Bears Ears reveals the sacredness, beauty, and mystery of this significant cultural landscape. For 13,000 years Native Americans have continuously inhabited the mesa tops, evergreen forests, and red-rock canyons of the Greater Bears Ears area. This high-desert landscape includes over 100,000 vulnerable archaeological sites from various populations; cliff dwellings, kivas, rock art images, and burial grounds.
The Bears Ears photo-zine emphasizes the Antiquities Act proposal created by a five tribe coalition — Navajo, Uintah & Ouray Ute, Hopi, Zuni, and Ute Mountain Ute Nations. In 2015, the coalition released a proposal to protect and preserve the cultural and natural resources inside Bears Ears. The core of the proposal is focused on spiritual and land stewardship.
This first of its kind, Indigenous proposal, protects the Bears Ears National Monument landscape from fossil fuel and uranium development and disposal.
Bears Ears zine includes 30 photographs and an essay by Russel Albert Daniels, a poem by Denae Shanidiin, and an essay by Terry Tempest Williams.
Russel Albert Daniels is a photographer based in Salt Lake City, Utah. His work concentrates on amplifying the visibility of Native Americans – their resiliency, identity, as well as others’ attempts to erase their cultures. His projects about culturally specific gender issues, the controversies over protecting Bears Ears National Monument, missing and murdered Indigenous women and people, and the Dakota Access Pipeline protests near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota, have helped bring forward critical conversations from Indian Country.
Daniels says: “My work is an act of self-discovery of my Diné, Ho-Chunk, Mormon settler, and European heritage.”
“The enduring legacy of human trafficking and white supremacy over Native Americans is frequently ignored by Anglo-America. I use storytelling to shine a light on the disenfranchisement this ignorance causes.”