The Visionary Activist Show

The Visionary Activist Show – Bears Ears Victory


Out of the dark of the Moon Dark of the Year Cauldron of despair, Coyote ladles out Bears Ears Triumphant, (still needing us all to protect what is sacred and precious). Sane Reverent Indigenuity Spiraling into the Memosphere. Hosting Bill Hedden and Terry Tempest Williams.

Bill Hedden is Executive Director of the Grand Canyon Trust, under his leadership the organization has led in developing ecologically sensible forest restoration programs and is partnering with Colorado Plateau tribes to win designation of the first-ever Native American national monument at the Bears Ears in southeast Utah.

The wild lands of our collective soul in Utah have assumed human form to come tell us its story.

“Today, the Navajo, Hopi, Zuni, Uintah and Ouray Ute, and Ute Mountain Ute tribes have formally united to secure a presidential proclamation establishing a 1.9 million-acre Bears Ears National Monument… The five tribes of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition have developed a visionary and workable plan for America’s first national monument that will be collaboratively managed by the tribes and the federal government. Their proposal envisions a world-class center for the integration of Native American traditional knowledge and western science at Bears Ears. The Coalition’s proposal has been favorably received by the White House and appointees in the Obama Administration at the departments of Interior and Agriculture.”  (From August 11, 2016 Interview)

And now – Victory! Obama has designated Bears Ears as a national monument (Article from The Guardian).

terry-tempest-williams-2We will be interweaving with Terry Tempest Williams – author, activist, naturalist and fierce advocate for freedom of speech, she has consistently shown us how environmental issues are social issues that ultimately become matters of justice. “So here is my question,” she asks, “what might a different kind of power look like, feel like, and can power be redistributed equitably even beyond our own species?”

In 2006, Williams received the Robert Marshall Award from The Wilderness Society, their highest honor given to an American citizen. She also received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Western American Literature Association and the Wallace Stegner Award given by The Center for the American West. She is the recipient of a Lannan Literary Fellowship and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in creative nonfiction. In 2009, Terry Tempest Williams was featured in Ken Burns’ PBS series on the national parks. She is also the recipient of the 2010 David R. Brower Conservation Award for activism. The Community of Christ International Peace Award was presented in 2011 to Terry Tempest Williams in recognition of significant peacemaking vision, advocacy and action. In 2014, on the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act, Ms. Williams received the Sierra Club’s John Muir Award honoring a distinguished record of leadership in American conservation.

· Bill Hedden

· Terry Tempest Williams


  • Gypsy Scholar

    Blessings to the Visionary Activist for bringing Bill Hedden to the KPFA airwaves! Giving us more reason “to protect what is sacred and precious.” Much here is given to ruminate on (“con-sider”), before we all are sucked into the Dark Cauldron of Your Worst Political Nightmare. Such as “sane reverence” towards “the sacred”—the sacred lands and places (and Caroline would agree that it’s not about “saving” “Mother Earth,” if it’s not also just as much about “saving” her indigenous peoples, who have occupied these sacred lands for thousands of years and so should have the last say on the matter—these are tribal lands, whether in North Dakota or in Colorado; so the issue is more than “saving” these sacred, beautiful wild-places for the “good road” convenience of non-native people who want to go sightseeing), that will be under attack from the incoming Trump administration and its “Dementors of Doom” Cabinet.

    Yes, that out-going President Obama has set aside for protection some of these sacred lands (for the public trust) is enough to make you “cry” to hear this wonderful news! But allow me to tell VA listeners something else that makes me want to “cry”!

    Talking about the political issue of the “preservation of sacred lands,” or Native American “treaty rights,” or even “environmental justice,” when I see that even the Democrat president was influenced by popular opinion stop the Keystone XL Pipeline, then to halt work on the Dakota Access Pipeline, and currently designates monuments, protects federal land in Utah and Nevada—when this is what voting for the Democrat instead of the Republican in 2008 and 2012 means, I want to “cry” (cry out loudly) that (as Bill Hedden himself lamented) *we have to fight the same battle anew*! In other words, I want to cry out to my fellow “progressives”: Why do you keep insisting (from 2000 to 2016) on the third-party campaign slogan “No Difference”?! Do you actually mean to say that that you’d rather *not* have these progressive gains because you will only vote for a president who promises to give you everything? Is it *all or nothing* with you? Is this what you call a realistic “political strategy” (to keep going back to square one every election cycle and fight the same old battles all over again; the Republican far-Right takes power and we lose all the hard-won liberal/progressive gains, because it’s all undone)?!

    And since I’m on the topic (that’s at the background of today’s important discussion with Bill Hedden), considering “it’s all undone,” I predict the up-coming Trump presidency will be a far-Right exercise in “undoing,” or rolling back accumulative liberal/progressive policies that have taken decades to achieve. But the outcome of this election cycle (when the Green Party presidential candidate, Jill Stein, ran on a “No Difference” slogan), won’t be just the devastating roll-back that took place when Bush won over Gore, when the country went back to the Reagan era and entered the post-9/11 era, it will go all the way back to undoing the structure of the Roosevelt “New Deal,” and we will find ourselves in an oligarchic neo-feudalism. My point here is that it won’t be as bad as I first suggested (going back to square one); no, it will likely be worse—going deep into a socio-political hole that the progressive Left (and the democracy/republic) may never dig itself out of!

    My justification for such a gloomy prediction—since it will be taken as only a mere “presumption”—is based on what I know about Donald Trump (whose father’s lawyer was his ideal growing up; namely, the infamous Roy Cohn, prosecutor attack-dog for the McCarthy hearings) and those he’s surrounding himself with. So my take on the next four years of Donald Trump is that Caroline’s number one political “con man” will be the presidential *conned man*. I mean, it will be about who (what group) is most successfully going to *use* the no-clue, unprincipled, megalomaniac, narcissist Trump to further their (essentially) *fascist* agenda.

    Don’t get me wrong! I definitely see the virtue of Caroline’s “let’s not presume anything until .…” (And the toxic mimic of this sensible caution was that of comedian Dave Chappelle, who wished Donald Trump luck, saying: “I’m going to give Trump a chance!” Okay, will someone write a catchy song for this curious position?: “All we are say-ing is give Fascism a chance!” As if it wasn’t given a “chance” in a big way 85 years ago, or as if we shouldn’t know it when we see and hear it; you know, “If it quacks like and walks like, then it’s ….!)

    So, yes, let’s not “presume.” On the other hand, I don’t want to find that we’ve fallen into the other trap; i.e., that we were caught unaware and thus surprised when the far-Right faction in power guts the only protection we’d have as “The People” against such *fascism*—the Constitution—, and then we want to kick ourselves for not *presuming* (for not taking them at their word) what was going to happen!

    So there’s my “criticism,” and now my “blessing.” I want to be part of a overwhelming and unstoppable national uprising in the name of the People (“the Human Beings” and all their Relations—John Trudell) and spirit of his sacred land, in the name of the “Protectors” of everything sacred, in the land in its people and their sacred quest for equality and justice. And I might add (thinking of Caroline’s favorite TV series of last season, *Braindead*) I want to see the Trump “Dementors of Doom” so afraid of our power, that when they go on TV news programs to advocate for our collective internment at Guantanamo prison camp, their frustration is so great it makes their heads explode! 😉

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