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This would be all time tragic. Here is a petition that is circulating to try and sway tribal leaders.

Stop plans to develop the Grand Canyon
I might recommend AW and its reps to reconsider linking this petition. While the intention seems fair the author of the petition is not the most nuanced in his writing and is already tapping into some dangerous historical waters:

"This canyon is OURS, regardless of heritage or nationality, because a wonder such as this transcends borders and ownership."

As someone who disagrees with the proposed development and enjoys the relatively untrammeled characteristics of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon I cannot in good conscience support a petition that so blatantly ignores the colonial history of this region. I assume AW and other organizations are capable of participating in the dialog without perpetuating the long history of entitlement to native lands and ignoring tribal agency and stewardship. I assume we can find an approach that is more nuanced.

While some may think this is just semantical I would strongly disagree. The very philosophy the author of the article embodies is one that intentionally and inherently degrades tribal land ownership. There is no way around that and its a completely unnecessary approach to the situation. Those who oppose the development need to work with the tribes and families in the region not call into question their ownership and ability to be stewards in a fashion many of us can agree with. This all the more shame considering there is already a movement within the tribe doing exactly what some of us want.

I highly encourage AW, its reps and this community to not touch this petition with a 10 foot pole. While his intention may be admirable the affect of his words are poisonous and harmful to long term goals and the very allies we need within the region.

Phillip
 

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Shoot. Should have read the petition before posting & definitely agree with your position Phillip. A reputable conservation group was circulating it so I just passed it on without reading it which was a mistake. Dang Facebook! If admins could remove the link I'd appreciate it. Do you have contacts on the movement within the tribe? I think we could generate some good support against this development but it's definitely a tricky subject and luckily I haven't posted the link anywhere else.
 

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Shoot. Should have read the petition before posting & definitely agree with your position Phillip. A reputable conservation group was circulating it so I just passed it on without reading it which was a mistake. Dang Facebook! If admins could remove the link I'd appreciate it. Do you have contacts on the movement within the tribe? I think we could generate some good support against this development but it's definitely a tricky subject and luckily I haven't posted the link anywhere else.
No personal or professional contacts, just gleaned info from the first article. Several organizations seem to be circulating the petition and he states he has the local Sierra Club as a partner. Its a shame he made those comments as his original statements seemed to be broad enough to gather a wide array of stakeholders to the cause.

Don't envy the amount of research and querying is needed to vet allies nowadays. The internet and social media make it difficult to stay on message.

Best of luck.

A lot of backstory on this one....I am still largely ignorant of modern history on tribal lands, like the association of the "Bennet Freeze" to this issue. Much to learn.

Phillip
 

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Maybe they've changed the wording since the earlier posts? I don't see the quoted paragraph in the linked petition. Didn't read the linked yahoo news article but that's not relevant to signing the petition.
 

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Maybe they've changed the wording since the earlier posts? I don't see the quoted paragraph in the linked petition. Didn't read the linked yahoo news article but that's not relevant to signing the petition.
Its in his Jan 2013 comment on the Change.org petition. My last post was about Navajo activists fighting the tribal leadership's cooperation with the development, as outlined in the OP's link.
 

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I've always found it perplexing that boaters have no issue trespassing on the Wind River tribal land knowing the land is off limits yet, they take a strong stance against most tribal use in the GC. Regardless, I'm not for destroying that beautiful place.
 

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The Los Angeles Times's Julie Cart reported on Sunday of plans to build "restaurants, hotels and shops" on Navajo Indian land adjacent to the eastern portion of the Grand Canyon.

The 420-acre Grand Canyon Escalade proposal would also feature an eight-person gondola that would take tourists on a 10-minute ride to the canyon floor, she writes, "where they would stroll along an elevated riverside walkway to a restaurant at the confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers".
Looks like its time to move someone off the rez.
By moving the rez.

Again.

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The Navajo Nation is the largest reservation in the United States, situated on over 27,000 square miles of land within the states of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah.


Demographics
* Population: 180,462
* Median Age: 24
* Labor Force: comprised of 28% of the population
* Median Household Income: $20,005
* Unemployment: 42%
* Poverty: 43% lives below the poverty rate
Should be easy to take these guys on in court with their finances.
 

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So I looked into it a little bit and the Save the Confluence website is linking to this petition directly as THE "petition to stop the development at the confluence." So if these are the people fighting the good fight this is the petition they are trying to have people sign. I think despite the wording which, especially in the comments, I agree with Phillip is, not the most nuanced in terms of respecting tribal ownership, sometimes these petitions are just a place to collect signatures and show support. So if that's where they want to try and build the signatures please decide to sign or not for yourselves. AW is in no way specifically endorsing this petition but having been to this sacred place myself it would sure look and feel a whole lot different with a gondola, raised walkway and riverside restaurant - that is for certain and personally would hate to see that happen.
 

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Agree. I signed it for the same reasons. I tried to find a way to add a comment or contact the original author to see if he would delete the offending part of his Jan 13 comment, but couldn't find a way.
 

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According to an article in the most recent GCRG BQR, the success of this project is unlikely due to a lack of support from Tribal Council members. Also there is growing opposition by Navajo Community members as awareness of the issue continues to grow. In addition, Navajo Nation President Shelly who initially supported this project in 2012 is up for re-election in November and is looking at a tough campaign. As a last resort, families with grazing rights on the LCR rim could also be a considerable obstacle for the project.
http://savetheconfluence.com/
has more information...


