritage language loss can occur as quickly as within two generations.4 And the diminishing number of Native language speakers reflects that reality.
I think most communities would agree that it’s the maintenance and the re-strengthening of language that has to do with cultural knowledge, and also building relationships within a speech community, that has to do with passing on tribal perspectives and values. Those elements of lan- guage are really what most com- munities want to see their children be able to learn. It’s not just learning how to speak a language, but it’s how that language is used across all those contexts. And of course, the key thing is that spiritual, cultural Ita Hopi Lavayi students, Photo courtesy Ita Hopi Lavayi foundation that the Indigenous peo- ple have and language is part of that. So one of the things that is most challenging right now is this: How do you create the kinds of opportunities for our children to learn those things when so much of their modern day lives are impacted by a global language like English?....Today, most Native children spend eight hours of their wak-
MODERN NATIVE LEADERSHIP IN FOUR KEY AREAS MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 19 ing hours in English-based contexts, whether it’s school or afterschool kinds of things when they go home. They see and hear media all in English. And so carving out and re-instituting ways in which language would traditionally have been passed on is a real challenge. It’s a real challenge for every Native community.
– Dr. Christine Sims
Great potential remains in resisting this trend. Studies show that it takes approx- imately five to seven years to acquire age-appropriate proficiency in a heritage (second) language when consistent and comprehensive opportunities in the heri- tage language are provided.5 Today, across the Plateau, strong Native leadership in many Tribes has spearheaded efforts to revive and sustain Native languages. These leaders design programs from the ground-up to meet the unique needs of the tribal communities they serve. The support of a tribal government impacts these efforts significantly; for example, the leadership of the Navajo Nation led to the devel- opment of a full curricula of Navajo language instruction – a tool that many other Tribes on the Plateau have not developed. Developing curricula and other innovative programs provide alternatives to relying on transmission at home as the sole way for that language to survive and are durable solutions for children whose family mem- bers are not speakers. The case studies below highlight three different Native-led models of language transmission active on the Plateau today.
CASE STUDIES: DIFFERENT MODELS OF LANGUAGE TRANSMISSION
Private Early-Age Montessori Learning
Several Tribes on the Plateau have begun language revitalization efforts with Montessori schools focused on early age students. Since 2000, the 100% tribally funded Southern Ute Montessori Academy has provided Ute language instruction to Ute students, ranging from six weeks through sixth grade.6 The Ute language is among the most critically endangered on the Plateau and the three Ute Tribes (Southern Ute, Ute Mountain Ute, and Ute Indian Tribe) are creating a Ute language immersion program that can be implemented in public schools, including in Ignacio public schools where children matriculate when they leave the on-reservation Southern Ute Mon- tessori school.7 Another example occurs on the Cochiti Pueblo; although Co- chiti Pueblo is located just outside the Colorado Plateau, the Cochiti people speak Keres, which is a major Puebloan language across the Plateau. The Keres Children Learning Center, an on-reservation Montessori preschool uses the Cochiti Keres language to teach preschool and kindergarten students for six hours a day. The school, which incorporates Cochiti Pueblo traditions into
MODERN NATIVE LEADERSHIP IN FOUR KEY AREAS MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 20 classes, was collaboratively designed by tribal leaders from Cochiti Pueblo, education experts, and community members. It is led by Cochiti Pueblo members Trisha Moquino and Olivia Coriz and receives foundation funding from the Kellogg foundation, among others.8
Working on Many Fronts: The Acoma Pueblo’s Efforts
At the Acoma Pueblo, a community survey in the 1990s revealed that chil- dren were no longer acquiring Acoma Keres as a first language. In response, the Pueblo created a pilot two-week summer immersion program that later grew into a formalized six-week program. Parents observed that after the summer camp, children would use the language games and songs they learned at home and that they “were using each other’s Indian names rather than their English names.” Additionally, many parents made a greater effort to speak more Acoma Keres at home.9 In turn, this intergenerational engage- ment resulted in transmission of the traditional knowledge that only Acoma elders and fluent Keres speakers possessed. From the foundation of summer immersion programs, the Pueblo began expanding Keres cultural teaching to the classroom in local school systems. First, offerings were included at the local Bureau of Indian Education school, then at a local public high school and elementary school, and finally to a parochial pre-kindergarten program. The Pueblo faced many challenges along the way, including surmounting a claim that targeting classes at Acoma Pueblo members discriminated against other students.10 Another issue arose from the “fact that many of our Acoma elders and Keres-speaking adults lacked formal teaching degrees, which cre- ated administrative issues for public schools under the No Child Left Behind Act.”11 Acoma Pueblo, with other New Mexico Tribes and Pueblos, launched a multi-year effort that culminated in 2003 when New Mexico adopted an alternative certification for speakers of Native languages teaching Native languages in New Mexico public schools. The New Mexico Public Education Department only issues these alternative certifications as recommended by a Pueblo or Tribal Nation. This provides a framework where the Pueblos and Tribes have authority to deem individuals qualified to teach their indigenous language, as well as over the way lessons and programs are carried out.12
Native Languages in Public Schools – The Flagstaff Unified School District
The Flagstaff Unified School District (FUSD) has emerged as a leader in innovative approaches to advancing Navajo language transmission on the Colorado Plateau, and is increasing efforts with the Hopi language as well. Serving 15 different school sites and over 9,600 students, FUSD’s student enrollment is 25.30% Native Americans.13 Today, FUSD’s foreign language requirement can be met with Navajo language classes, and FUSD offers a full
MODERN NATIVE LEADERSHIP IN FOUR KEY AREAS MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 21 Navajo language immersion program at its Puente de Hózhó charter school. Puente de Hózhó has two dual-language programs comprised of a Navajo Immersion Language Program and a Spanish-English Bilingual Program that serves students from kindergarten through 5th grade. A 6-12th grade Inter- national Baccalaureate Continuum is in the process of being established.14 While FUSD’s Navajo language efforts are forward-thinking and responsive to the largest Native population in the area, children from the Hopi Tribe and other non-Navajo Tribes are in the difficult position of having to either take Navajo or Spanish to satisfy their language requirement.15 To begin to address this, FUSD partnered with Hopi educators to offer Ita Hopi Lavayi This is a Hopi immersion program within FUSD summer programming. Active since 2009, the program has been successful in transmitting language. It has also laid a foundation for Hopi educators to push for Hopi language classes to satisfy FUSD’s foreign language requirement.16
Ita Hopi Lavayi language class, Photo courtesy Ita Hopi Lavayi
MODERN NATIVE LEADERSHIP IN FOUR KEY AREAS MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 22 However creative and effective these approaches, more resources and support are urgently needed to bolster efforts to sustain Native languages while they still exist on the Colorado Plateau. In New Mexico, a promising development has emerged as a result of the Yazzie/Martinez v. New Mexico lawsuit. Brought by families and school districts against the State of New Mexico, the suit alleged that the state failed to provide students—especially low-income students, Native Americans, English lan- guage learners, and students with disabilities—the programs and services necessary for them to learn and thrive. It also challenged the state’s failure to sufficiently fund these programs and services. In July 2018, the court held for the families and ruled that all New Mexico students have a right to be college and career ready. It additionally held that the Public Education Department has a duty to ensure school districts are adequately spending the money provided to them to effectively provide students with a proper education. The judge instructed the legislature and executive branch to find a funding system to meet the constitutional requirement. The impli- cations of this decision are far-reaching, and legislators are now introducing bills to comply with the order.17 This decision does not impact education in Arizona, Utah or Colorado, but could be hugely impactful for the Tribes and Pueblos in New Mexico. Dr. Christine Sims comments on this potential:
In the future, I hope to see a change from “these little drop in the bucket” approach- es, especially when we don’t have that sustainable funding source. State funds for language programs in schools from K-12 are particularly important because that’s where our children spend 180 days of the school year, eight hours a day, five days a week. Those financial supports are necessary in order to help these programs ei- ther begin or expand. What people don’t realize is that it takes quite a bit of effort to plan out how you’re going to do this kind of language instruction. We don’t have the ready resources of curriculum materials or instructional materials for most Native languages. Instead, language speakers have to create that. Right now, we don’t have a big school publisher that’s going to come in and produce Native language books or anything. So these things that are being proposed as remedies in the Yazzie/Marti- nez lawsuit have the promise of beginning to help build those support systems, the infrastructure that’s going to enable not only Tribes to create these programs, but to sustain them and grow them. It will be interesting to see to what extent New Mexico state education agencies provide those necessary resources for Native languages in the future.
– Dr. Christine Sims
Finally, it is important to note the data gap and lack of data uniformity in the efforts of states on the Colorado Plateau to track data related to the number of students studying Native languages. Of these states, New Mexico leads the way. Figure 3 shows the number of Native languages being taught in public schools in New Mexico, and the number of students being reached; similar data was unavailable for Utah, Colorado, and Arizona.
MODERN NATIVE LEADERSHIP IN FOUR KEY AREAS MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 23 FIGURE 3. PUBLIC SCHOOL LANGUAGE INSTRUCTION PROGRAMS IN NEW MEXICO
LANGUAGE DISTRICT (NUMBER OF SCHOOLS) NUMBER OF STUDENTS
Jicarilla Apache Dulce (1) 297
Bernalillo (6) Keres 475+ Grants Cibola County (1)
Bloomfield (4) Central Consolidated (15) Cuba (3) DEAP (1) Navajo Dream Diné Charter (1) 5807 Gallup McKinley (35) Farmington (15) Jemez Mountains (1) Magdalena (2)
Tiwa Peñasco (3) 38
Española (3) Tewa 334 Pojoaque (5)
Towa Jemez Valley (1) 91
Zuni Zuni (5) 778
Source: American Indian Policy Research & Teacher Training Center, & University of New Mexico College of Education. (2018).; Language and Culture Bureau. (2018). New Mexico Public Education Department.
MODERN NATIVE LEADERSHIP IN FOUR KEY AREAS MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 24 Spring on the Hopi Reservation, Public Domain
We are the hydrologic cycle. We believe this because that’s how our Hopi civilization was developed from being dry farmers, farmers in a desert, and from choosing to stay here...Faith develops from there, so all of our ceremonies, Kachina ceremonies, social ceremonies, it’s always talking beautifully about rain. How if we can put our hearts and minds together and be sincere, the rain will come.
– Vernon Masayesva
When we plant, we run and then the women, they pour water on us because we de- pend on the moisture, the clouds. Everything is based on water, water, water, water, everything in Hopi is water.
