The Barton Family opposes the Bears Ears National Monument
My parents weren’t from Blanding. I don’t have ancestral roots to the Hole in the Rock pioneers—that’s my husband and children’s heritage. But I will always feel a connection to the land and the people here.
My father, Worthy Glover served an LDS mission in this area, in the Southwest Indian Mission, before he married my mother. He learned to speak Navajo and to love the people. He still speaks fluent Navajo, and it is always a treat to hear him sing some of my favorite songs in Navajo. If you meet him, you will have to ask him about “The Ant Hill Song,” “Go My Son,” and “I Walk in Beauty.” Some of my favorite memories include traveling with him to some distant part of the reservation to help him serve the people he loves.
My earliest memories include some of the Navajo nicknames he gave me, including Nan’a’bah (little Nan), Nizhoni (beautiful) and Dii’giis (stupid). Yep, my dad called me stupid. But I don’t think it was meant to be an insult. You see, my dad knew my nature as a fighter, a tiny fighter, but a fighter nonetheless. He knew calling me Dii’giss was a challenge, and I would automatically be the opposite of stupid, and he was right. I was one of the smartest students at San Juan High School, where I graduated with honors thanks to my parents challenging me.
“Proposals written by those pushing for a monument designation say these things will be allowed, but it is hard to believe those promises, when so often in the past those same types of promises have not been kept.”
My best friends growing up were Native American—mostly Navajo, but I had several Ute friends and my first boyfriend was Cheyenne. I am so grateful for their friendship and the example they have been to me of overcoming difficult odds.
Recently, that fighting spirit my father saw in me at a young age has started to come out, as I have realized the threat of a monument designation is very real in our area. I can’t help but feel like I need to stand up for my community, my family and friends, and
especially my Native American friends. When you study history, it is obvious a monument designation will lead to greater restrictions to gathering pine nuts and other herbs and plants by Native peoples. Wood cutting is often greatly limited. I know too many people who depend on simple things like gathering pine nuts to supplement their meager income. And so many, so many that absolutely could not survive without firewood.
Recently, that fighting spirit my father saw in me at a young
age has started to come out, as I have realized the threat
of a monument designation is very real in our area.”
Proposals written by those pushing for a monument designation say these things will be allowed, but it is hard to believe those promises, when so often in the past those same types of promises have not been kept. I have to say it, imposing a monument designation on this land would be “dii-giis!” Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!
Have some respect for the real people who will be most affected by this proposal. Let’s not just protect the environment (which we all know is unlikely without restrictions); let’s protect the ecosystem, which includes the land, the animals and the PEOPLE who live here!
– The Britt & Nan Barton Family