Press Release

NDN Collective Joins Celebration of Chaco Canyon Decision

For Immediate Release: Sunday, June 11th, 2023

Albuquerque, NM – Today, NDN Collective joined Diné and Pueblo community partners at an event hosted by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to celebrate the Biden Administration’s decision to withdraw public lands from new mineral development and establish a 10-mile buffer zone surrounding the Chaco Culture National Historical Park.

In support of this historic decision, NDN Collective released the following statements:

“The protections provided to Chaco Canyon in the decision by President Biden and Secretary Haaland are the result of tireless efforts by grassroots organizers who fought to protect this landscape, held sacred by Diné and Pueblo peoples, from the devastating impacts of oil and gas development. Though our Nations may have different relationships to the Greater Chaco Region, we stand united in our responsibility to protect and preserve our shared cultural heritage for current and future generations. We continue calling on all nations, including tribal governments, to sever their ties with oil and gas and instead uplift and implement sustainable solutions rooted in traditional ecological knowledge.” – Janene Yazzie, Southwest Regional Director | NDN Collective.

“As a Navajo woman, I support the Honoring Chaco Initiative and the decision to protect Chaco Canyon from destruction by the oil and gas industry. Today, I stood with many other citizens of the Navajo nation to celebrate the move to protect Chaco Canyon’s rich history and cultural significance to all Indigenous People. We will continue to reject misinformation from the oil and gas industry who continue to exploit Indigenous lands and peoples everywhere. We will not stop fighting to protect our land.” – Tytianna Harris, Creative Resistance Action Coordinator | NDN Collective.


Dine and Pueblo citizens gather in solidarity at DOI event to acknowledge the Honoring Chaco Decision. Photo by Richard Castaneda.

“The decision to place a moratorium on new oil and gas leases in the Chaco region supports the voices of leading climate change scientists, advocates, and the communities who are enduring the impacts from drilling in the Greater Chaco region. The wildfires in Canada,  smoke pollution in New York, and the heat waves rolling across the U.S. are just the most recent evidence that we can no longer ignore the urgent warnings that frontline communities and scientists have been issuing for decades. The recent decision from DOI upholds the Biden-Harris promises on climate action, and delivers on environmental and racial justice. To preserve our shared planet, we need these types of bold actions to be implemented across the world.” Jade Begay, Policy and Advocacy Director | NDN Collective.

“Since 1680, our Pueblo communities have worked to protect what we value and hold dear – our victory with the decision to protect Chaco Canyon and its cultural landscape is a direct result of those efforts. An Indigenous woman leading the DOI is a new foundation for our work to further climate justice. The recognition by this Administration that the future of our planet depends on Indigenous solutions to climate change is reflected in the decision to protect the Greater Chaco region.” – Jaque Fragua, Creative Resistance Coordinator | NDN Collective.




NDN Collective is an Indigenous-led organization dedicated to building Indigenous power. Through organizing, activism, philanthropy, grantmaking, capacity-building, and narrative change, we are creating sustainable solutions on Indigenous terms