Environmentalist Navajo calls opponents of Bears Ears takeover “Tame Indians”
A recent survey confirms the fact that an overwhelming percentage of locals and Native tribes residing in San Juan County want Bears Ears rescinded, and outspoken and well-funded environmentalist special interests, including Dine Bikeyah, are terrified that their pet project could soon be history. As a result, it appears that the racism within the Bears Ears environmentalist community is surfacing.
by Marjorie Haun
Kenneth Maryboy, a director of the environmentalist group, Dine Bikeyah, is a former commissioner of San Juan County and a council delegate for the Navajo Nation in Utah. Although he is considered a leader among some in the various tribal chapters in the Four Corners Region, in his home county, Kenneth Maryboy is in the minority.
Obama’s unilateral designation of 1.3 million acres of San Juan County as the Bears Ears National Monument has split the Native American tribal chapters in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah, with those chapters actually located in or near the national monument’s boundaries vehemently opposed to the federal takeover. The split is geographical, with local Navajo and Ute tribes standing against the Bears Ears National Monument, and chapters from other areas of Utah, and other states, favoring it. But the divide is also ideological. Dine Bikeyah, an extreme green group composed of white environmentalists and some left-leaning Native Americans–many from outside of Utah–has pushed the federal Bears Ears takeover from the get-go. Kenneth Maryboy aligns himself with the green factions.
Mike Noel, Utah’s representative for the district which includes San Juan County, is now pushing the Trump Administration to rescind the 1.3 million acre land grab. Noel’s bill would give local Native tribes significant decision-making power over the Bears Ears region, which is something absent from Obama’s federal plan.
A recent survey confirms the fact that an overwhelming percentage of locals and Native tribes residing in San Juan County want Bears Ears National Monument rescinded, and outspoken and well-funded environmentalist special interests, including Dine Bikeyah, are terrified that their pet project could soon be history. As a result, it appears that the racism within the Bears Ears environmentalist community is surfacing.
On February 28th, in response to a hearing in the Utah Legislature on Mike Noel’s measure to return control of Bears Ears to the state and county and local tribes, Kenneth Maryboy posted the following comment on Facebook:
Maryboy’s ‘Tame Indians’ are those Native Americans living in San Juan County who support local control of Bears Ears, largely because of the loss of property rights that will result, and restrictions on traditional cultural activities that will occur with national monument status. Their concerns are also economic in relation to the way federal control and tourism negatively impact industry, ranching, and resource development. San Juan County’s neighbor to the north, Grand County, is the home of Moab, a town that has all but lost its middle class, and is dominated by low-paying service industry jobs, and overrun with wealthy homeowners who are driving families and working-class people out of the local real estate market.
Maryboy’s racist comment did not go unnoticed. He drew an immediate firestorm of criticism from San Juan County residents, including some belonging to local Native tribes.
Maryboy, other environmentalist special interests, and big outdoor retail corporations, have pushed the federal Bears Ears takeover, and have done so in the face of significant opposition from locals both within San Juan County as well as the entire state of Utah. Following Bill Clinton’s secretive 1996 designation of 1.9 million resource-rich acres in Central Utah as the Grand Staircase/Escalante National Monument, and the resulting economic devastation to communities whose economic drivers were decimated by its federal restrictions, Utahans have come to resent such D.C.-mandated ‘protections.’
Maryboy’s remark, however, is not surprising given the corporate environmentalist bureaucrat culture that embraces federal control, and shuns the voices of local citizens. It reveals the racist ideology of the environmentalist left, which regards Native Americans as political tools, or “Ecologically Noble Savages.” The Standing Rock Sioux, for instance, have been put out front by Soros-funded radicals fueling opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline, and are portrayed as the victims of ‘big oil’ and ‘corporate fat cats.’ But, as we see with Maryboy’s comment, Native American individuals or tribes are derided as ‘Tame Indians’ when taking a position other than that which is approved by the extreme greens.
Free Range Report