[News] US Bill Seeks First Native American Land Grab in 100 Years

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Sep 20 12:17:25 EDT 2016


  US Bill Seeks First Native American Land Grab in 100 Years

September 19, 2016 /(doubt it is either the first or the only - ed)/

Two Republican congresspeople are seeking to pass a controversial bill 
through the U.S. House of Representatives that would seek the first land 
grab of Native American lands in 100 years, members of the Ute nation 
have warned.

The Utah Public Lands Initiative was proposed by Utah Congressperson Rob 
Bishop and Jason Chaffetz and seeks to “roll back federal policy to the 
late 1800s when Indian lands and resources were taken from tribal 
nations for the benefit of others,” the Ute Business Committee said in 
an article for the Salt Lake Tribune Saturday.

Bishop and Chaffetz will present the bill to the House in few weeks, and 
if passed it would see 18 million acres of public lands in Eastern Utah 
downgraded from protected lands and turned into oil and gas drilling 
zones that are exempted from environmental protections, Think Progress 
reported earlier this year when the bill was unveiled.

“The actions of Bishop and Chaffetz would seek to divest the Ute Indian 
Tribe of their ancestral homelands,” the committee added while also 
bringing back “failed policies of tribal land dispossession that have 
had a devastating and lasting impact upon tribal nations for the past 

The bill proposes to make more than 100,000 acres of the Ute reservation 
lands for the state of Utah. “This modern day Indian land grab cannot be 
allowed to stand,” the committee argued.

The nation further slammed the legislators for utterly failing to 
consult and work with leaders of the Native American community in 
drafting such a bill when it proposes taking away more than 26 percent 
of its lands.

“Representing more than a quarter of these eastern Utah lands, the tribe 
should have been a major participant in the development of any bill to 
address problems in federal land management. We were not,” the committee 
warned in their article.

The news comes as more than 100 Indigenous groups have been organizing 
major mobilizations against the Dakota Access pipeline which sparked a 
wave of international solidarity.

The US$3.8 billion pipeline would carry shale from the Bakken oil region 
in North Dakota to oil refineries on the Gulf Coast.

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