The Work Continues in Bears Ears

Here are a couple of links to recent articles from High Country News and CNN about the current and future work in the Bears Ears issue. With the change in administration and nomination of Representative (NM) Deb Haaland to serve as Secretary of the Interior, there is renewed hope to reverse the harmful impacts implemented …

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Paa’tuuwa’qatsi: Water is Life

The turquoise waters of the Little Colorado River. The Grand Canyon landscape contains some of the Southwests most unique ecosystems of rivers, springs and riparian zones. These areas are home to many plant and animal species, some found nowhere else in the world, or that represent the last viable populations holding on for existence. The …

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Hisat’sinom to Hopi: Establishing Cultural Affiliation in the Bears Ears Landscape

With the historic visit by Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland to southeast Utah this week, I think it's worth re-posting a previous blog writing from 4 years ago describing, in part, some of the Hopi questions and answers we find in the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante landscapes. While the increased attention of the …

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Culture Relative to Homeland

An interview from 2014 with Jack Loeffler (Santa Fe, NM) talking about Hopi connections to Landscapes, Culture & Sustainability. Originally appeared in Green Fire Times, 2014 (Santa Fe, NM). JL: How do you perceive culture relative to homeland? LB: Culture relative to homeland is a big idea. Homeland is something that is always in the back of …

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Spirit of Place: Preserving the Cultural Landscape of the Bears Ears

1200 A.D. Dawn breaks over a secluded canyon, spreading a sliver of orange light along the rim as a lone canyon wren welcomes the morning, singing another day into existence. As the light increases in intensity, it illuminates a sheer cliff face, revealing layers of geologic time; ancient cross-bedded sand dunes and million-year old ocean …

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Walking The Line at Nayavu’waltsa: Preservation of a Cultural Landscape (Intro)

In the Hopi language, Nayavu'waltsa is a place name, meaning "Clay Gap Place" and refers to the region known as Black Mesa, located in Northern Arizona. This mesa of the high desert is a geologic uplift of the much larger Colorado Plateau which covers a large area of the 4 Corners region; Southeastern Utah, Western Colorado, …

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Beyond Stone & Mortar: A Hopi Perspective on the Preservation of “Ruins” (& Culture)

  “Buildings too, are children of Earth and Sun” ~Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect Throughout the American Southwest are thousands of prehistoric architectural remains that were once the homes, ceremonial centers and gathering places for the Indigenous peoples who occupied this vast geographic area. Ranging in size from pit-houses to large village and cliff-dwelling complexes, and …

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Kyaptsi: Respect for Ancestral Connections

“When we visit the Grand Canyon and we come to this area…we just don’t show up empty handed. There’s great preparation that goes into coming down here….we bring offerings for allowing us to come through the passage of this place. As we make our way down here, there are several places that we stop and …

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Face-to-Face: 25 Years of NAGPRA

On the approach of the 25th anniversary of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), I wanted to reflect on my personal experiences in dealing with and implementing NAGPRA with the Hopi Tribe. This is not meant to be a technical, legal or political analysis of the Act, there are other resources available …

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Cultural Tourism: Are You A ‘Real’ Indian?

It’s 2013 and I’m leading a tour group through Monument Valley; what many consider a “must-stop” for any exploration of the Southwest. As I’m explaining the history of the area, another tour group listens in. When I’m finished, one of them approaches me and asks, “Are you a real Indian?” I reply “Yes, I’m Hopi”. …

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