The Colorado Plateau Story
THE COLORADO PLATEAU IS AN ANCIENT LANDSCAPE OF INCREDIBLE BEAUTY AND DIVERSE LIFE.
Formed millions of years ago, it extends across a 130,000 square mile area roughly centered over the Four Corners area in the southwest United States. One-third of the Colorado Plateau lies within the sovereign lands of Indian nations whose ancestors originally settled this place thousands of years ago.
TODAY THIS REGION FACES SEVERAL CRITICAL CHALLENGES.
Water is a precious resource and becomes more so every day. A growing population is increasing pressure on an already scarce water supply and the little we do have is threatened by pollution and mismanagement.
Culturally important lands are increasingly threatened by development and industry. A network of sacred places, agricultural lands, and historically important trails is being damaged and made inaccessible by resource extraction, unchecked urbanization, and invasive recreation. Our lands are part of us, and as they are desecrated, our traditions and beliefs are undermined.
Our languages, which hold our ancestral knowledge, are in jeopardy of disappearing. Our languages are a manifestation of how we understand and interpret the world. Contained within them is the wisdom that can help protect our lands and waters and heal communities. In the struggle to balance our traditional identities with the roles we play in the dominant culture, we are losing fluency in our languages.
SOLUTIONS CAN BE FOUND WITHIN COLORADO PLATEAU TRIBES.
A new energy and optimism is feeding the growth of Native-run organizations on the Colorado Plateau. Local Native voices are steadily influencing regional conservation organizations and agencies. We are seeing initiatives to use alternative energy, protect water sources, revive traditional agricultural knowledge, and keep our languages alive. Our youth are bringing passion, education, and a desire to use their expertise in this work. The solutions to today’s challenges are at hand.
Find out how you can become a supporter of Native-led organizations, effectively guiding and protecting the cultures and environments of the Colorado Plateau.