– Bucky Preston
Water, in all its forms, is deeply tied to Native peoples’ cultures, ceremonies, and traditions on the Colorado Plateau. The scarcity of precipitation heightens the importance of water in this high-desert landscape. The semi-arid to arid Colorado
MODERN NATIVE LEADERSHIP IN FOUR KEY AREAS MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 25 Blake McCord
Plateau receives an average precipitation of 8-12 inches annually. The high-alpine mountainous areas of the Colorado Plateau such as the top of Sleeping Ute Moun- tain on the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe’s lands, the Chuska mountains on the Navajo Nation, or the Zuni Mountains on the Zuni Reservation receive more precipitation, averaging over 20 inches annually.18
So Zuni have their own religion and culture and, having lived where they’ve always lived, a strong connection to that land in the Homeland and the environment. Their beliefs and practices have evolved from that relationship. And basically, almost ev- erything Zuni does traditionally throughout the year and their religion and way of life does reflect the relationship with the land and especially water, being in a semi-arid desert, water is critical to life. Water has been a central part of a lot of the prayers and the beliefs and practices. For example, springs have a special relationship to not only the physical world, our world of what it provides with life, but then a window into our spiritual other worlds of entities and mystical beings and just sacredness and connecting all the worlds. Springs reflect that kind of belief system and then also rivers, especially our Zuni River that connects her Homeland with another place of cultural importance. And the River is that umbilical cord that kind of ties the two distant places together. And as a place of making offerings of food to our ancestors there into the River, that then gets carried down to that spiritual world. So it’s a water place. Both the practical and the more abstract kind of metaphysical connection be- tween our culture or current people and our ancestors and the spirit world and with rain or water in particular. And a lot of our dances and prayers relate to the clouds and the precipitation, rain, snow being a blessing and when they come they, they rep- resent our ancestors, bringing their blessings both spiritually and in all the ways that people benefit from that, but also practically for the life giving force it gives to the crops – Zuni being a traditional farming culture and, and everything that’s needed
MODERN NATIVE LEADERSHIP IN FOUR KEY AREAS MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 26 with the water for life and blessing. So rain and water definitely has its unique place in the Zuni belief system.
– Kirk Bemis
Overall, the Colorado Plateau lands on which Native people settled are water-rich. The majority of major river systems, both mainstem rivers and their tributaries, in the Colorado River Basin flow through tribal lands on the Colorado Plateau. These rivers include the Colorado River itself, the Little Colorado River, the San Juan River, the Zuni River, the Pine River, the Navajo River, the Mancos River, the La Plata River, the Animas River, the Florida River, the Chaco River, the Black River, and the Salt River. In addition, scientists have documented over 15,000 springs across the Colorado Plateau’s public lands and many more are present on tribal lands.19 Large aquifers of pure groundwater that underlie tribal lands supply both artesian springs that bubble up from the ground and wells that provide drinking water.
Yet, over six decades of mining and extractive activity targeting the coal, uranium, oil and gas deposits that underlie the Colorado Plateau have damaged culturally important surface and groundwater resources. This extensive extractive and industri- al activity has both contaminated and depleted the Plateau’s scarce water resources.
MODERN NATIVE LEADERSHIP IN FOUR KEY AREAS MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 27 White Mesa Concerned Community Protest Courtesy White Mesa Concerned Community
PROFILE: WHITE MESA CONCERNED COMMUNITY
The White Mesa Ute Community of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe is located be- tween Blanding and Bluff in southern Utah. The community sits at the foot of Bears Ears National Monument and in the larger San Juan River watershed. Only three miles from the community center sits the White Mesa Uranium Mill, the United States’ only operating conventional uranium mill. Along with uranium mined from the Colorado Plateau, radioactive waste from sites across North America are sent to the White Mesa Mill for “processing” and permanent disposal in the facility’s tailing ponds. For over two decades, the White Mesa Mill has processed and disposed of this waste. Today, the mill’s waste pits contain radioactive and contaminated wastes from rare-metals mining, uranium-conversion plants, and contaminated defense facilities, among other sources. Radioactive pollution and other contaminants are emitted from the mill into the air, land, and groundwater, threatening public health and the environment.20
A community-led, grassroots movement, White Mesa Concerned Community, has emerged to resist the White Mesa Mill and its impact on the people, lands, and water of White Mesa. Led by White Mesa community members Thelma Whiskers and Yolanda Badback, White Mesa Concerned Community organized partners to put on an annual leadership and education academy to inform White Mesa youth about the mill. They also lead an annual spiritual walk from the community to the mill’s gates. This direct action and com- munity organizing are coordinated with the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, whose environmental department supports logistics for the annual walk. White Mesa Concerned Community provides a grassroots counterpart to the Tribe’s uranium mill-related legal and administrative challenges.
MODERN NATIVE LEADERSHIP IN FOUR KEY AREAS MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 28 The story of the White Mesa Mill is not an outlier but rather an example of a larger trend. Over the life of the Black Mesa coal mining complex on Navajo and Hopi lands that supplied the Mohave Generating Station, Peabody Western Coal Company used 44 billion gallons of pristine groundwater from the N-Aquifer to slurry coal from the mine to the power plant. Over time, dropping aquifer levels reduced spring discharge on the Navajo and Hopi reservations. At some monitored springs, this discharge reduction exceeded 50%.21 The drawdown has also potentially increased the con- centration of contaminants in water sources. Since the Bureau of Indian Affairs first installed a drinking water system on the Hopi Reservation in the 1960s, the arsenic levels in water for eight Hopi villages exceeds Environmental Protection Agency safe-drinking water standards by as much as three times the allowable levels.22
Uranium development that began in the Atomic Era and continues has also been hugely harmful to tribal water resources across the Colorado Plateau. This is particularly true on the Navajo Nation and near Grand Canyon where mining activity continues today and threatens the blue-green waters of the Havasupai Nation. On the Navajo Nation, a 2017 study showed that arsenic and uranium concentrations exceeded national drinking water standards in 15.1 % (arsenic) and 12.8 % (uranium) Uranium researcher Tommy Rock takes water samples of 464 unregulated water sources following the Gold King mine spill that scientists have tested for the Photo Courtesy Dr. Karletta Chief last 25 years.23
Unregulated sources in close proximity to abandoned uranium mines yielded signifi- cantly higher concentrations of arsenic or uranium than more distant sources. This is particularly problematic because, due to the lack of infrastructure, 30% of families on the Navajo Nation haul water and often from unregulated sources.24
MODERN NATIVE LEADERSHIP IN FOUR KEY AREAS MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 29 The issue of multi-national companies and federally-supported mining on the Colo- rado Plateau is deeply complex because, in some cases such as at Black Mesa, tribal governments themselves sanctioned the activity in exchange for economic benefit, albeit over the protests of numerous community members. In other cases, such as uranium mining during the Atomic Era, the federal government disseminated misin- formation about the impacts of uranium mining and milling. This caused significant cancer clusters in tribal communities due to inadequate protection for miners and the contamination of groundwater due to milling activity.25 Grassroots and nonprofit groups emerged to bring attention to the impacts that they were seeing on the ground in their communities, such as culturally important springs drying up, streams no longer flowing, and sick community members. Once created, these groups pushed tribal and federal governments for different policies that protected both public health and the health of water resources. Even where water quality concerns related to mining are not an issue, the impact of non-Indian use of shared resources is significant, especially as Western populations grow.
Another challenge is water rights, just the ongoing efforts to secure our water rights and then protect them once we get them. Now, non-Zuni uses are impacting our uses. That continues to be an issue and especially in times of drought when there’s not a lot of water to begin with to go around for everyone….That’ll continue to be a challenge, especially with increased development….Today, you have a lot of rural subdivisions popping up – where you have people living in subdivided two, five, or 10 acre lots and needing a well, where there used to be huge tracks of land owned by ranchers and others doing minimal development and minimal water use for ranching, livestock grazing, or whatever other uses. But now with more and more people, each lot represents a potential well and even though the well might be small and used for its own domestic household purposes…if you have hundreds and hundreds of them and if they all tap the same aquifer that provides water to the spring, then you could still get the cumulative effect of one big well pumping a lot that could affect a spring.
– Kirk Bemis
Beyond water quality concerns, Tribes on the Colorado Plateau are still in the pro- cess of securing and accessing surface water resources for community use. Two U.S. Supreme Court cases created the legal doctrine of federal reserved rights that frame Tribal claims to water, incuding on the Colorado Plateau. In 1908, Winters v. United States established that every Indian reservation has implied rights to water sufficient to support the purpose of the reservation, rights now known as Winters rights.26 However, Indian nations do not automatically receive water flowing through pipes simply by virtue of the reservation’s existence. In order to obtain this “wet water,” a Tribe must either go through a protracted general stream adjudication or secure a negotiated settlement. In Arizona, the Navajo and Hopi Tribes are involved in the adjudication of the Little Colorado River. This process began in the late 1970s, cur- rently involves 14,654 claimants, and is predicted to be in litigation for many more years.27 This is a typical timeframe for an adjudication involving Indian water rights.28
MODERN NATIVE LEADERSHIP IN FOUR KEY AREAS MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 30 The difficulty of adjudicating water rights, including adjudication’s focus on con- sumptively used water and the subsequent challenge of obtaining legal recognition for the cultural values of water, leads many Tribes to turn toward negotiated settlements. In a settlement, the Tribe usually accepts a smaller quantity of water in exchange for water resource infrastructure, other economic assistance to manage water resources, waivers of liability, and other preconditions. While there are many advantages to negotiated settlements, non-Indian interests also have a seat at the negotiating table and their requirements are also accounted for in the settlements. Thus, settlement provisions designed to benefit state and federal parties often impose limits upon tribal use of water.29 Additionally, because Tribes are often the very last water users in a system to receive their wet water, they face the additional heavy burden of balancing the environmental and cultural needs of the natural world against the needs of their people – an issue that non-Indian communities who secured water earlier did not have to face.
Kirk Bemis, who has worked on water rights issues for the Zuni Tribe for several decades, provides perspective on this complexity:
I think just overall there needs to be more of a recognition by Tribes and others that water is not only critical for people but for nature and just the habitat and wildlife and just nature itself need to water for its own sake. And so in planning and water rights, there needs to be something set aside for that. And that can be challenging. And there may not be enough to go around and Tribes especially being behind a lot of mainstream development and catching up with things. Sometimes it’s a struggle for them to, to have to say, “Oh, there’s finally water and now we can finally get it as people. But we also need to remember to leave some behind it, preserve some nature.” And the Tribe is put in that terrible position of being the people to make that choice. Whereas people before us didn’t have to necessarily face that.
– Kirk Bemis
Notably, the Colorado Plateau is encompassed by the greater Colorado River Basin and here, as much as any river system in the West, natural flowing rivers have been altered by dam systems. For decades, state and federal interests have managed the River primarily as a water delivery system. Today, particularly as tribal water projects come online and add demand to an over-allocated system, Tribes are leading the way in integrating tribal traditional and cultural values into the complex web of policies and planning processes that make up the Law of the River.30 This can be seen, perhaps most notably, in the growing leadership role that the Colorado River Basin Ten Tribes PartnershipIV plays in water management negotiations and discus- sions in the greater Colorado River Basin. In 2018, in partnership with the Bureau
IV The Colorado River Basin Ten Tribes Partnership formed in 1992 and consists of the 10 following federally recognized Tribes with quantified water rights in the Colorado River Basin: Ute Indian Tribe, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Southern Ute Indian Tribe, Jicarilla Apache Nation, Navajo Nation, Chemehuevi Indian Tribe, Colorado River Indian Tribes, Fort Mojave Indian Tribe, Quec- han Indian Tribe, and Cocopah Indian Tribe.
