Senators Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker and Tom Udall join bipartisan effort in Congress to support Indian tribes in grizzly fight for rights
June 15, 2017
WASHINGTON - US Senate heavyweights Tom Udall (D-NM), Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) have joined a bipartisan movement on Capitol Hill to compel the Department of Interior to uphold fundamental tenets of the federal-Indian trust responsibility in respect to tribal rights that are threatened by the imminent delisting from the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of the grizzly bear in the Yellowstone region. In a just-sent letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, the senators express their "concern with the reported lack of meaningful consultation."
"As you know, the federal government has a trust and treaty responsibility to engage in meaningful government-to-government consultation with tribes when tribal interests may be impacted by actions of the federal government. However, tribes have indicated that the federal government, in particular the Fish and Wildlife Service, has abandoned that responsibility in its delisting process," they write.
"The Crow Creek Sioux Tribe is categorized by the federal government as one of the 'Associated Tribes of Yellowstone' and yet we were completely ignored in this delisting process, despite our declaration, our resolution, and petition for inclusion. Denying us input is one more way that the government is attempting to sever us from our culture. They did it to our ancestors through boarding schools, and they are doing it to us today by failing to consult, hoping that if they ignore and deny us long enough we will forget vital parts of our culture, like our relationship with the grizzly bear," says the tribe's chairman, Brandon Sazue.