“The Struggle Does Not End Here”: The Fight to Protect Greater Chaco Continues

Kayleigh Kewageshig is from the Santa Clara Pueblo and the Isleta Pueblo and an organizer with Diné-Pueblo Solidarity and The Red Nation

by Kayleigh Kewageshig

As of yesterday, the March 8, 2018 sale of 25 land parcels in the Greater Chaco Landscape has been CANCELED, pending cultural impact assessments of parcels in close proximity to Chaco Canyon National Park.

The struggle does not end here — all impacted communities must stay engaged and DEMAND meaningful consultation, emphasizing that any continued development done without obtaining free, prior, and informed consent from all surrounding nations is illegal and will not go uncontested.

Diné-Pueblo Solidarity and our allies will continue to fight to protect the remaining 6% of unleased lands in the Greater Chaco Landscape, to demand justice for the health and social impacts that current operations impose on our Diné relatives, and to end more than a century of exploitation of our ancestral landscape.

However, this win is only a battle within an ongoing war: while we have avoided this attempt to dispossess Native lands and disregard Native lives, this contemporary Indian land grab is far from over- and not just in the Southwest.

The Bureau of Land Management and the Trump administration will get to know, from victories like this and our continued vigilance moving forward, that Indigenous communities will no longer allow our lands and bodies to be designated as sacrifice zones.

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