MODERN NATIVE LEADERSHIP IN FOUR KEY AREAS MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 31 of Reclamation, the Ten Tribes Partnership released “The Colorado River Basin Ten Tribes Partnership Tribal Water Study Report,” which documents how the member Tribes currently use their water, projects how future water development could occur, describes water development challenges and opportunities, and articluates the potential effects of tribal water development on the Colorado River system. The report also includes powerful statements from each Tribe’s individual perspective about the cultural values of water.31
Tribal members visit a waterfall in Grand Canyon Courtesy Colorado Plateau Foundation
Finally, climate change also increases pressure on scarce water resources. The seasonality of precipitation is changing with rain falling more often in colder months instead of snow, less precipitation overall, and snowmelt runoff occurring earlier.32 Ceremonies that Native people have always performed are timed with the seasons, and the disruption to the climate also impacts these ceremonies. Additionally, cultur- al tension can exist around anticipating, predicting, or planning for climate impacts.
MODERN NATIVE LEADERSHIP IN FOUR KEY AREAS MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 32 Climate change presents cultural challenges as well, in addition to all the practical reasons. Philosophically, it’s something that similar to drought and floods. Zuni has a taboo about talking or predicting bad things that can happen, especially when it comes to natural disasters. So sometimes planning and preparing for droughts or floods can be challenging to say things the right way and not insult people’s mind- sets, talking as if it will happen and, therefore, willing it to happen. Predicting it. And climate change can be similar, especially with respect to the water and the rain and predictions from forecasters. And then the Zuni’s belief in what their practices are about. And the idea there is that if climate change models say that the Zuni area will not receive as much precipitation in the future, then somehow stating that is bad. For a lot of traditional Zuni to be hearing that, it’s like being told that practicing your faith will not work as well in the future because it won’t bring as much rain. It’s almost like being told that you’re just not going to be able to do what you used to with your be- lief system. So, that can be a challenge to speak in those terms and be careful about, talking in those ways.
– Kirk Bemis
Water, in all its forms, remains a cultural touchstone for Native Tribes across the Colorado Plateau. Native leadership to protect culturally important water resources will only grow as climate impacts and western populations increase. The ongoing work to heal landscapes and waters devastated by mining, and to prevent future impacts from new extractive industry operations, will continue for generations to come. Simultaneously Tribes will work to secure safe, piped, drinking water for their tribal members by advancing large water projects, which will place additional pres- sure on the overallocated Colorado River system. Negotiating these tensions and finding a path forward that both advances the human right to safe drinking water and safeguards cultural values will require strong leadership from Native people across the Colorado Plateau.
MODERN NATIVE LEADERSHIP IN FOUR KEY AREAS MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 33 Hoophouse at Acoma Pueblo Courtesy Southwest Conservation Corps Ancestral Lands
ADVANCING TRADITIONAL COMMUNITY-BASED AGRICULTURE
Native Tribes on the Colorado Plateau developed advanced techniques in dryland farming, cultivating resilient plant varieties that sustained their communities for generations. Farming continues to occupy a large role in the traditional lifeways of Native people.
In our upbringing, food has many values and it’s viewed in a holistic way – food as a living, breathing being. Food is tied to our ceremonies, songs, and stories of how we have a reciprocal relationship with our plant relatives and the four-legged beings. We communicate with an exchange of gifts through offerings and prayers. This intercon- nected relationship of how food and nutrition brings healing to the mind, body, and spirit is not being spoken of in the Western context.
– Cynthia Wilson
This traditional food, it’s more nutritious. It’s literarily part of our culture. You know, your grandmother, your great-great grandparents probably had their hands on this corn at one point, and that’s part of our heritage, part of our land and this is what your body recognizes in good food.
– Aaron Lowden
MODERN NATIVE LEADERSHIP IN FOUR KEY AREAS MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 34 As Indigenous people, we think about getting up in the morning with the sunrise, working so that we can live through the day and just ensuring that we’re getting ready for the next season or getting ready for the next year, and looking at your family and where you are in that cycle. And those things were interrupted by having this 40-hour week come in and now you’re going to get paid every two weeks and you’re going to have money to spend. The way of life we had was built around our time, our days or months, and our seasons. Whereas a 40-hour work week, you do that all day, you know, every day. There’s not really a season that you work or don’t work.
– Jessica Stago
For us, as Hopi, we refer to our crops as children. As farmers, we plant our young ones in the earth with a 20 day birthing ceremony. This is the time that the child is introduced into this world, he or she is linked to the father’s clan and their name is announced to our father, the sun. This is the time that the child becomes culturally and spiritually grounded into the earth. We feed our children our own foods first, not only because their bodies are nourished spiritually by this act, but also so that they receive the superior nutrition, immunity, and physical and spiritual resistance to dis- ease that our traditional foods provide.
– Valerie Nuvayestewa
TraditionalMODERN foods NATIVE at a Bears LEADERSHIP Ears summer IN gathering FOUR KEY AREAS CourtesyMODERN Grand NATIVE Canyon MOVEMENT-BUILDING Trust / Blake McCord ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 35 One of the many impacts of colonialism has been both a departure from traditional community-based agriculture and a deficit of stores from which Native people can buy healthy food. For example, the Navajo Nation, which is an equivalent size to the state of West Virginia, has only 13 grocery stores to cover 27,000 square miles. The average resident drives three hours for groceries.33 In a 2014 survey of Navajo Nation tribal members’ shopping preferences, 51% of respondents preferred to purchase groceries off the reservation due to lower prices and a greater variety of foods. Of the five towns included in the survey, the shortest roundtrip distance to an off-reservation grocery store was 155 miles.34 Figure 4 shows the percentage of tribal households on the Colorado Plateau living more than ten miles from a supermarket.35 This study does not account for smaller grocery stores, convenience stores, and other retail outlets — which, though more prevalent in tribal areas and more accessible — are less likely to offer a large selection of fresh, healthy foods. Since the survey was completed, Zuni established a locally owned market called Halona Market Place; however, its selection is limited and not as extensive as a major chain market in the nearest city, which is more than 40 miles away. Therefore, results for the Zuni Pueblo were not altered in Figure 4 below.
FIGURE 4. PERCENTAGE OF TRIBAL HOUSEHOLDS ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU LIVING MORE THAN 10 MILES FROM A SUPERMARKET
100% 96% 100% 93% 89% 90%
77% 71% 70% 75% 69%
50% 42% 34% 34%
25% 15% 14%
0% Acoma Puebo Havasupai Tribe Hopi Nation Kaibab Paiute Navajo Nation Ute Mountain Ute White Mountain Zuni Apache
Percentage of households with no vehicle who live more than 10 miles from a supermarket Percentage of households who live more than 10 miles from a supermarket
Source: This graph was created using data from Tables A-1 and Table A-6 from Kaufman, P., Dicken, C., & Williams, R. (2014, December). Measuring access to healthful, affordable food in American Indian and Alaska Native Tribal areas, EIB-131. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
We have so many issues now because of the food we’re eating currently. And the lack of access to food, to good food…You don’t realize how important food is until you don’t have it and you don’t realize how much we’re dependent on these outside systems. I constantly think, “What would happen if there was no Walmart 20 miles
MODERN NATIVE LEADERSHIP IN FOUR KEY AREAS MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 36 down the road? What would happen if there weren’t all these trucks and trains that bring in all this food from all over the country just to meet our needs? What would happen, what would happen to our people and how many people will be able to feed themselves?” And really that’s what it boils down to: how do we feed ourselves?
– Aaron Lowden
Severe impacts result from this supply deficit and the decline of sustainable community-based agricultural traditions. A long-term study of the Pima Indian Tribe in southern Arizona showed that those who reported consuming a Western diet were 2.5 times more likely to develop diabetes than those consuming a diet of predominantly traditional foods.36 Several short-term studies of Native communities show that return to a traditional diet is associated with improvements in metabolic abnormalities such as glucose intolerance and high cholesterol, triglyceride, and insulin levels.37
Beyond public health, manifold connections exist between sustainable communi- ty-based agriculture, traditional foods, and the overall health of Native people and their cultures.
MODERN NATIVE LEADERSHIP IN FOUR KEY AREAS MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU Blake McCord 37 PROFILE: THE NUVAYESTEWA FAMILY — TRADITIONAL HOPI LIFEWAYS
The Nuvayestewa family lives on First Mesa on the Hopi reservation. They are deeply steeped in tradition and culture and are members of the Corn Clan, which holds tribal responsibility for feeding community members. The Nuvayestewa family has taken on a leadership role with regard to traditional food and related cultural practices. Leon Nuvayestewa, Sr. describes the role that traditional foods and gathered plants played in his healing process from a severe sickness during his youth:
There is a hospital in Tuba City, but I didn’t go there when I got ill. I went to my grandparents’ house and my grandparents, my uncles, and the Medicine Man joined together to make me well. What I remember was that there was food involved, there was natural Hopi medicine involved, and there was prayer as a part of healing. The medicines that I remember being used were bear root, a plant that grows in the forest, and they gave me chunks of it to bite off, chew, and put juice on my body. Cedar was also used from the trees on the reservation. It was boiled and I was bathed every morning by my grandmother. She would give me a cup of the juice to drink every day, and she would burn the cedar while I stood over it with a blanket and let the smoke purify me. The food that my grandmother fed me was blue cornmeal, made into a mush, blue marbles, or pikki bread. I also drank the spring water from the springs at my home. Wild food, Neeveni, was also prepared for me – the tea that grows out on our lands and wild spinach. The other part I remember is that prayers were made every morning and every evening for me. The Hopi Medicine Man prescribed this medicine for me. My father told me, my uncles too, “Food is medicine for your body to keep you strong.”
– Leon Nuvayestewa
Evangeline Nuvayestewa shares her perspective on the strong matrilineal traditions around food and seeds at Hopi. The contexts of food and farming traditions provide spiritual guidance and teach discipline around family roles. Hopi men plant and once the corn is born, it becomes the women’s responsibility to prepare and nurture it for its role in ceremonies and meals. The women process the corn differently depending on whether it is used for food or ceremonies. The knowledge that Hopi women have is taught by their mothers and grandmothers and is passed down to their daughters and granddaughters. In every aspect of food and farming, women play a role and hold knowledge. Whether it’s determining needs for planting, cooking food during planting, or distributing corn for ceremonies, Hopi women hold deep cultural knowledge that’s passed through generations.38
The Nuvayestewa family retains their traditional knowledge of food, includ- ing food farmed at home and gathered Neeveni (wild foods), for health.
