Trump’s Dismemberment of Bears Ears: Perspective From Indigenous Scholars

Photo by Bob Wick, BLM

President Trump’s visit to Salt Lake City to sign two orders slashing the size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments also included a meeting with Mormon religious leaders who shared “Church doctrine” with the president before he signed the controversial proclamations.

Trump’s unprecedented, two-million-acre cut in public land protection was spurred by Mormon political leaders, including Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, and supported by the entire Utah congressional delegation, Utah governor and Utah legislature.

It remains unknown what was discussed when Trump met with the top leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during the closed meeting.

But if Trump had also chosen to sit down with experts such as Thomas Murphy and Angelo Baca, two scholars of American Indian descent who were raised Mormon, he surely would have heard a different perspective on Mormon doctrine from the one offered by church leaders.

Trump would have heard how latent racism, a history of grave robbery beginning with LDS founder Joseph Smith, disrespect of tribal sovereignty and a belief in divine right to the land are at the heart Utah’s relentless drive to seize control of federal public lands, particularly Bears Ears.

LINK (via: The Revelator)

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