Sent from my iPhone using Mountain Buzz
 

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Support the Save the Confluence Folks

The best thing we can all do is to support the Save the Confluence folks. I am a member of several GC-related organizations and we are mostly deferring to GC Trust and the Save the Confluence folks (for now). There are hundreds if not thousands of people ready to mobilize on this, but patience and prudence is being exercised and direction mostly deferred to the GCT and Confluence folks. Tom Martin is doing a great job of keeping boaters informed of the Escapade project via the Rafting Grand Canyon Yahoo and Facebook Groups.

When we do come across the news articles like the recent LA Times post and the CBS News story, we are wise to share these with all of our friends, even the ones who do not boat. This would be a travesty, and we need to spread the word and make sure this never gets built.

Save the Confluence!
 

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A restaurant in the Grand Canyon? Outrageous!

Oh, wait. Didn't our own tribe build Phantom Ranch decades ago and it is still a favorite stop for boaters? And not one, but two, steel bridges to make a fine loop hike. Let's see, there are power lines, and phones lines and a sewage treatment plant. A rim-to-rim water line and two pump stations (Roaring Springs and Indian Gardens).

Don't get me wrong, I don't support a tram and development at the confluence. But opposing Navajo development on moral high ground ain't gonna work.
 

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A restaurant in the Grand Canyon? Outrageous!

Oh, wait. Didn't our own tribe build Phantom Ranch decades ago and it is still a favorite stop for boaters? And not one, but two, steel bridges to make a fine loop hike. Let's see, there are power lines, and phones lines and a sewage treatment plant. A rim-to-rim water line and two pump stations (Roaring Springs and Indian Gardens).

Don't get me wrong, I don't support a tram and development at the confluence. But opposing Navajo development on moral high ground ain't gonna work.
Why, lets not forget the ultimate development, Glen Canyon Dam.

Granted, it's only a "stream impediment" but has to fit in there somewhere with the Phantom ranch/bridges/power lines/phone lines/sewage treatment list.....................
 

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A restaurant in the Grand Canyon? Outrageous!

Oh, wait. Didn't our own tribe build Phantom Ranch decades ago and it is still a favorite stop for boaters? And not one, but two, steel bridges to make a fine loop hike. Let's see, there are power lines, and phones lines and a sewage treatment plant. A rim-to-rim water line and two pump stations (Roaring Springs and Indian Gardens).

Don't get me wrong, I don't support a tram and development at the confluence. But opposing Navajo development on moral high ground ain't gonna work.
That is where I am hung up and don't feel like I should wade into the protest. I recognize that the trend in National Parks is a reduction of infrastructure (read "Searching for Yellowstone" for a solid expose on the matter) but the issue is not completely wrapped up, especially when it comes to the sovereignty of native lands. Plain and simple is the fact that we do not own the land but how to interact with a proposed development like this is less clear.

I used the term "agency" earlier in a very specific way....despite my preference for a specific type of float in the GC I am uncomfortable forcing my preference on a marginalized group that has felt the full weight of western interest for so long. My selfish desire just doesn't seem important in this matter. I wish the fact that its a project forwarded by a non-native company mattered much to me but it doesn't. The boating experience would be forever changed if the development happened but that change will be incorporated just fine in all honesty. As noted, we deal with the bridges, manmade flows, campsite negotiations, motors, helicopters and prevalence of conveniences (I mean, thousands of cans of beer and gallons of liquor isn't exactly roughing it) already. We are capable of adjusting again.

Definitely not a clear black-and-white issue here....I won't being wading into these waters as a white protestor but other's mileage may vary.

Phillip
 

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Have to agree with that perspective, Phillip. My first time at the confluence about 1975 was by way of a two-day hike down the Tanner Trail and over the Beamer Trail. Later, I went down the Hopi Salt Trail and out the Tanner. I encountered a very large Grand Canyon pink rattlesnake guarding the Hopi Sipapu. The elders had been there recently and replenished the prayer feathers. I was such an elitist hiker, I was offended by the lazy tourists who arrived on motorized commercial rafts. I then got into rafting and got myself to the confluence with good, old, wooden oars and was smug about that, too.

So, the thought of a tramway seems like an unbearable travesty. But I can also see a future where river-runners will be making beer runs and passenger exchanges on the tram and thinking it's cool, if they never saw how it was.

The history of our country includes a long period where we encouraged indigenous people to act more like euro-americans or our armies would exterminate them. Capitalism was pushed on them and they won't be going back. Navajo development will probably happen, now or later.

The most encouraging thing on this thread is the info that there is a division of opinion among tribal members. There are the politicians who want to create cash flow and traditionalists who want to protect the unique resources. This is human behavior that has nothing to do with race. So let's have a coalition of people with a common goal rather than another conflict of whites vs. Indians. I would support the tribal members who oppose the project, but refrain from demanding that the US government not allow them to develop their property.

I would love to come back in a thousand years to see what, if any, remnants of present infrastructure remains at Grand Canyon. Even that god-awful dam will be hard to identify. This is a tiny blip in geologic time, so while we worry about the canyon, the canyon doesn't worry about us.
 
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