MODERN NATIVE LEADERSHIP IN FOUR KEY AREAS MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 38 Leon’s daughter Valerie comments, “We were absorbing everything, all the information around us.” Family members across generations regularly gather Neeveni, cultivate their crops and gardens on Hopi, and raise their children in traditional Hopi lifeways. As a former diabetes educator, Valerie emphasizes that the benefits of traditional foods are both spiritual and physical – provid- ing enhanced immunity, a stronger microbiome, and resistance to diseases. For her, cultivating and consuming traditional foods and passing on her knowledge has been lifesaving. Most recently, Valerie’s teenage daughter Erin Eustace began planting her own garden:
For me, planting was where I needed to start and its taught me compassion, nurtur- ing, patience, persistence, and its also taught me commitment – being committed to your field everyday and being there to check on all your plants, making sure everyone is ok. It’s taught me that you have to be committed to anything in life you are passionate about and take all these little steps to get to the finished product…to me, the ultimate glory was to bring my food home to my mother.39
– Erin Eustace
Today, across the Colorado Plateau, Native farmers are reviving seed saving and other community-based agricultural and traditional food practices.
I think an important aspect of Indigenous resistance is learning to really be sover- eign, and to restore our traditional lifeways, one of which is food sovereignty, which is my passion. One of my biggest goals in life is restoring our food systems in our communities because a lot of us are in food apartheids where you don’t have access to any foods. I tried to go with eating more traditional foods, but I realized that I can’t really get them anywhere unless I grow them myself.…I’m trying to revive that knowl- edge and revive that seed, so that we can practice it again….The seed and the tech- nique that was handed off to us and prepared for us. So that’s one thing I tried to get across to all the young people that we were working with. This is literally thousands of years of knowledge and intricate systems that our ancestors had to learn through trial and error, and probably starving sometimes through failure and famine. So we need to honor this knowledge and keep it here and don’t forget, don’t forget these things, these lessons, that they passed on for us.
– Aaron Lowden
Community-based agriculture proves to be fertile ground for cultivating vibrant new systems and new markets. These are emerging across the Colorado Plateau to address both health disparities and access to healthy food, as well as to create alternative frameworks for economic development. Section IV discusses this move-
MODERN NATIVE LEADERSHIP IN FOUR KEY AREAS MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 39 ment-building work in greater depth. Alongside these innovative practices remains the deep focus on transmitting, sustaining, and documenting traditional knowledge of food, seed saving, and gathering practices to Native youth.
Hopi youth farmers Courtesy Hopi Tutskwa Permaculture
MODERN NATIVE LEADERSHIP IN FOUR KEY AREAS MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 40 Blake McCord
PROTECTING CULTURALLY IMPORTANT AND SACRED PLACES
As Native people made seasonal pilgrimages from the low deserts to the high-el- evation forests, engineered societies, created art and historical accounts, and built cultures – they developed deep relationships with places across the Colorado Plateau that endure today. Almost all of these places, whether on tribal reservations or public lands, hold cultural significance to Plateau Tribes. Some of these locations are particularly important, such as ceremonial grounds, pilgrimage destinations, or lands used for other private reasons. Some Tribes reserve the word “sacred” for these places. Today, the culturally significant landscapes and sacred places of the Colorado Plateau remain central to modern day tribal culture.
A culturally important place is one with “information left by our ancestors.”… I think that’s very important because without that information it will be difficult for us to make people aware that we are a part of this place. If I identify petroglyphs that are coming down from the bottom of the Grand Canyon to as far as Deming to Salt Lake City to the San Juan river. If we see that petroglyph, we know that our ancestors were there. So just having ties to the information on petroglyphs really opens that
MODERN NATIVE LEADERSHIP IN FOUR KEY AREAS MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 41 door for us to get that information….And having the map art identifying these places, it really makes people aware that we are a part of all of these places and want to make sure that people understand that the reason why we left was, because we had, we’re given a destination, our own little middle place. And we found it here at Zuni.
– Octavius Seowtewa
The confluence of the Little Colorado and Colorado Rivers in Grand Canyon Blake McCord
And so these [culturally important] places are like in Hopi, they call them the foot- prints of our ancestors. That’s literally the English definition of how we view our history. So you know, if you remove those places off the landscape then you erase a good part of who we are, and you erase our right to call ourselves and identify as Hopi. So they’re, they’re physical, they’re tangible entities. Things out there in the landscape that have metaphysical and spiritual qualities that feed into your daily life
MODERN NATIVE LEADERSHIP IN FOUR KEY AREAS MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 42 as an individual Hopi person. So these ancestral sites, whether they’re a village or spring or whatever, they’re all a part of our cultural identity.
– Lyle Balenquah
The ancestral sites in Greater Chaco have stories and these stories are mostly with the elders. People who’ve heard the stories from their parents or their grandparents. Now that oral history is finally, finally being accepted and listened to in this world, especially in academia. They don’t call it myths any longer; now they are saying, “Oh well maybe the Indigenous people had knowledge.” And I say “How do you think we survived here? Do you thought we just all sat around?”
– Kendra Pinto
Many interviewees clarified the importance of reserving the term “sacred place” for locations of the highest importance in order to avoid dilution of the word sacred.
I think that word ‘sacred’ has been thrown around a lot. We’re still trying to figure out the word to use, but it’s been thrown around so much that it’s lost its importance. Culturally important to me is a better word because there’s different levels of sacred and to identify something like – well, people call it the Zuni Heavens. Now that would be a really sacred place, but there’s different levels of culturally identified areas. Using the word sacred for all of them really takes away the importance of some of these places that are really important, it dilutes that information.
– Octavius Seowtewa
I find that term ‘sacred’ problematic. And I try real hard to remove it from my own personal language use. I think it’s a Western concept. I’ll use Hopi as an example. During one of our consultation meetings this question was posed to us by some federal agencies. They put the map on the wall and they said, “Okay, show us what is sacred.’ And it was, it was hard for our advisors, for us as individuals, to simply say, “okay, we’re going to draw a line around this.” One of the men went to his officend a came back with a picture of the earth. He says this, “Do you want to put a boundary on something?” Know that when I’m asked to define what is sacred, almost imme- diately in my mind, I have to draw that boundary, exclude something from a larger perspective.
– Lyle Balenquah
Even when the word “sacred” is used, its use is evolving away from attempting to pinpoint a “site” and rather recognizing the importance of the larger surrounding landscape.
I can’t say that one pile of rocks as a shrine or one cliff dwelling or one petroglyph should receive more protection than another. They should all be protected equally.
MODERN NATIVE LEADERSHIP IN FOUR KEY AREAS MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 43 These are sacred places, not sacred sites. A site to me is a point on a map, and it would be too easy to say, “We’ll protect this spring, or we’ll protect this rock shrine.” When actually it is the context of place that makes those areas sacred and worthy of protection.40
– Jim Enote
Former mining site within the bounds of Grand Canyon NP Blake McCord
One of the largest challenges faced by Tribes on the Colorado Plateau is the threat posed to culturally significant and sacred places, particularly when those places are located off-reservation on lands designated as multiple-use by the federal gov- ernment. In some areas, like within the boundaries of Grand Canyon National Park, competing uses are limited due to protective designations. Yet even when designa- tions exist, there are limitations. The effort to revive uranium mining just outside the borders of Grand Canyon threatens its lands and waters, including the waters that feeds the Havasupai Tribe.41
MODERN NATIVE LEADERSHIP IN FOUR KEY AREAS MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 44 Regardless of protective designations, visitation abounds and looting, vandalism, and irresponsible tourists bring their own threats. Even innocent overuse takes a toll on cultural sites nested within the fragile high-desert landscape of the Colorado Plateau. Finally and relatedly, the designations themselves bring their own risk of raising a region’s public profile. For example, visitation to Bears Ears surged more than 72% from 2016 to 2017 following monument designation, and Fodor’s ranked Bears Ears at the top of its list of places to visit in 2019 – an act that will only drive more visitors to that landscape.42
The majority, if not the entirety, of the Colorado Plateau holds significance as ances- tral lands. As a result, Colorado Plateau Tribes and tribal cultural resource manage- ment staff are stretched thin with consultation requests, ensuring that federal land managers are aware of the cultural importance of lands, advocating for responsible visitation practices, and creatively leveraging existing legal frameworks to prevent damage when necessary.
CASE STUDY: GREATER CHACO AREA
Perhaps nowhere on the Colorado Plateau is the tension between use of lands for energy development and the values of public health and traditional lifeways more pronounced than in the Greater Chaco Canyon region in north- western New Mexico. Greater Chaco has long been inhabited by Navajo and Pueblo people. Chaco Canyon itself was a center of Puebloan culture and economic life where Native people built great houses, astronomical obser-
Oil rigs near the bounds of Chaco Canyon National Park San Juan Citizen’s Alliance
MODERN NATIVE LEADERSHIP IN FOUR KEY AREAS MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 45 vation sites, and ceremonial kivas. Today’s Pueblo people find the Greater Chaco Canyon region “to continue to be places of prayer, pilgrimage and living connections to our ancestors”43 and emphasize that “the greater land- scape of the Chaco Canyon region is not a resource to be managed parcel by parcel, but as a complete, living landscape that since time immemorial has sustained Pueblo people.”44
Chaco Canyon is located in the San Juan Basin, which has been one of the most productive natural gas basins in the United States for decades, and oil resources are located near Chaco Culture National Historic Park. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has already leased and allowed drilling on the vast majority - approximately 90% - of the San Juan Basin’s federal lands.45 Over 23,000 oil and gas wells are currently in production, including in several areas that overlap with Chacoan roads, villages, and other highly significant resources.46
There is this idea that there’s nobody out there in Greater Chaco – that its just Chaco and the walls and the kivas. Then I say, “No, actually I live out there. My grandmother’s always lived out there. Her father lived out there. That’s why I say it’s a living culture.” And it’s being impacted; it’s a living culture that’s being impact- ed every second of the day…there’s cultural properties, unknown and unmarked artifacts, things that probably should be TCPs all over the place. People moved around in that area and there are artifacts everywhere, and they’re still unmarked and unknown when you go out there. And so any extraction activity that goes on out there is going to have a potential effect on those cultural resources. Sometimes it’s hard to believe the Bureau of Land Management when they conclude that the extraction will have no significant impacts. How can they say that the companies are not going to disturb it, and at the same time that they are going to tear it up?
