“Where tribes roam; our footprints.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, a group of Tribal leaders announced the launch of a campaign to permanently protect the Grand Canyon watershed via the creation of the Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni Grand Canyon National Monument. In reaction, Vet Voice Foundation CEO Janessa Goldbeck released the following statement:
“At least eleven Tribes maintain cultural connections to the Grand Canyon. Because of its connection to Native peoples – a group that has the highest per-capita representation of any in the U.S. Armed Forces – the Grand Canyon, and the extended area surrounding it, is by default a special place for veterans and military families.
“In addition to the spiritual and cultural significance of this area, the Grand Canyon watershed also provides abundant opportunities for hiking, hunting, fishing, and solitude – key experiences veterans have long turned to in the wake of their military service.
“Moreover, the creation of this national monument helps ensure millions of people no longer run the risk of having their drinking water contaminated due to uranium mining. While designation will not affect valid existing mining claims, lands currently under the Bureau of Land Management’s 20-year withdrawal from mining would be permanently withdrawn, protected from mining.
“We applaud and look forward to following the Tribal Nations leading this campaign. Veterans have long advocated for safeguarding our nation’s public lands, including the Grand Canyon, and we’re ready to do whatever’s required to support this effort and see the Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni Grand Canyon National Monument made a reality.”