Earth + Bone
A developer claims a tourist attraction on the Navajo side of the Grand Canyon would create 3,000 jobs. But four tribes consider the location holy ground. It's called the confluence -- the place where the Colorado and Little Colorado Rivers meet.
In episode six we travel to the San Carlos Apache reservation, which has shrunk in size five times to accommodate the mining industry. So when Resolution Copper made plans to develop the largest copper mine in North America here on Oak Flat, land considered sacred ground, many tribal members said enough.
The Navajo Nation is suing the federal government for taking more than 300 sets of human remains from Canyon de Chelly National Monument. The canyon -- situated deep in the heart of the Navajo Nation -- is unique. It’s the only national monument that a native community still calls home. But for the Navajo, home isn’t just for its living, it’s where their dead belong as well.
Each year millions of visitors to the Grand Canyon drive by Red Butte without taking much notice. But for the Havasupai the steep hill is central to their belief system. The tribe says a nearby uranium mine threatens this sacred place and its drinking water.
In this episode we travel to the Valley of the Gods in southern Utah. On one of former President Barack Obama’s last days in office he used his authority to protect a pair of buttes in southern Utah called Bear’s Ears. While some tribal leaders are celebrating the monument designation, many Utahns are protesting. Several lawmakers are lobbying for President Trump to reverse the designation under the rallying cry of “Trump the monument.”
President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to build a wall along the 2,000-mile-long U.S.-Mexico border. He remains resolute despite the obstacles that stand in his way. One is the Tohono O’odham, the American Indian tribe that straddles the two countries. Tribal leaders say a wall would desecrate land they believe to be sacred.
Last year hundreds of thousands of people from around the world united with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline. That protest continues as President Trump advances development. The movement has brought a megaphone to the battle between what tribes believe to be sacred and what westerners consider fair game all across the U.S. And it lit a fire under me to compile these stories I’ve been reporting for over a decade in a podcast called Earth And Bone.