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Native Americans and Bears Ears

Josh Ewing, Utah Dine Bikeyah
A prehistoric granary in Bears Ears National Monument overlooking Cedar Mesa

A coalition of five sovereign Native American tribes was instrumental in last year’s declaration of Bears Ears National Monument. Those tribes all lived in the region long before white settlers, and tribal members say they depend on the Bears Ears for food, shelter, healing, and spiritual sustenance. For them, the landscape is alive. It has a heartbeat. It’s a valued member of the family. Tuesday, we'll talk about how Native Americans think about and relate to Bears Ears.


  • Eric Descheenie is a member of the Arizona House of Representatives, a former co-chair of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, and community liaison for Utah Dine Bikeyah, a grassroots Navajo nonprofit that lobbied for the creation of Bears Ears National Monument.
  • Tara Benally is a member of the Navajo Nation.
  • Charles Wilkinson is the Moses Lasky Professor of Law at University of Colorado Law School in Boulder, where he specializes in federal public land law and Indian law.
Doug Fabrizio has been reporting for KUER News since 1987, and became News Director in 1993. In 2001, he became host and executive producer of KUER's RadioWest, a one hour conversation/call-in show on KUER 90.1 in Salt Lake City. He has gained a reputation for his thoughtful style. He has interviewed everyone from Isabel Allende to the Dalai Lama, and from Madeleine Albright to Desmond Tutu. His interview skills landed him a spot as a guest host of the national NPR program, "Talk of the Nation." He has won numerous awards for his reporting and for his work with RadioWest and KUED's Utah NOW from such organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Utah Broadcasters Association, the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
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