On October 3 in Jackson Hole, Interior’s Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee – Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommittee is expected to approve the post-delisting regulatory document, the Conservation Strategy.
Chief Vincent Yellow Old Woman, Chief of the Siksika Nation, and others, have categorized the proposed delisting of the grizzly bear as an act of cultural genocide against our people."
America’s first national park should no longer have features named after the proponents and exponents of genocide, as is the case with Hayden Valley and Mount Doane.
“Further, at a meeting on 11/6/15 a delegation of tribal leaders petitioned Director Ashe and Deputy Secretary of the Interior, Mike Connor, to consult with and include tribes in the post-delisting Conservation Strategy. This request was ignored, and tribes were omitted, while every associated agency was included. Though not consulted, the rule stipulates that tribes are expected to contribute to the $3.8 million per year it will cost to implement the Conservation Strategy, despite having opposed delisting and detailed how it is against tribal interests. This will most directly impact the Shoshone-Bannock, Eastern Shoshone, and Northern Arapaho, who retain seats on Interior’s Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, and could, in effect, hold those tribes to ransom to adopt states’ policies and plans for the grizzly bear.”
Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council email, March 2016.
On November 16, 2016, Interior's Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee-Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommittee (IGBC-YES) voted to approve the Conservation Strategy in violation of the federal trust responsibility to tribal nations. The Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone, members of the IGBC-YES, were not represented at the vote, and the Shoshone-Bannock representative abstained. The other 24 "Associated Tribes of Yellowstone" were locked out of the vote.
“We, the leadership of the Northern Arapaho, have not been invited to, nor engaged in, any meaningful consultation with the USFWS on this matter, in common with tribal nations from Montana to Arizona. Equally egregious is the claim that we are participating in formulating the Conservation Strategy – we are not. Neither ourselves nor the other two tribes cited have been consulted on the Conservation Strategy or contributed to it, which is the case with the other 23 tribes the federal government recognizes as Associated Tribes of Yellowstone. Tribes have petitioned to be consulted and have input in the Conservation Strategy, even in face-to-face meetings with USFWS Director Dan Ashe and Deputy Secretary of the Interior Mike Connor, but we continue to be excluded, although we are expected to contribute to the approximately $3.8 million per year the Conservation Strategy will cost to implement.”
Northern Arapaho Tribe Declaration (10/6/16) furnished to Interior Secretary Jewell.
“Every federal agency is required to consult with Tribal Nations before they recommend a course of action that has the potential to affect tribal rights and interests. This must occur in this process, as the sovereignty of the affected Tribal Nations cannot be undermined. The affected tribes have not been consulted, and, in fact, have been omitted, from the critical post-delisting regulatory mechanism, the Conservation Strategy. This matter urgently needs resolving.”
Osage Nation Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear to Secretary Jewell (11/21/16).
Federal mandates require government-to-government consultation to be “meaningful,” a standard that has not been met in this instance, and “pre-decisional.” A high-ranking official at the Dept. of Interior has confirmed that the USFWS has targeted the end of 2016 to finalize the grizzly delisting process, and that Interior’s Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommittee), will approve the post-delisting regulatory mechanism, the Conservation Strategy, at its October meeting. All Tribal Nations, including the federally recognized Associated Tribes of Yellowstone, have been excluded from the Conservation Strategy, despite continued appeals for inclusion, which is one of many violations of tribal consultation requirements. Clearly, no consultation can be categorized as “pre-decisional” now, as the outcome is, and has been for a considerable period of time, predetermined – a fact the official record demonstrates.
From - Piikani Nation Chief and Council Declaration, September 12, 2016
The Piikani Nation has an ancient connection to Greater Yellowstone.
And our ancestors gave their lives to protect the sanctity of that land
Why a Congressional Investigation
has been called for
"Through information obtained via FOIA requests it is now apparent that the motivational factors behind both the delisting of the grizzly bear and the construction of the DAPL are closely aligned.”