One week ago, many of us who value public lands were devastated to learn that Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante Nat’l Monuments would be shrunk and stripped of its protections. Many of you have heard from myself, @Im_NicoleMarie on this issue. But today, I feel that it is important we hear from someone else. A native woman. A woman who this land means a lot to. So, I hope you all take a few minutes to read about Jaylyn, @NativeWomensWilderness and what these lands mean to her and her heritage.
"You could say I'm a kid straight from the Rez. I grew up on the Navajo Reservation. I was adopted by an incredible woman who taught me how to love and explore the land. The land was our playground, the sticks were your swords, the canyons were your maze, and the cliffs were your wonder.
I was taught that I could do anything I wanted and what I really wanted was to climb mountains. But I had no one to look up to, so I grew up with the idea that only white women could climb mountains. I then began to scale the cliffs in my back yard. I then became a guide and a mountain bike race coordinator. And then I became the brown woman who climbed mountains.
Currently at @nativewomenswilderness we have started a movement called, ‘Whose Land Are We Exploring On?’ Right now it is an important time to ask this question. Did you know that Bears Ears is a sacred site to five major tribes, all of which have ancestral ties to the land for thousands of years. One of these tribes makes an annual pilgrimage to pick berries that only grow within the monument, for sacred traditions. For me, Bears Ears brings about nonverbal feelings for me. How do you explain the feeling you have with the land of your ancestors, that DEEP feeling?
The past week has been devastating to me. I also feel in some ways feel traumatized. It is 2017 and yet our lands and rights are still being taken away from us? This is our land and another note to historical trauma and colonization where once again our land is being segregated and split up.
Through NWW we are exploring what these lands mean to us, the land that we love. Please join us while we share with you the ancestral history behind the lands you explore."