#Youthvgov Plaintiff Denounces Trump's Action to Reduce Bears Ears

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CAMERON, ARIZONA –  Jaime Lynn Butler, a member of the Navajo Nation and a youth plaintiff in Juliana v. United States, the landmark constitutional climate lawsuit, denounces President Trump on his action to reduce the area of two National Monuments, in particular, Bears Ears National Monument in southern Utah.

President Trump started his press conference citing religious freedom and the right of the people to their land. He then continued to reference the bounty and natural resources of southern Utah.  The remains of indigenous communities are still present in the area. Navajo Chief Manuelito (‘Ashkii Diyinii, or Holy Boy and Ch’il Haajin) was born near the Bears Ears Buttes in 1818.

My question is who are these “people” he refers to? Indigenous people first inhabitted these areas and it is aboriginal lands. Whose religious freedoms have the right to be protected? Are corporations and big businesses “people”?

The greatest Freedom we should work for is the freedom of the children, the earth, the water, and the sky… they ought to be protected. 

The greatest Right we ought to be working to protect is the right of future generations to a livable planet. 

My concern is that President Trump is “Freeing up” access for exploitation and the “Right” of corporations to take away the possibility of a sustainable and quality future. It is up to the youth now. It is up to me and you to stand up for our own future and the future of the Beauty Way of life on our Mother Earth. That is the oldest teaching of these Americas.

Caitlin Howard