Navajo Tribe Members Cancel DOI's Victory Lap for Energy Lease Bans

(AP Photo/Eric Draper, File)

Having lived on a reservation and married into a Native American family, I can tell you that the non-Indian community often stereotypes Native Americans. One such stereotype is that they are all wizened Earth Fathers sitting on a mountainside somewhere having a theological discussion with a leaf. And yes, Native Americans do see a relationship with the environment that other cultures may not have or in some cases try to imitate. Witness the various white hippie leftovers who may have a sliver of native blood in their lineage and have declared themselves “shamans,” complete with eagle feathers, peyote, and sweat lodges. I actually knew one woman who was as white as they come and declared herself Indian royalty because one line of her family tree had a connection to a tribal leader. And she told me that with a straight face. To her credit, she was a much nicer person than Elizabeth Warren.

The truth is that Native Americans are as diverse as any other group. And while Native Americans have their own spirituality, the ones I knew (and I knew plenty) drove cars and pickup trucks, shopped for groceries, had satellite dishes, watched football, and many followed fashion trends. Their kids believe in Santa and bug them for the same kind of expensive crap your kids ask you for every December. They don’t want to be poor any more than anyone else does, and they know bovine excrement when they hear it.

Related: The Biden Administration Orders a 20-Year Oil Leasing Ban Around Chaco Canyon

On Sunday, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland was set to attend a ceremony to celebrate the creation of a twenty-year, ten-mile ban on energy development around Chaco Canyon National Park. The Navajo Nation had originally proposed a five-mile ban as a compromise but later withdrew its support. At issue is the fact that while existing leases will be allowed to continue to operate, new leases would be prohibited. Many members of the Navajo Nation struggle with poverty but some own mineral lease rights. The money generated by these rights can help ease their financial hardship. Haaland’s move is another setback for people that do not need any more obstacles.

Haaland undoubtedly had a speech planned, with photographers and select members of the Navajo and other tribes set to trumpet the historic moment. But a group of tribal landowners blocked Haaland and her entourage’s access to Chaco Canyon National Park. The Washington Free Beacon reports that Haaland was told to “go home” and “stop trespassing.”

Haaland was “disappointed” and changed venues, maybe to a vacant Chuck E. Cheese. She commented, “To see any road into any of our national parks or our public lands blocked was heartbreaking because our public lands belong to all Americans.” Except for people who would like to see energy development and the Native Americans who also want to see energy development as well as take another step toward self-sufficiency. But self-sufficiency and progressivism are mutually exclusive, particularly when it comes to the exploitation of people of color and quid pro quo considerations for green energy companies and their campaign donations.

The people who blocked Haaland’s access were not outliers. Navajo Nation president Buu Nygren commented, “The financial and economic losses that are impacting many Navajo families as a result of the secretary’s recent land withdrawal are nothing to celebrate. As leaders of the Navajo Nation, we support the Navajo allottees who oppose the withdrawal of these public lands.”

The Free Beacon also reported:

Navajo Nation leaders say Haaland, whose office declined to comment, failed to adequately consult them before issuing the 20-year oil and gas ban. But Haaland did provide access to her daughter’s green group, Pueblo Action Alliance, which works to end both oil and gas production as well as “imperial capitalism.”

And apparently, the group also wants to end Native American capitalism. Haaland’s relationship with her daughter’s activist group is under investigation by the House Natural Resources Committee.

The Left is fond of invoking the image of Native Americans when it comes to locking up land and declaring wilderness. That is because the Left wants Native Americans to remain poor and dependent on and loyal to a government that is run by progressives. The Left doesn’t want people; it wants pets.


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