– Kendra Pinto
OilMODERN and gas NATIVEwells in theLEADERSHIP San Juan Basin IN FOUR KEY AREAS Doc Searls, Creative Comm MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 46 It is hard to overstate the extent that these oil and gas plays adversely impacted nearby Navajo Nation communities by compromising air quality, water quality, and bringing a many-fold increase in trucking activity on local roads.47
I asked my grandmother once if she knew what was happening with oil and gas that’s out in the greater Chaco area and her only reply was, “The land’s not the same.” And just those few words that she spoke illustrate how much more diverse the seed life and all life was before this intrusion came in and the extraction started. The companies literally changed our environment around us. That’s not just mental, it’s physical. Plants grow less and less every year, there are less and less deer, elk that used to hang out around the house don’t come by any more, there are less snakes, and just less wildlife overall. My grandmother used to get water from a spring behind her house that doesn’t run today. That’s a big change. We literally have less water. One of the things that blows my mind is that we literally have less of what we did before, and when we bring up these issues, sometimes we’re called radical or loudmouths. Instead what we should all be talking about is how we don’t have as much water as we used to have before the extraction started. Also, I can’t even stress enough how loud it is. It keeps me up at night sometimes. It causes a lot of stress and it makes me angry. I used to do a lot of hiking within the area up on Lybrook Mesa and there were trails or dirt roads to go get wood or whatever. But now they’ve cleared this huge, single lane dirt road up there for the oil and gas.
– Kendra Pinto
As Navajo tribal member and public health advocate Kendra Pinto describes, the threats in Greater Chaco extend from tangible, public health issues such as elevated hydrogen sulfide detected during air testing at schools to the destruction of cultural resources to the deterioration of the larger landscape as a whole. However, many Navajo families who own allotted lands within the Basin are receiving economic benefits from the leasing. This causes deep conflicts within communities and within the Navajo Nation at the govern- mental level.
The threat to the Greater Chaco Canyon landscape and the campaign led by Tribes have prompted legislative solutions at both the federal and state level to prevent any future leasing or development of minerals owned by the U.S. government located within an approximately 10-mile protected radius around the national park.48 These measures are controversial both within the Navajo Nation, whose support for the buffer has oscillated, and among tribal members living in the Greater Chaco region who economically benefit from the leasing. The ultimate management of these lands remains uncertain.
MODERN NATIVE LEADERSHIP IN FOUR KEY AREAS MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 47 It is important to remember that the task of safeguarding sacred places and culturally important landscapes exists both on-reservation and on off-reservation public land. However, where Tribes have full jurisdiction, Tribes tend toward making management decisions that limit or prohibit harmful uses of sacred places and culturally important lands. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule – such as the coal mining that occurred on Black Mesa for decades. Even there, the Hopi Tribe approved the mining under circumstances that can only be described as suspect,V and the local Hopi and Navajo people living in the area strongly opposed the mining. In general, tribal management of reservation lands historically elevates protection and sensitive management of sacred places and culturally important lands.
People aren’t aware that Zuni had an opportunity to extract within our reservation in the 60s and 70s. Our governor actually put in some test pits and natural gas, coal and CO2 were identified to be extracted. And the religious leaders came to hear about the extraction and they met with the governor and told him that this was not right. Our governor, I’m glad, listened to the religious leaders. So he stopped all of the extractions…. We actually have religious leaders listening to their elders and the past, and not benefiting from extraction, and protecting Mother Earth.
– Octavius Seowtewa
V It is now well-known that the Hopi Tribe’s attorney at the time of the coal mining lease negotiations, John Boyden, violated his ethical duty to the Hopi by working concurrently for Peabody Coal and the Hopi Tribe while facilitating the various land settlements and partitions that paved the way for mining leases. Wilkinson, C. F. (1996). Home Dance, the Hopi, and Black Mesa coal: Conquest and endurance in the American Southwest. BYU Law Review, 449. University of Colorado Law School: Colorado Law Scholarly Commons. Retrieved from http://scholar.law.colorado.edu/articles/698/
MODERN NATIVE LEADERSHIP IN FOUR KEY AREAS MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 48 Zuni Tribal members in ceremonial attire at Bears Ears Blake McCord
MODERN NATIVE LEADERSHIP IN FOUR KEY AREAS MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 49 A NEW WAVE OF NATIVE NATION-BUILDING
Courtesy Advancing Communities Foundation
Today, Native leaders across the Colorado Plateau are innovating new systems and new markets to meet their communities’ needs to sustain Native languages, protect water, advance community led agriculture, and protect sacred places.
A NEW WAVE OF NATIVE NATION-BUILDING MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 50 The market is what tribal governments have to carry out much of the work that they do. Their economies are set up under federal supervision and protection. That’s what the trust relationship entails. But Native led nonprofit organizations are not locked into that. And so the idea of creating new markets, markets based on a different form of what we would call economy that isn’t tied to the capitalist structure, but it’s more sustainable and organic and flexible. I mean, to me that is amazing, because you can think of solutions that actually fit the reality of tribal governments.
– Rebecca Tsosie
Now, we have extractive industries that are leaving our communities and we still don’t have an economy. We still don’t have an economy – you know, people are just losing their jobs basically. And so for me, that’s the reason why we have to go back to our own cultural values, the way we think about life, the way we think about how we use resources, how we use time, and the time that we spend with our families.
– Jessica Stago
And then, of course, there’s the people who are not trying to work within the eco- nomic model and actually just trying to make programs happen on a local level. I guess the thing that I’m always sensitive to is not trying to commodify – you know, trying to hold that tension between needing an alternative economy and…how do we also create space for things that are just outside of that realm?
– Sonja Swift
In some cases, these new systems exist entirely outside of the economic structure and instead involve Native-driven models of education or cultural preservation. These models stand in stark contrast to the historical trend of non-Natives coming into tribal communities with their own ideas of the work that needed to be done.
A NEW WAVE OF NATIVE NATION-BUILDING Sheep Walk MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU Courtesy Diné be’iiná 51 A lot of that formal cultural affiliation work Hopi has done generated a lot of informa- tion and data that can now be turned around and implemented back into the com- munity. So it is being taught in school; there is a Hopi curriculum based off of this traditional knowledge. You can take that and put it into the school system or some nonprofit organization and give them those resources so that they can disseminate that how they see fit. It’s not just doing the work for some federal agency. Now it’s about, again, placing Hopi as a priority and feeding that information back…we’ve flipped the script so to speak. We did what early ethnographers nda anthropologists were doing. We did it for ourselves and now instead of saying, “okay, we’re going to build a career off of this,” like they do in academia, we’re going to say, “now, we’re going to give it back to the people that it came from and allow them to develop their own idea of cultural preservation.” Because, like I said, I learned cultural preservation in the home. Now it’s being taught outside of the home, but we want to bring it back into the home. So it’s about giving individual communities out at Hopi, families, villag- es, whatever resources so that they can read it and then reinterpret themselves or and give it back to their own communities.
– Lyle Balenquah
In other cases, the new systems intentionally exist within the market structure, and aim to provide culturally-grounded ways for Native people to support themselves.
All people aren’t always going to be in to traditional food movements for culture; people are going to want to be in for actual financial gain. People aren’t just go- ing to want to go work an eight-to-five job, go home, and then take care of the field like I am. People are going to want to just go home and rest. And so what I’ve been thinking of is creating a farmer training program. My big drive next year is to create that so we can get young people trained and growing fields for production for local consumption and create the local markets. But also hooking in with the markets that are there, like the schools, like the casino. And then looking at other non-traditional farming methods. For example, we constructed a 30 by 96 foot hoophouse that al- lowed us to grow year around in the fall and winter and into early spring. Having that access to those resources and showing people how to build those resources and the infrastructure so that they can grow year round. That way they can have their own skills and own farms and that they can start carrying this movement forward, and they’ll be producing it, hopefully for the locals here, and for the community. And re- ally that’s what it’s about for me, creating healthy food and making traditional foods accessible, especially to the community. And maybe that’s how we keep it all going.
– Aaron Lowden
A NEW WAVE OF NATIVE NATION-BUILDING MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 52 Native people are navigating how we can pick from what we need in terms of tech- nology and innovation and make it work on the reservation – utilize it in a way that allows us to live and to make a living within our cultural values, but also allows us to promote those values.
– Jessica Stago
Ndée Bikíyaa Courtesy Ndée Bikíyaa
PROFILE: WHITE MOUNTAIN APACHE FOOD SYSTEMS
An inspiring example of a regenerative Native-led economy has emerged from the White Mountain Apache Tribe’s efforts to advance food sovereignty on their reservation. The Tribe was facing high rates of diabetes and obesity
A NEW WAVE OF NATIVE NATION-BUILDING MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 53 on the reservation among tribal members. In addition, as is the case for many Tribes, there was only one grocery store (and not a major supermar- ket) on the reservation to meet the needs of 12,000 to 13,000 residents. Ndée Bikíyaa (The People’s Farm) began on land that was originally used as a for-profit hay farm in the 1980s and then, due to various issues, laid dormant for thirty years. As the White Mountain Apache Tribe pursued its water rights settlement, the Tribe brought 15 acres of the land into organic food production in 2010. Today, food grown on the farm includes traditional Apache food such as corn, garlic, onions, peppers, tomatoes, squash, and potatoes. The food grown on the farm is distributed across the reservation, to schools, elderly centers, the fitness center, and other tribal institutions on White Mountain Apache. It is also sold at the farm store and at the on-reservation farmer’s market. Ndée Bikíyaa has had to overcome many challenges as it’s grown to meet tribal needs. This includes the lack of appro- priate federal policies that fit the unique situation of a tribal farm meeting on-reservation needs. To address this, the White Mountain Apache Tribe is in the process of implementing its own tribal food code to fill regulatory gaps around food safety and other policies.
While Ndée Bikíyaa is now operated solely as a tribal enterprise, future plans include forming a non-profit arm to expand community education and outreach efforts around food security and food sovereignty. One of the things that makes Ndée Bikíyaa unique in the tribal food movement is that its mission extends beyond growing and selling food. It also includes a strong community education, youth outreach, and capacity-building com- ponent. These are all designed to increase community understanding and engagement in soil restoration, farming practices, traditional food, and other technical assistance to tribal members who want to garden and farm.
Ndée Bikíyaa has made an intentional effort to frame its approach around traditional White Mountain Apache systems and beliefs, including placing non-monetary value on contributions of knowledge and farming traditions. Ndée Bikíyaa Project Manager Danya Carroll shares:
A regenerative economy is a traditional food economy, there is a different way that people approach food. In years past, people would trade and barter in a way that everyone was taken care of and there was a mutual exchange. Part of that has been lost and that is part of what we’re trying to bring back. Placing more value on people’s skills and knowledge, including traditional farming and irrigation methods. At Ndée Bikíyaa, we are trying to promote balance, respect, and empowerment and bringing value back to the people that grow the food and contribute to the larger food system – hunters, gatherers, wild plant harvesters. You can make different things other than money when you pay attention to elders who know so much about food and plants. We can’t completely go back to ancestral times, but the
A NEW WAVE OF NATIVE NATION-BUILDING MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 54 knowledge of our ancestors helps us build the overall health and well-being of our community.
