Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye applauded more than 400 supporters and tribal leaders who gathered at the Monument Valley Welcome Center on Saturday, Jan. 7, to celebrate the designation of the Bears Ears National Monument.
“This is what working together is all about,” Begaye said. “We are a powerful voice.”
Leaders and members of the tribes of the Bears Ears Intertribal Coalition – Navajos, Hopis, Zunis and Ute Mountain and Uinta Ouray Utes – attended the meeting along with non-Natives, according to Barbara Stagg, of the Montezuma Alliance for Unity.
Among them was former Ute Mountain Ute councilwoman Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk.
“Each one of us has a right to stand proudly and say, ‘My voice was heard,’” she said. “We’ve changed history because we’ve stepped beyond consultation. We’ve got to protect the eloquent words of this proclamation. And second, we’ve got to defend the Antiquities Act.”