FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — President Donald Trump's decision to drastically reduce and break up a national monument in Utah wasn't the only blow Native American tribes say they were dealt last week.
The president's proclamation on Bears Ears National Monument also contained a little-known plan that changes the makeup of a tribal advisory commission for the remote monument filled with canyons, plateaus, rivers and rust-colored rock formations. It adds a county commissioner who is among the minority of Navajos to support Republicans in peeling back protections for the land.
The new commissioner will have the same authority as the group's five other members, all representatives of tribes.
The same day the president visited Utah to cut the monument by 85 percent to 315 square miles (815 square kilometers) and divide it into two units, a Utah congressman introduced legislation to create tribal co-management councils that were touted by Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
The Utah congressional delegation sees the changes as unifying forces in a region long divided over land management, and as a way to ensure local control.
Tribes say that while co-management might sound nice, the proposal by Republican Rep. John Curtis excludes tribes outside Utah and lets the president hand-select most representatives.
“Don't try to appease us by giving us something you think we want or you think will make us happy,'' said Katherine Belzowski, an attorney with the Navajo Nation Department of Justice. “This is a slap in the face.''
Supporters heralded Bears Ears as the first national monument created by tribes on land they hold sacred. The monument contains tens of thousands of archaeological sites, including cliff dwellings.
Critics said President Barack Obama's decision to designate 2,188 square miles (5,667 square kilometer) was an egregious abuse of the Antiquities Act.
The original proclamation established the Bears Ears Commission as an advisory panel with one elected official from each of the Hopi, Navajo, Ute Mountain Ute, Ute and Zuni tribes.
Trump's proclamation maintains the commission but renames it the Shash Jaa Commission, using the Navajo name for Bears Ears. It also adds a representative from the San Juan County Commission, now Rebecca Benally.
Benally said the appointment “came out of the blue,'' but reflects a feeling among some that they were being left out of management discussions.
Obama's proclamation had a separate advisory committee for state and local governments, tribes, recreationists, business owners and private landowners. It's unclear if Trump's proclamation maintains that panel. The Interior Department referred questions to the White House, which did not immediately respond to an email Monday seeking clarification.
Benally said she doesn't believe her role will dilute the tribal voice, and she wants to elevate the commission's work to more than advising the federal government on how to manage the land.
“We can spin our wheels and advise and recommend all we want, and that's all it is,'' she said. “I think the true authority will come once John Curtis' bill can be passed.''
The Bears Ears Commission and Benally have been at odds all along. The tribes say Benally wasn't elected to represent tribal interests and wasn't vested in the monument's creation. Unlike federally recognized tribes, county commissions have no direct relationship with the federal government.
The tribal group said it had been meeting regularly when it heard rumblings that Zinke would recommend shrinking the monument and was touting a management plan that would give tribes more say in Bears Ears decisions. Tribal co-management plans also were recommended at two national monuments in New Mexico and one in Nevada.
Curtis' legislation would create management councils for each of the two Bears Ears units that would “regularly and meaningfully engage'' with the Bears Ears Commission.
The councils would have different makeups but largely would be stacked with Utah residents appointed by the president in consultation with the state's congressional delegation. Each council would include two San Juan County commissioners. Native Americans would be in the minority of one or both.
The management council for the monument's Shash Jaa unit would include a Navajo specifically from the Aneth Chapter — the only Navajo community that voted against creation of the larger Bears Ears National Monument. The community southeast of the monument's boundaries said the process in designating the larger monument was “undemocratic and unjust'' and requested that Trump reverse it.
If passed, Curtis said, the bill would be a first in allowing tribes to co-manage a monument. It also would make “irrelevant'' a lawsuit filed by tribes challenging Trump's proclamation because the legislation gives tribes what they're seeking, he said.
“This is not some kind of giveaway,'' said Danny Laub, a Curtis spokesman. “This is an actual, very thoughtful, very serious legislative idea. We are in good faith trying to put forth a consensus of all these competing groups in the best possible way to manage these lands.''
