CRIT Chairwoman Amelia Flores and Vice Chairman Dwight Lomayesva met with the Director of the federal Bureau of Land Management Tracy Stone-Manning to discuss the appropriate treatment of cultural resources located on public lands within the ancestral territories of tribal members.
The informal meeting on February 8th was facilitated by CRIT’s consultant Sara A. Clark, a partner at Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger. While informal, the Tribes say it represents “a milestone for CRIT in addressing this issue with a high-profile federal official.”
The issue of how to handle tribal cultural resources when discovered on public lands has long been a priority for the CRIT Tribal Council, with what the Tribes calls “more than a decade of tireless advocacy.” An interview with Chairwoman Flores helped provide a historical narrative in a recent award-winning story by the Arizona Republic (link) about the Blythe Intaglios.
At the meeting, Tribal leaders received assurances that the BLM was in the process of revising its policies to avoid disturbing cultural sites and to allow for reburial of resources when sites had been disturbed.
Chairwoman Flores said, “Cultural resources are not renewable resources. They must not be disturbed because in most cases the damage cannot be undone. After meeting with Director Stone-Manning, I am looking forward to some positive changes.”