At the same time, Ndée Bikíyaa has a strong interest in also pursuing agri-business opportunities. This work has the potential to demonstrate ways for farmers to support themselves through their farming work, and also move the farm toward achieving financial sustainability. Much of Ndée Bikíyaa’s work today is grant-funded, and one opportunity that hasn’t yet been realized is for its funders to share knowledge about potential pathways for the farm to achieve financial sustainability. Similar to the thoughts shared by other interviewees, Danya Carroll also noted that it can be hard for Ndée Bikíyaa to quantify results for a grant report, even when there is a real, tangible positive impact on the community. She also noted the need for funders to design and implement evaluation practices that are beneficial and culturally-relevant to the community, as well as to the funder.49
Markets such as those nurtured by White Mountain Apache and other Native leaders on the Colorado Plateau can lead to community transformation and modern Native nation-building.
Tolani Lake Enterprises and North Leupp Family Farms on the Navajo Nation in Northen Arizona just wanted to farm. And that whole region now has farmers and this small, growing industry of farming-led ideas and everything from a farmer’s market to a cafe to somebody tackling the issue of water rights. Somebody with an idea then grows into a community, but then that community decides that there’s a bigger issue, such as water rights, that needs to be tackled, and they realize they’re the ones that need to do that and that their voice needs to be heard. And so I think that philanthropy can grow those movements, those smaller movements within com- munities that start with just one person having an idea….If one person has an idea and somebody sees them doing that and then obtaining access to resources, wheth- er it’s to start a business or to start a nonprofit, it grows, it begins, nda they attract more people. It’s hard to see that there are those creative people there who live on the reservation that want to start these things. And also people who are off the reser- vation, a lot of Native youth who are off the reservation who want to come back. But really coming back to the reservation doesn’t mean you are going to have a job here, but that you have to create your own job here. And that is something I think philan- thropy can have a hand in.
– Jessica Stago
Despite the need for and impact of strategic philanthropic support, the obstacles to accessing these resources remain huge within Native communities on the Plateau. Even considering the small percentage of Native Americans in the United States
A NEW WAVE OF NATIVE NATION-BUILDING MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 55 population (2%), funding is disproportionate, topping out at a high of 0.59% and largely directed towards urban initiatives, arts, and culture.50 Problems on the Colorado Plateau extend beyond that fact. Native communities in rural environments such as the Colorado Plateau, with programmatic foci that extend to food or pro- tection of lands and waters, do not receive significant amounts of the limited philan- thropic support available. And if the “commensurate with the population” argument is extended to the Colorado Plateau, where the proportion of the Native population dwarfs the national 2%, the funding gap becomes even starker.
FIGURE 5. SHARE OF FOUNDATION FUNDS EXPLICITLY BENEFITING NATIVE AMERICANS, 2002-2016
PHILANTHROPIC FUNDING TRENDS, 2002–2016 0.4% Average share of annual SHARE OF OVERALL FOUNDATION FUNDING grant dollars explicitly benefiting Native Americans, 2002–2016 Share of foundation funding explicitly benefiting Native Americans
.59% .59% .58% .59%
.53% .51% .51% .52% .52% .51% .52% .49% .49% .50% .49% .54% .52% .49% .41% .41% .46% .45% .39% .37%
.38% .38% .38%
% of grants .31% .31% % of grant dollars .30%
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Over a 15-year period, from 2002 to 2016, large U.S. foundations gave an average Some have argued that philanthropic funding for Native Americans should be, of 0.4 percent of total funding to Native American communities and causes. The at a minimum, commensurate with the proportionate size of the population in proportion ranged from a high of 0.6 percent in 2006 to a low of 0.3 percent in the U.S.16 The American Indian and Alaska Native population (including those of 2009, 2010, and 2014. The share of number of grants awarded was more stable more than one race) represented 2 percent of the total U.S. population in 2016,17 from year to year and averaged 0.5 percent. and the population is increasing at a faster rate than the total U.S. population.18
Source: Investing in Native communities: Philanthropic funding for Native American communities and causes. (2019). Candid and NativeFLUCTUATIONS Americans in Philanthropy. IN FUNDING (p. 14).
FigureFoundation 6 shows funding funding explicitly benefitingexplicitly Native benefiting Americans Native Americans in the Four Corner $143M states in 2015 and 2016. While this information is useful and the best up-to-date Current dollars $131M data for thisConstant region, 2002 dollars it is critical to keep in mind that the Colorado Plateau is a rural sub-area encompassed$114M by the Four Corner states. The Plateau itself does not $99M include the major urban areas of Albuquerque, Santa$89M Fe, $89M Phoenix,$93M Tucson, Denver, $83M $83M $88M $83M
$64M $64M $67M $58M A NEW WAVE OF NATIVE NATION-BUILDING MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 56
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
14 INVESTING IN NATIVE COMMUNITIES Boulder, or Salt Lake City. Thus, while the numbers shown in Figure 6 are the best available data for the Four Corner states, there is a data gap with regard to funding on the Colorado Plateau itself; all told, the dollars reaching the Colorado Plateau’s Native communities are undoubtedly a significantly smaller subset of Figure 6.
FIGURE 6. PHILANTHROPIC FUNDING EXPLICITLY BENEFITTING NATIVE AMERICANS IN THE FOUR CORNERS STATES IN 2015 AND 2016
State ARIZONA COLORADO NEW MEXICO UTAH
Number of foundations award- 78 62 41 42 ing grants to Native Americans
Funding ($USD) $7,139,808 $14,275,972 $8,544,234 $2,818,866
Percentage of total grants 4.1% 8.2% 4.9% 1.6% given in state Number of total grants 220 305 257 83 benefiting Native Americans Native population in state 442,420 152,990 254,857 70,324
% of total state population 6.3% 2.7% 12.2% 2.3
Source: Data taken from Investing in Native communities: Philanthropic funding for Native American communities and causes. (2019). Candid and Native Americans in Philanthropy. (p. 23).
Even when the limited amount of support does become available for their work, Native communities and initiatives on the Colorado Plateau still have significant hurdles to overcome to access those funds.
And the Native person who gets a grant funded, that’s somebody in our community who can ignore the trauma, who can stay inspired despite every day issues with their family and their community, dealing with tragedy, not having access to the internet - who gets past all of that to write a proposal that’s awesome and that gets the atten- tion of a funder. But that doesn’t happen very often.
– Jessica Stago
A NEW WAVE OF NATIVE NATION-BUILDING MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 57 And I think a lot of it has to do with the access to those resources. I think that if people knew resources that were easier to gain access to, then there would be a lot more going on within our communities. I think that philanthropy folks can learn more about being better allies to our communities by just not making it so hard to get ac- cess to these resources.
– Aaron Lowden
First it’s, “How do we even get the support or attention from philanthropy?” And when we did get it, it’s been a situation where we are struggling to stay in line with the timelines that are set forth. And negotiating timelines. I feel like we’re always ne- gotiating time. And throughout my work, with anything that I’ve been doing, we’re al- ways explaining why this hasn’t happened and it is usually because of some process that’s put in place, either by the federal government or by the Tribe because of the federal government, that’s hindering development or hindering what we would want to see in terms of impact. So I think it would help if philanthropy could say, “Okay, you tell us what your timeline needs to be” versus “Well, we need this money spent within the next quarter or within the next year.”
– Jessica Stago
And basically, the point is just being led by the lived experience; I’m just so intent on that piece because philanthropy has just predominantly existed where the lived experience of the people who are making the decisions is not very often in alignment with the experiences of the issues that they’re trying to solve. And there’s just, there’s a big gap in that and ways of thinking are perpetuated that are in misalignment.
– Sonja Swift
Today, leaders in philanthropic giving on the Colorado Plateau are evolving to sup- port priorities that authentically emerge from tribal communities. Whether through the leadership of Native-led foundations, the hiring of Native program officers, or deep listening between grantors and communities, a call to action is being heard by the larger philanthropic community to invest in nurturing these new, innovative Native-led markets and systems that are transforming and healing the Colorado Plateau.
A NEW WAVE OF NATIVE NATION-BUILDING MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 58 Blake McCord CLOSING THOUGHTS
Throughout this report, the voices of Native leaders ring strong. Whether through tribal governmental leadership, Native-led NGOs, or grassroots movements, the modern Native movement-building occurring today builds on the deep, enduring foundation of Native peoples’ physical and spiritual connections to the Colorado Plateau. Through their leadership to sustain Native language and traditional knowledge, save seeds and agricultural know-how, and protect waters and lands, these Native leaders are rising to meet the greatest challenges facing the Colorado Plateau. In doing so, they are collectively working to make this region and the world itself a healthier, more resilient, and more beautiful place.
For Zuni, the best thing that it has going forward – the most useful thing will be its beliefs and values towards water and natural resources and nature in general. That is the Indigenous knowledge per se, that if they keep that up and they bring that to every challenge and every effort and every solution and have that as their way of thinking, that’s enough in some ways. Tools and technologies change and Zunis always take advantage of new ways and easier ways of doing things. But if Zunis always bring their perspective to it and their mindset, then they can make sure that the new ways of doing things are sustainable.
– Kirk Bemis
Across the Colorado Plateau, there are people who are praying for the world and helping keep the world intact and I don’t know the details of those prayer, but I have great respect and gratitude and, there’s a lot of that coming from that region and from those communities and I’m just grateful.
– Sonja Swift
This vibration we spoke of...each element on the earth has a vibration level. So when one of those songs are sung, the vibration goes out from those songs. The singing that goes up energizes folks. Each one has a certain pitch…that vibration is going out and re-energizing whatever vibration that it’s hitting, those individual plant lives,
CLOSING THOUGHTS MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 60 whatever is out there – it reaches them, and it reenergizes that. So there’s that con- nection, and I think Hopi knows. And that is why those songs were developed and composed in that way on Hopi.
– Leon Nuvayestewa
We bring this report to a close with the ethos that underlies so much of the good work described throughout this report. Here on the Colorado Plateau, the Native people who have lived on this landscape the longest hold the key to sustaining its lifeways, waters, and lands for generations to come. Those who invest in this Na- tive-led movement-building, in whatever form, invest in the Colorado Plateau in its entirety and in a richer, more sustainable world for all of humanity. We invite you to learn more and join us on this journey.
