The Trump administration is looking to open up federal lands that have already been declared national parks and monuments for private use. Some of those lands have been designated monuments to protect the lands and rights of Native Americans.
According to ThinkProgress, Senator Orin Hatch from Utah condescendingly said that “The Indians, they don’t fully understand that a lot of the things that they currently take for granted on those lands, they won’t be able to do if it’s made clearly into a monument or a wilderness.” Hatch was not only offensive he was wrong.
The Bears Ears region was made into a monument by President Obama and within the proclamation, it was clear that the lands would be able to be used in keeping with the traditions of the tribe,
“ensure the protection of Indian sacred sites and traditional cultural properties in the monument and provide access by members of Indian tribes for traditional cultural and customary uses… including collection of medicines, berries and other vegetation, forest products, and firewood for personal noncommercial.”