Guardians of Our Ancestors Legacy
"What they did
to the grizzly,
they then did to us,
and now they are going to do it
Motse'oo'e (Sweetgrass Woman)
THIS IS GOAL COUNTRY !
The heart of Turtle Island (shaded in red) is GOAL Tribal Coalition Country : thirty-nine Tribal Nations united in a common cause - the protection of the sacred grizzly bear, the defense of tribal sovereignty, and the preservation of indigenous spiritual and religious rights. "Preserving the grizzly equates to cultural preservation,"
Chairman Robert Flyng Hawk, Yankton Sioux Tribe
PLEASE SHARE - https://www.facebook.com/HeyBear.GOAL
GOAL Tribal Coalition has learned that the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) long expected announcement to issue a new rule to remove Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections from the Yellowstone grizzly bear will be made in June.
By Richie Richards (Oglala Lakota) - Native Sun News
GOAL'S POSITION ON DELISTING THE GRIZZLY BEAR
Putting aside the questionable science, the egregious manipulation of data, and the lack of transparency in the process, the federal government’s determination to remove the Yellowstone grizzly bear from Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection currently contravenes the American Indian Religious Freedom Act (AIRFA. PUBLIC LAW 95-341--AUG. 11, 1978), Executive Orders, and Secretarial Orders.
The delisting of the grizzly is pertinent, but not limited to, the AIRFA in the following manner:
“Whereas such laws were designed for such worthwhile purposes as conservation and preservation of natural species and resources but were never intended to relate to Indian religious practices and, therefore, were passed without consideration of their effect on traditional American Indian religions.”
The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) articulates the federal government’s position that the future of the grizzly bear should be transferred to state game agencies, all of which advocate and encourage trophy hunting of the grizzly, and are historically hostile not only towards predators, but to tribes and their inherent sovereign rights.
The government and the states of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho intend to limit the present genetically isolated Greater Yellowstone grizzly population to core habitat, ostensibly Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park.
The grizzly is to be kept on what amounts to reservations because FWS and the tri-state governors claim that it is not “socially acceptable” for the Great Bear to return to vast areas of biologically suitable habitat that once comprised its homeland. The same thing was once said about tribal people, and it was not so long ago that it wasn’t “socially acceptable” for Indians to leave the reservation either.
The grizzly now exists on less than 2% of the range it inhabited prior to the Lewis and Clark Expedition. This 2% is largely comprised of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem. The Yellowstone grizzly is genetically isolated, rapidly losing keystone staples of its diet (whitebark pine and cutthroat trout), and survives as an island population.
Albeit over a hundred and forty-years late, the federal government now acknowledges that twenty-six federally recognized tribes have an ancestral connection to Yellowstone, but throughout the present delisting process, there has been no discussion related to the impact delisting the grizzly, and the subsequent trophy hunting of the bear, will have on American Indian spirituality, namely the religious practices of traditional tribal people supposedly protected by PL-95-341.
Federal government agencies, including FWS, have a duty to consult with tribes regarding policies that have tribal implications. This duty has been embodied in a variety of executive orders, secretarial orders, and memoranda. Executive Order 13175, issued by President Clinton in 2000, was written “to establish regular and meaningful consultation and collaboration with tribal officials in the development of Federal policies that have tribal implications.” Such policies include “regulations … and other policy statements or actions that have substantial direct effects on one or more Indian tribes,” such as ESA listing and delisting decisions.
A 2009 memorandum issued by President Obama emphasized the importance of President Clinton’s Executive Order, noting “consultation is a critical ingredient of a sound and productive Federal-tribal relationship” and affirming the Administration’s “commitment to regular and meaningful consultation and collaboration with tribal officials in policy decisions that have tribal implications.” President Obama’s 2013 Executive Order Establishing the White House Council on Native American Affairs further recognizes that “greater engagement and meaningful consultation with tribes is of paramount importance in developing any policies affecting tribal nations.”
The US Departments of Interior and Commerce issued an order on June 5, 1997, specifically regarding tribal consultation obligations in the context of the Endangered Species Act, which sets forth the framework to be followed when actions taken under authority of the ESA affect tribes.
