This week, an Arizona power company announced that it would shut down a northern Arizona coal-fired power plant in three years. That’s 25 years earlier than the Navajo Nation anticipated. While environmentalists celebrate the closure, hundreds of Navajo people who rely on those jobs are devastated.
For the past several days, we’ve gone to sacred places throughout Indian Country — from the Tohono O’Odham Nation to Bears Ears Monument to the San Carlos Apache Reservation to the Grand Canyon — as part of the Earth+Bone series. Laurel Morales has been our tour guide on that journey, and she talked about the impetus of the series from KJZZ's Fronteras Desk in Flagstaff.
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.
The San Carlos Apache reservation has shrunk in size five times to accommodate the mining industry. So when Resolution Copper recently made plans to develop the largest copper mine in North America on Oak Flat, land considered sacred ground, 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 is 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 hill is central to their belief system. The tribe says a nearby uranium mine threatens this sacred place and its drinking water.
On one of former President Barack Obama’s last days in office he used his authority under the Antiquities Act to protect 1.35 million acres surrounding a pair of buttes in southern Utah called Bears Ears. Some 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 Donald 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 United States. KJZZ’s Fronteras Desk Correspondent Laurel Morales spent months digging deeper into this pervasive issue here in the Southwest to produce this series Earth+Bone.
Bureau of Indian Education schools are failing their students, according to a new federal lawsuit.