Natalie Landreth, an attorney with the Native American Rights Fund, said Curtis' bill is unacceptable for the three tribes she represents because it puts them in the minority and weakens their power on the panels that oversee the land. Tribes are not stakeholders, she said. They are sovereign entities.
“The particular way this was constituted is not an accident,'' Landreth said. “It's deliberately done to dilute and silence the tribal voice. They're not fooling anybody. This is not a co-management body.''
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — Actor Steve Reevis, who had supporting roles in the movies “Fargo'' and “Last of the Dogmen,'' has died. He was 55.
Ralph Foster of the Foster Funeral Home said Friday that Reevis died Thursday at a hospital Missoula. He did not know the cause of death.
Reevis was a member of the Blackfeet Tribe in northwestern Montana.
He also appeared in the movies “Dances With Wolves'' and the 2005 version of “The Longest Yard'' and acted in several television episodes, including “Walker, Texas Ranger,'' “Jag'' and “Bones.''
Reevis is survived by his wife, Macile, and four children.
Foster says funeral arrangements are pending.
THE DALLES, Ore. (AP) — Disability Rights Oregon alleged in a new report that the juvenile jail in The Dalles skirts Oregon law and uses inhumane methods to punish youth, a newspaper reported Wednesday.
The director of the Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facility disputed the findings reported in The East Oregonian but said there is room for improvement at the facility that takes in juveniles from 17 Oregon counties, some southwest Washington counties and federal immigration cases. The facility also houses some teens from the Warm Springs Indian Reservation.
Disability Rights is authorized to inspect jails and other facilities that house people with disabilities under a federal designation. In the report, organization attorney Sarah Radcliffe said she interviewed 23 youth at the NORCOR juvenile jail during three visits between June and September. The teens told her about long stays in isolation for minor infractions and most reported spending between three and six hours per day locked in their cells, the report said.
“I was just really shocked by the conditions,'' she said. “Kids are getting disciplined for normal behavior, and some for mental health-related behavior.''
Offenders as young as 12 faced discipline for talking in line or not looking forward, according to the report. Youth could spend weeks “on disciplinary status,'' according to Radcliffe, in which they cannot participate in any group activities, have to eat alone, receive solitary education in their housing unit and cannot have phone calls or visits from family.
Radcliffe called NORCOR's disciplinary process “regressive and aggressive.''
NORCOR also does not document how long youth remain in isolation, a violation of Oregon law.
Dr. Ajit Jetmalani, the director of child and adolescent psychiatry at Oregon Health and Science University and a member of the statewide juvenile justice mental health task force, said in the report the NORCOR juvenile detention facility “appears to be unaware of the neuroscience of adolescent development'' that shows “the critical importance of attachment and sustained positive relationships'' for juveniles.
“The key to recovery for these kids is not enforcing strict compliance with rules, but rather in forming healthy relationships that help to foster an intrinsic desire to engage positively with the world,'' he said.
NORCOR Director Bryan Brandenburg disputed much of Radcliffe's report.
“We really are about teaching kids better behavior,'' he said. “We certainly don't punish, as she said in her report, nor do we treat them inhumanely.''
Staff do isolate teens who are disruptive or who break rules by locking them in their cell. But staff and mental health workers regularly check on youth in segregation, he said.
Rules against looking around or looking out of windows during class had been done away with after Radcliffe's report. The facility will also do a better job of documenting how long youth are in isolation, Brandenburg said, and is working on a grievance and appeals processes for youth who get into trouble.
Oregon law requires juvenile jails to offer a hearing prior to imposing “roomlock'' in excess of 12 hours or denial of any privilege in excess of one day.
Inmates in Oregon's state prisons can file complaints against staff and file appeals for discipline, Brandenburg said, and youth in NORCOR should have those same rights.
“We are in the service business, so we will look at those recommendations we see as legitimate and valid and make an effort to address them,'' he said.