The American Indian Tribal Rights, Federal-Tribal Trust Responsibilities, and the Endangered Species Act Order state, among other significant clauses:
“The Departments shall take into consideration the impacts of their actions and policies under the Act on Indian use of listed species for cultural and religious purposes (Sec. 5 #4).”
The Order directs the US Fish and Wildlife Service to “solicit traditional knowledge, and comments from, and utilize the expertise of, affected Indian tribes” during the consultation process, and “cooperate with affected tribes to develop and implement Recovery Plans in a manner that minimizes” social and cultural impacts on tribal people.
Ignoring these Acts and Orders contradicts the basis of the government-to-government relationship that exists between the federal government and all of the Tribal Nations impacted by this issue, a situation that must be remedied.
It is undeniable that the grizzly bear holds a unique position in the traditional cultures and ceremonial life-ways of the traditional spiritual practitioners of tribes identified by the federal government as possessing centuries old, and in some instances, millennia-long connections to the lands where the grizzly now survives. These are landscapes where, if delisting occurs, the grizzly may be extirpated from swathes of the environment such as segments of the Wind River Mountains and the Upper Green.
Like the grizzly now, there was no consideration given to the psychological impact and spiritual devastation caused to tribal people by the decimation of the buffalo. Quite the contrary, the federal government advocated the buffalo be managed at the barrels of hide hunters and “sportsmen’s” guns. If the federal and tri-state governments of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho have their collective way, the grizzly is destined to share a similar fate a little more than a century later. One only needs to consider what has happened to the wolf population in the aforementioned states since it was delisted to see the recent past as a prelude.
With its determination to delist the grizzly, the federal government once again seeks to pass legislation, “without consideration of their effect on traditional American Indian religions (PL-95-341/AIRFA).”
Not honoring these commitments is one more echo of the government’s historic abrogation of its treaty responsibilities.
"America's first national park sould no longer have features named after the proponents and exponants of genocide, as is the case with Hayden Valley and Mount Doane."
Montana & Wyoming Tribal Leaders Council Official Resolution
Robert Taylor (Walt Longmire), Craig Johnson (author), Zahn McClarnon (Mathias)
TRIBAL DECLARATIONS & RESOLUTIONS
A total of 35 Tribal Nations have now passed official declarations, resolutions, or issued letters denouncing delisting to Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, or Director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Dan Ashe.
Read and download copies of those official communications here: Make A Stand
“This has never happened before,” said James Walks Along, THPO for the Northern Cheyenne Nation. “I was shocked by the disrespect I was shown.”
to “commence tribal consultation“
and warns of impacts
on the grizzly’s survival if delisted.
"Those that massacred our people also wiped out the Wámakaškaŋ – they wiped out the buffalo, the grizzlies and the wolves – and today that mindset is still there, that ‘disease of the mind’" - Chief Arvol Looking Horse.
Gov Anoatubby of the Chickasaw Nation supports GOAL
This story went from the
UNDERSTAND THE ISSUES:
The politics of colonialism and greed fueling delisting:
Fuzzy Math: How FWS and the tri-states made a 35% increase in the Yellowstone grizzly population in 12-months . . .
Nits Make Lice Again -
The foundation of Yellowstone National Park was nothing more than an act of imperialism inspired by Manifest Destiny:
The first in a series of articles on the grizzly in history.
Part 1: The grizzly presently hangs by a thread on between two to four percent of its historic range pre-European contact, which, not even somebody as prone to creative interpretation as Custer was, should be able to sell as “recovered.”
If this is what you want to see when you come into the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and the environs of Yellowstone National Park, then do nothing... but if you find these images abhorrent
JOIN WITH US TO STOP DELISTING
Guardians of Our Ancestors' Legacy (GOAL) Tribal Coalition is commended by:
GOAL'S MISSION STATEMENT
Guardians of Our Ancestors’ Legacy (GOAL) is committed to reconnecting tribal people to the ancestral landscape that is Yellowstone, reclaiming that heritage, and preserving the grizzly bear – our most powerful symbol of spiritual regeneration and renewal.