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President Ben Shelly Applauds Release of Sacred Lands Book “Diné Bikéyah”

Bluff, UT—Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly joined San Juan County Commissioners Phil Lyman Kenneth Maryboy and Navajo Council Delegate (Mexican Water, To’likan, Teesnospos, Aneth, Red Mesa), former Council Delegate and San Juan County Commissioner Mark Maryboy and other elected officials to kick off the celebrated book release of Diné Bikéyah in Bluff yesterday evening. “I applaud the release of Diné Bikéyah because it calls international attention to cultural protection on public lands and I support our Navajos in Utah and the creation of the Dine Bikéyah National Conservation Area,” said President Shelly. “For the sake of future generations, we must continue to protect and manage our ancestral lands.” According to the book’s website, “It has been created to beautifully support the Navajo people’s voice in the ongoing land conservation discussion in Utah. Our continuing effort to preserve this, our native land, in a way, which reflects the Navajo way of life, is outlined with our hopes for the future. Along with a thorough description of the Navajo’s conservation concerns, you will find beautiful photographs of the land, Navajo people who make it their home, and quotes from those people in our native language.”

In a press statement, Commissioner Maryboy said, “The Navajo have an inherent connection with Mother Earth. The land provides all that we need and we have a duty to protect and preserve it. It is our honor to do so.” Bessie Jim stated the Navajo role of the book is to honor the deep history and continuing interests of the Navajo Nation in this region. “We will be proposing that the Utah Navajo have a formal role in planning and managing the Diné Bikéyah National Conservation Area. For the Utah Navajo, the opportunity to collaborate in the management of the Diné Bikéyah National Conservation Area ensures that these lands will be managed in a manner that protects our interest in San Juan County.”

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