A NEW WAVE OF NATIVE NATION-BUILDING Blake McCord MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 61 This report and project would not have been possible without the participation of the incredible people who generously shared their time, knowledge, and wisdom. In many cases, our shared time took place in their homes, and the grounding in places across the Colorado Plateau greatly enriched this report. Many thanks to Lyle Balenquah, Kirk Bemis, Danya Carroll, Aaron Lowden, Vernon Masayesva, the entire Nuvayestewa family, Debra Onsae, Kendra Pinto, Bucky Preston, Octavius Seowtewa, Dr. Christine Sims, Jessica Stago, Sonja Swift, Rebecca Tsosie, and Cynthia Wilson. This project came to a close during the COVID-19 pandemic and the Grand Canyon Trust and San Juan Citizen's Alliance were generous to share images. And, of course, a huge thanks to the Colorado Plateau Foundation leadership and staff – Jim Enote, Marissa Nuvayestewa, and Heather Herold – whose vision and attention allowed this project to come to life; it’s an honor to live and work on the Plateau with all of you.
~ Anne Mariah Tapp, April 2020
© Colorado Plateau Foundation Produced by Canyon Country Consulting Designed, Researched, and Written by Anne Mariah Tapp, J.D. Design by Blake McCord Photography Courtesy of Blake McCord, Grand Canyon Trust, Colorado Plateau Foundation, San Juan Citizen's Alliance, & Dr. Karletta Chief.
C C C APPENDIX A INTERVIEWEES, TRIBAL AFFILIATION, OTHER ROLES
Lyle Balenquah, Hopi, Cultural Resource Consultant Kirk Bemis, Zuni1 Jim Enote, Zuni, Executive Director Colorado Plateau Foundation Danya Carroll, White Mountain Apache, Ndée Bikíyaa Project Manager Aaron Lowden, Acoma Pueblo, Southwest Conservation Corps Ancestral Lands - Acoma Program Coordinator Vernon Masayesva, Hopi, Executive Director Black Mesa Trust Leon Nuvayestewa, Hopi, Retired Evangeline Nuvayestewa, Hopi and Tewa, Retired Valerie Nuvayestewa, Hopi and Tewa, Diabetes Prevention Educator Debra Onsae, Hopi, Academic Advisor and Teacher Kendra Pinto, Diné, Community Organizer Bucky Preston, Hopi, Farmer Octavius Seowtewa, Zuni, Member of the Zuni Cultural Resource Advisory Team Dr. Christine Sims, Acoma Pueblo, Professor of Educational Linguistics/American Indian Education at University of New Mexico Jessica Stago, Diné, Grand Canyon Trust Native America Program Director Sonja Swift, Interim Executive Director, Swift Foundation Rebecca Tsosie, Yaqui Descent, University of Arizona Regents Professor of Law; Faculty Co-Chair, Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program Cynthia Wilson, Diné, Utah Diné Bikéyah Traditional Food Director
1 Kirk Bemis is both a Zuni Tribal member and a hydrologist in the Zuni Natural Resource Department. Mr. Bemis was inter- viewed in his capacity as a citizen and tribal member. Mr. Bemis’s thoughts and quotes in this paper do not represent the official position of the Zuni tribal government, but rather express his thoughts as a tribal member and longtime resident of the Colorado Plateau.
APPENDIX A MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 63 APPENDIX B FIGURE 2: REFERENCES
Acoma Pueblo enrolled tribal members estimated at 6,3441 Acoma Pueblo number of Acoma Keres speakers estimated at 2002 Havasupai Tribe enrolled tribal Members estimated at 7003 Havasupai Tribe Number of Havasupai speakers estimated at 6404 Hopi Tribe enrolled tribal members estimated at 14,0005 Hopi Tribe number of Hopi and Tewa speakers estimated at 6,9346 Hualapai Tribe enrolled tribal members estimated at 2,3397 Hualapai Tribe number of Hualapai speakers estimated at 1,0008 Navajo Nation total enrolled tribal members estimated at 300,0489 Navajo Nation total number of Navajo speakers estimated at 169,47110 Ute Mountain Ute Tribe enrolled tribal members estimated at 2,10011 Ute Mountain Ute Tribe number of Ute speakers estimated at 50012 Southern Ute Tribe enrolled tribal members estimated at 150013 Southern Ute Tribe number of Ute speakers estimated at 4014 White Mountain Apache Tribe enrolled tribal members estimated at 15,00015 White Mountain Apache Tribe number of Apache speakers estimated at 7,11116 Zuni Pueblo enrolled tribal members estimated at 11,36817 Zuni Pueblo number of Zuni speakers estimated at 9,70018
1 Concho, R., & Patel, A. (2017). Enhancement of Pueblo of Acoma utility authority [Presentation to DOE Office of Indian Energy]. Retrieved from https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2017/11/f46/48-acoma-pueblo.pdf
2 New Mexico Legislature. (2019). Legislative education study committee bill analysis: Acoma-Keres language dictionary in schools. 54th Legislature, 1st Session, Albuquerque, NM. Retrieved from https://www.nmlegis.gov/Sessions/19%20Regular/LESCAnalysis/HB0395.PDF
3 Havasupai Tribe. (2020, March 23). Havasupai Tribal Council declares emergency in response to COVID-19 pandemic. Indian Country Today. Retrieved from https://indiancountrytoday.com/the-press-pool/havasupai-tribal-council-declares-emergen- cy-in-response-to-covid-19-pandemic-pbWZspP-JUWf-Fw71KrlKg
4 Community Research, Evaluation, and Development (CRED), John and Doris Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences University of Arizona. (2018). Coconino regional partnership council 2018 needs and assets report. First Things First Coconino Regional Partnership Council. (92% of the Havasupai Tribe speak a Native language); Nabhan, G. P., Pynes, P., & Joe, T. (2016). Safeguarding species, languages and cultures in a time of diversity loss: From the Colorado Plateau to global hotspots. In G. P. Nabhan (Ed.), Ethnobiology for the future: Linking cultural and ecological diversity.
APPENDIX B MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 64 9-80. Tucson: University of Arizona Press. (approximately 98% of Havasupai Tribal members are fluent Native speakers)
5 Nuvangyaoma, T. [Hopi Tribe Chairman]. (2019, March 7). Testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, & Related Agencies. 116th Cong. 1st Sess. https://www.congress.gov/116/meeting/house/109008/witnesses/HHRG-116-AP06-Wstate-NuvangyaomaT-20190307.pdf
6 Siebens, J., & Julian, T. (2011, December). Native North American languages spoken at home in the United States and Puerto Rico: 2006-2010. American Community Survey Briefs. (6,643 Hopi speakers); Moseley, C. (Ed.). (2010). Atlas of the world’s languages in danger (3rd ed.). Paris, France: UNESCO Publishing. (300 Tewa speakers)
7 Davidson, K. (2016, September 16). Hualapai Indian Tribe benefitsof tourism development. Prepared for Second Quarterly Meeting of the Tribal Economic Development Leaders Forum, Peach Springs, Arizona.
8 Moseley, C. (Ed.). (2010). Atlas of the world’s languages in danger (3rd ed.). Paris, France: UNESCO Publishing.
9 Donovan, B. (2011, July 7). Census: Navajo enrollment tops 300,000. Navajo Times. Retrieved from https://navajotimes.com/news/2011/0711/070711census.php
10 Siebens, J., & Julian, T. (2011, December). Native North American languages spoken at home in the United States and Puerto Rico: 2006-2010. American Community Survey Briefs.
11 Colorado River Basin Ten Tribes Partnership. (2018). Assessment of current tribal water use and projected future water development. In Colorado River Basin Ten Tribes Partnership, Tribal water study (Chapter 5). Retrieved from https://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/programs/crbstudy/tws/finalreport.html
12 Moseley, C. (Ed.). (2010). Atlas of the world’s languages in danger (3rd ed.). Paris, France: UNESCO Publishing.
13 Colorado River Basin Ten Tribes Partnership. (2018). Assessment of current tribal water use and projected future water development. In Colorado River Basin Ten Tribes Partnership, Tribal water study (Chapter 5). Retrieved from https://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/programs/crbstudy/tws/finalreport.html
14 Oberly, S., White, D., Millich, A., Inez Cloud, M., Seibel, L., Ivey, C., & Cloud, L. (2015). Southern Ute grassroots language revital- ization. Language Documentation & Conservation, 9, 324-343.
15 Lupe, R. [Tribal Chairman White Mountain Apache Tribe]. (2008, September 25). Testimony before the U.S. Congressional House Natural Resources Committee Subcommittee on Water and Power. 110th Cong. 2nd Sess. https://republicans-naturalresources.house.gov/uploadedfiles/lupetestimony09.25.08.pdf
16 Community Research, Evaluation, and Development (CRED), John and Doris Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences, & College of Agriculture and Life Sciences University of Arizona. (2018). White Mountain Apache Tribe regional partnership council 2018 needs and assets report. First Things First White Mountain Apache Tribe Regional Partnership Council. (of the 13,179 tribal members on reservation, an estimated 54% speak a Native language)
17 Pueblo of Zuni Education & Career Development Center. (2013, October 1 – 2014, September, 30). Zuni Tribal TANF annual program report. Retrieved from https://www.bia.gov/sites/bia.gov/files/Zuni.2013.2014.AR_.TANF%20Comp%20508.pdf
18 Siebens, J., & Julian, T. (2011, December). Native North American languages spoken at home in the United States and Puerto Rico: 2006-2010. American Community Survey Briefs.; Edaakie, R., Kostelecky, S. R., Krebs, M., & Torres, C. (2015). Third graders revitalize the Zuni Pueblo language one letter at a time. Literacy and Social Responsibility, 8(1), 36-44.
APPENDIX B MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 65 REFERENCES
1 Photo Credits for the photo mosaic on Page 9 to the following, moving in a clockwise direction from top left: Advancing Communities Foundation; Hopi Tutskwa Permaculture; Utah Diné Bikéyah; Pueblo of Acoma; Ndée Bikíyaa: The Peoples Farm; Diné bé iiná; and Black Mesa Water Coalition. 2 Siebens, J., & Julian, T. (2011, December). Native North American languages spoken at home in the United States and Puerto Rico: 2006-2010. American Community Survey Briefs. 3 Community Research, Evaluation, and Development (CRED), John and Doris Norton School of Family and Con- sumer Sciences, & College of Agriculture and Life Sciences University of Arizona. (2018). Hualapai Tribe regional partnership council 2018 needs and assets report. First Things First Hualapai Tribe Regional Partnership Council. (referencing American Community Survey findings). 4 Crawford, J. (1996). Seven hypotheses on language loss: Causes and cures. In G. Cantoni (Ed.) Stabilizing indige- nous languages. Northern Arizona University. 5 Romero-Little, M. E., & McCarty, T. (2006, February). Language planning challenges and prospects in Native American communities and schools. Arizona State University. 6 Oberly, S., White, D., Millich, A., Inez Cloud, M., Seibel, L., Ivey, C., & Cloud, L. (2015). Southern Ute grassroots language revitalization. Language Documentation & Conservation, 9, 324-343. 7 Mullane, S. (2020, February 13). Three Ute Tribes partner on language immersion program for schools. Durango Herald. Retrieved from https://durangoherald.com/articles/314426 8 W.K. Kellogg Foundation. (n.d.). For Keres children and families, strengthening language is protecting the culture. Retrieved from https://www.wkkf.org/what-we-do/featured-work/for-keres-children-and-families-strengthening-the- language-is-protecting-the-culture 9 Sims, C. P. (2001). Native language planning: A pilot process in the Acoma Pueblo community. In L. Hinton, & K. Hale (Eds.), The green book of language revitalization in practice (pp. 63-73). San Diego, CA: Academic Press. 10 Vallo, B. [Governor, Pueblo of Acoma, New Mexico]. (2019, February 27). 45th anniversary of the Native Amer- ican Programs Act and the establishment of the administration for Native Americans [written testimony]. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Oversight Hearing. https://www.indian.senate.gov/sites/default/files/Testimony%20-%20 Gov.%20Vallo%20Acoma%20%20%20Pueblo%20ANA%2045th%20Anniversary%20Hearing.pdf 11 Id. 12 Id. 13 Arizona Department of Education. (2019). AZ school report cards: Flagstaff Unified School District 2018-2019 school year. Retrieved from https://azreportcards.azed.gov/districts/detail/4192 14 Puente de Hózhó Bilingual Magnet School. (2020). Retrieved from https://www.fusd1.org/domain/479 15 Onsae, D. (Personal communication, February 12, 2020). 16 Id. 17 Bill Track 50. (2019, February 18). What is “Yazzie vs. The State of New Mexico” and why you should know.
