FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 9, 2023
The All Pueblo Council of Governors (APCG) celebrates President Biden’s designation of Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni – Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument. This vital action resonates with ongoing Pueblo efforts to preserve sacred landscapes and reflects a united approach to protect places of immense cultural significance, very much akin to the recent Public Land Order No. 7923 for the Withdrawal of Public Lands surrounding the Chaco Culture National Historical Park.
Chairman Mark Mitchell of APCG shared his thoughts, stating, “President Biden’s decision to conserve nearly 1 million acres around the Grand Canyon, a space sacred to Tribal Nations like the Pueblo of Zuni underscores the commitment of this administration to honor Indigenous culture and values. Today’s act by the President, similar to the steps taken to protect Chaco Canyon, acknowledges our ancestral connection to these sacred landscapes, ensuring that they are preserved and protected for future generations.”
This move supports the Pueblo of Zuni and other Tribal Nations, who have demonstrated a deep and lasting commitment to preserving the cultural heritage embedded within these lands. The Pueblo Governors praises the Biden administration’s reverence for tradition and cultural heritage – values that resonate with the Pueblo philosophy of stewardship.
Governor Arden Kucate of the Pueblo of Zuni remarked, “Our connection to the Grand Canyon, much like our ties to Chaco Canyon, runs deep in our spiritual fabric. We are heartened by the President’s recognition of the sacredness rooted within these landscapes. Today’s designation reflects the care shown by this Administration, gives voice to our ancestors and ensures that our children can walk the same sacred paths that connects our ancestral past with new beginnings.”
By highlighting the Grand Canyon’s importance, President Biden has underscored the need to protect important cultural landscapes from destructive threats that would desecrate areas vital to the worldview of Indigenous Peoples. Prioritizing the protection of Chaco Canyon in New Mexico recently by the Biden administration reinforces the broader vision of environmental stewardship and recognizes there is a sacred connection between the land and the people.