Past Event

Threatened Heritage in Utah and New Mexico: Bears Ears, Chaco, and other Native American sacred sites

March 27, 2018
9:30 AM - 5:45 PM
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Trump’s assault on Native American sacred sites demands a concerted response. This symposium explores the implications – social, archaeological, environmental, spiritual, historical, artistic and legal – of the current threats to Bears Ears National Monument and Chaco Canyon.

The desecration of traditional Pueblo, Zuni, Hopi, Navajo, Ute, Ute Mountain Ute and other tribal lands is imminent. Eighty-five percent of Bears Ears will be cut; the Chaco region will be further opened to oil, gas, and coal extraction. Safeguards will be stripped from 1.1 million acres at Bears Ears, and drilling again permitted around Chaco’s incomparable sites.

Program (subject to change)

Session I 

10:00  Blessing

10:15  David Freedberg (Pierre Matisse Professor of the History of Art; Director of the Italian Academy, Columbia University):  Welcoming remarks

10:30  Elsa Stamatopoulou (Columbia University: Director, Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Program, Institute for the Study of Human Rights; Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race; Anthropology Dept.):  “Cultural heritage as a human right: today’s emergency”

10:50  Amalia Cordova (Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Smithsonian Institution):  “Creative modes of resistance in Abya Yala(Chile, Ecuador, Colombia)”

11:10  Honor Keeler (Cherokee Nation; Assistant Director, Utah Diné Bikéyah):  “Indigenous lands surround us: indigenous rights amid trafficking, theft, and trauma”       

11:30  Theresa Pasqual (Pueblo of Acoma; Independent Pueblo Consultant):  Resistance to resilience: protecting sacred places during turbulent times” 

11:50  Sandy Grande (Connecticut College: Education Dept.; Director of the Center for the Critical Study of Race and Ethnicity):  “Lessons from Standing Rock and beyond: water epistemologies”

12:10  Rollie Wilson (Attorney for the Ute Indian Tribe, Fredericks Peebles and Morgan LLP, Washington, DC):  “The Ute Indian Tribe's fight to protect tribal homelands and sacred places”   

12:25 – 12:55  Discussion

1:00 – 2:00 Break

Session II 

2:00  Coffee gathering in the session room

2:10  Screening (23 min.) of “Shash Jaa’: Bears Ears” by Angelo Baca

2:40  Angelo Baca (Diné/Hopi; New York University: Anthropology Dept.):  “Protecting the Bears Ears: the Inter-Tribal Coalition and the Antiquities Act of 1906”

3:00  Katherine Belzowski (Senior Attorney, Navajo Nation, Department of Justice):  “The sleeping bear awakes: a Navajo Nation story”

3:15  Elizabeth W. Hutchinson (Barnard College: Art History Dept.):  “Indigenous aesthetics and the sacred landscape”

3:35  Kevin Madalena (Pueblo of Jemez, NM; Utah Diné Bikéyah Community Outreach Coordinator/Field Researcher – Geologist/Paleontologist):  “Paleoarchaeology and geology of the Ancient Puebloans from the Bears Ears National Monument”

3:55  Trevor Reed (Hopi/Kickapoo; Columbia University: Law and Ethnomusicology; Director, Hopi Music Repatriation Project):  Sonic Sovereignty: Sounding Hopi Presence in Öngtupqa (Grand Canyon)” 

4:15 – 4:30  Coffee break

4:30  Carrie Heitman (University of Nebraska–Lincoln: Anthropology Dept.; Principal Investigator and Director of the Chaco Research Archive):  “The Chaco region: managing divergent cultural landscapes”

4:50  Robert Lucero (Executive Director, Ute Indian Tribe Political Action Committee):  “How the Ute Tribe Has Used Mass Organizing Tools to Protect Tribal Sovereignty”   

5:15 – 5:45  Discussion

Special Advisor: Nadema Agard, Director, RED EARTH STUDIO CONSULTING/PRODUCTIONS.

See here for biographical notes on all speakers.

This event is a part of the Academy’s International Observatory for Cultural Heritage.