REFERENCES MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 66 LegiScan. Retrieved from https://www.billtrack50.com/blog/social-issues/education/what-is-yazzie-vs-the-state-of- new-mexico-and-why- you-should-know/ 18 Colorado River Basin Ten Tribes Partnership. (2018). Tribal water study. Retrieved from https://www.usbr.gov/lc/ region/programs/crbstudy/tws/finalreport.html; Cooley, M. E., Harshbarger, J. W., Akers, J. P., & Hardt, W. F. (1969). Regional hydrogeology of the Navajo and Hopi Indian Reservations, Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. Geological Survey Professional Paper 521-A. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office. 19 Springs Stewardship Institute. (2020). Springs online: The springs and springs-dependent species database. Retrieved from https://springsdata.org/ 20 Penrod, E. (2018, October 22). The water around a Utah uranium mill is growing more polluted. What does it mean for the nearby town? Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved from https://www.sltrib.com/news/environment/2018/10/21/ ute-tribal-members-living/; Grand Canyon Trust. (n.d.). White Mesa Uranium Mill. Retrieved from https://www. grandcanyontrust.org/white-mesa-uranium-mill 21 Grabiel, T. (2006, March). Drawdown: An update on groundwater mining on Black Mesa. NRDC Issue Paper. 22 Nuvangyaoma, T. [Hopi Tribe Chairman]. (2019, March 7). Testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, & Related Agencies. 116th Cong. 1st Sess. https://www.congress.gov/116/meeting/house/109008/witnesses/HHRG-116-AP06-Wstate-NuvangyaomaT-20190307. pdf 23 Hoover, J., Gonzales, M., Shuey, C., Barney, Y., & Lewis, J. (2017). Elevated arsenic and uranium concentrations in unregulated water sources on the Navajo Nation, USA. Exposure and Health, 9, 113–124. 24 Id. at 113. 25 Brugge, D., & Goble, R. (2002) The history of uranium mining and the Navajo people. American Journal of Public Health, 92(9), 1410–1419. 26 Winters v. United States, 207 U.S. 564 (1908). 27 Arizona General Stream Adjudication Bulletin. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/ SuperiorCourt/GeneralStreamAdjudication/faq.asp#1 (As of June 30, 2015, 83,876 statements of claimant had been filed in the Gila River Adjudication and 14,654 claims in the Little Colorado River Adjudication) 28 See generally, Chambers, R. P., & Echohawk, J. E. (1991). Implementing Winters Doctrine Indian reserved water rights: Producing Indian water & economic development without injuring non-Indian users? Western Water Policy Project, no. 10. Boulder, CO: Natural Resources Law Center, University of Colorado School of Law. 29 Newton, N. J., Matson, J. A., & Notre Dame Law School (Eds.). (2005). § 19.05 Determination of water rights. In Cohen’s Handbook of Federal Indian Law. LexisNexis; Thorson, J. E., Britton, S., & Colby, B. G. (2006). Introduction. In J. E. Thorson, S. Britton, & B. Colby (Eds.), Tribal water rights: Essays in contemporary law, policy, and economics (pp. 3-10). Tucson: University of Arizona Press. 30 Smith, A. V. (2020, March 15). Tribal nations enter negotiations over Colorado River water. Mother Jones. Retrieved from https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2020/03/tribal-nations-enter-negotiations-over-colora- do-river-water/ 31 Colorado River Basin Ten Tribes Partnership. (2018). Tribal water study. Retrieved from https://www.usbr.gov/lc/ region/programs/crbstudy/tws/finalreport.html 32 See e.g., Bennett, K. E., Tidwell, V. C., Dagmar, L., Behery, S., Barrett, L., Stansbury, M., & Middleton, R. S. (2019). Threats to a Colorado river provisioning basin under coupled future climate and societal scenarios. Environmental Research Communications, 1(9). 33 Partners in Health. (2018, June 26). Eating well: Grocery program takes off in the Navajo Nation. Retrieved from https://www.pih.org/article/eating-well-grocery-program-takes-navajo-nation 34 Eldridge, D., McKenzie, J., Jackson, R., Denny, A., Yazzie, R., Crotty, A. K., & Curley, C. (2014, April). Diné food sovereignty: A report on the Navajo Nation food system and the case to rebuild a self-sufficient food system for the Diné People. Diné Policy Institute.
REFERENCES MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 67 35 See Kaufman, P., Dicken, C., & Williams, R. (2014, December). Measuring access to healthful, affordable food in American Indian and Alaska Native Tribal areas, EIB-131. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service. (Source data for identifying large grocery stores, supermarkets, and supercenters are from a directory developed for an ERS national study of food access using 2010 data [Ver Ploeg et al., 2012]. The directory consists of the Nielsen Company TDLinx® store directory  and a directory of SNAP-authorized stores . All large grocery stores, supermarkets, and supercenters (herein referred to as supermarkets) with sales of $2 million or more annually were included. To identify SNAP-authorized supermarkets, we applied industry supermarket criteria to the directory of SNAP-authorized stores. A special tabulation was performed by USDA, Food and Nutrition Service to identify all SNAP-authorized stores that had annual food and nonfood sales of $2 million or more and offered all major food departments. Similar criteria were used to identify all supermarkets in the TDLinx® store directory. FDPIR Outlets were also included using data obtained from the USDA, Food and Nutrition Service FDPIR Policy Branch [pp. 7-8]) 36 McLaughlin, S. (2010, October). Traditions and diabetes prevention: A healthy path for Native Americans. Diabe- tes Spectrum, 23(4), 272-277. 37 O'Dea, K. (2005). The price of ‘progress’: Diabetes in indigenous Australians. Diabetes Voice, 50(4), 28-30.; Ravussin, E., & Swinburn, B. A. (1996). Insulin resistance is a result, not a cause of obesity. Socratic debate: the pro side. In A. Angel, H. Anderson, C. Bouchard, D. Lau, L. Leiter, & R. Mendelson (Eds.), Progress in obesity research (pp. 173-178). Seventh International Congress in Obesity. London: Libbey and Co. 38 Nuvayestewa, E. (Personal communication, April 15, 2020). 39 Nuvayestewa, E., Nuvayestewa, L. A., Nuvayestewa, V., & Eustace, E. (2018, October 2-5). Nurturing for the future: A Hopi perspective. In Vig, C. R., & Kurzer, M., Third annual conference on Native American nutrition. Talk conduct- ed at the meeting of Seeds of Native Health: A Campaign for Indigenous Nutrition & Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute: University of Minnesota, Mystic Lake Casino Hotel.; Nuvayestewa, L. (2018, October 2-5). Elder response to promoting health through food systems and food sovereignty initiatives. In Vig, C. R., & Kurzer, M., Third annual conference on Native American nutrition. Talk conducted at the meeting of Seeds of Native Health: A Campaign for Indigenous Nutrition & Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute: University of Minnesota, Mystic Lake Casino Hotel. 40 Enote, J. (2018, October 18). What the Bears Ears monument means to a Native American [interview with Hannah Nordhaus]. National Geographic. Retrieved from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2018/10/ bears-ears-monument-native-americans-photography/ 41 Reimondo, A. (2019, January). Uranium mining in the Grand Canyon Region. Grand Canyon Trust. Retrieved from https://www.grandcanyontrust.org/sites/default/files/resources/Uranium_Mining_Grand_Canyon_Region_2019.pdf 42 Davidson, N. (2019, May 13). Bears Ears’ only visitor center isn’t run by the feds. High Country News. Retrieved from https://www.hcn.org/issues/51.8/bears-ears-national-monument-bears-ears-only-visitor-center-isnt-run-by-the- feds 43 All Pueblo Council of Governors, Resolution No. APCO 2017· 12 44 All Pueblo Council of Governors, Resolution No. APCO 2017· 11 45 All Pueblo Council of Governors, Resolution No. APCO 2017· 12 46 Vanderpool, T. (2019, March). A fracking boom ransacks the Four Corners. NRDC Southwest Dispatch. Retrieved from https://www.nrdc.org/stories/fracking-boom-ransacks-four-corners 47 Diné Citizens Against Ruining our Environment et al., v. Jewell et al., Supplemental and Amended Petition for Agency Action, Case No. 1:15-cv-0209-WJ-SCY (U.S. Dist. Ct. N.M.) (May 21, 2015). 48 NM delegation secures protections for Chaco Canyon area in government funding bill. (2019, December 19). Office of Senator Tom Udall Press Release. Retrieved from https://www.tomudall.senate.gov/news/press-releases/ nm-delegation-secures-protections-for-chaco-canyon-area-in-government-funding-bill; Prokop, D. (2020, January 30). Navajo Nation wants smaller Chaco buffer.Taos News. Retrieved from https://www.taosnews.com/stories/ navajo-nation-wants-smaller-chaco-buffer,62009
REFERENCES MODERN NATIVE MOVEMENT-BUILDING ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU 68 49 Carroll, D. (Personal communication, April 10, 2020); Hoover, E. (2014, September 19). Ndée Bikíyaa, “The People’s Farm,” White Mountain Apache Tribe, AZ. From Garden Warriors to Good Seeds: Indigenizing the Local Food Movement. Retrieved from https://gardenwarriorsgoodseeds.com/2014/09/19/ndee-bikiyaa-the-peoples-farm- white-mountain-apache-tribe-az/ 50 Investing in Native communities: Philanthropic funding for Native American communities and causes. (2019). Candid and Native Americans in Philanthropy.
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