The Conservation Alliance (At Home) Breakfast: Back to Bears Ears

Back to Bears Ears: A Conversation with Clark Tenakhongva, the Vice-Chairman for the Hopi Tribe and Co-Chair for the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition   

WATCH THE EVENT (Recorded on January 21, 2021)
TAKE ACTION: Join us in signing a business letter to the Biden administration urging protections for the Bears Ears landscape.

Over the past four years, there have been many attacks on America’s public lands, but one of the most egregious was the reduction of Bears Ears National Monument in December, 2017. The fate of this remarkable landscape has tossed back and forth in ever-changing political winds. The Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition (BEITC) issued the original Bears Ears National Monument
proposal and continues to lead the effort to protect this important cultural landscape. The outdoor industry has been a strong advocate for the protection of Bears Ears and partner to the BEITC. Now, with a new incoming administration, it is time to collectively refocus, re-engage, and turn our attention back to this special place.

In this edition of The Conservation Alliance (At Home) Breakfast, Clark Tenakhongva joins us to share insights on the state of Bears Ears. Recently elected to a year-long Chair seat for the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, Clark is uniquely positioned to share his personal connection to this land, thoughts on what we might expect from the new Biden-Harris administration, and a perspective on how the outdoor industry can support the Tribes’ work moving forward.
Keala Carter, the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition Lead Advocate and Public Lands Specialist, will set the stage for Clark’s presentation, taking us through an overview of the history of the Bears Ears area and the national monument designation.




Clark Tenakhongva and Keala Carter

Clark Tenakhongva
Clark Tenakhongva is the Vice-Chairman for the Hopi Tribe and Co-Chair for the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition. He was born in the Village of Ho’atvela on the Hopi Reservation and is a member of the Rabbit and Tobacco Clans. After attending a boarding school in Riverside, California, he enlisted in the United States Army. Upon returning home to Hopi, Vice-Chairman Tenakhongva became involved with tribal law enforcement and judicial services after taking a job as a Deputy Prosecutor. He went on to fulfill his lifelong interest in public service and education by becoming involved in the Hopi Education system as a member of various Community School Boards. In 2000, Vice-Chairman Tenakhongva took a Counselor position at the Hopi Office of Veterans Affairs and volunteered as a DJ on the KUYI Hopi Radio, eventually starting his professional recording career with Canyon Records. All four of his released albums have been nominated for a NAMMY (Native American Music Award). He is a traditional farmer, rancher, and artist. You can listen to his music on Spotify and other streaming music services.

Keala Carter, BEITC Lead Advocate and Public Lands Specialist 
Keala Carter has the dual responsibility of managing the Coalition’s engagement with any public policy, agency, NGO, or partner nexus, and serves as the Project Lead in the land management planning process. Originally, from Kauai, HI, Keala received degrees in Sociology and Environmental Studies from Princeton University and a Master’s in Environmental Law & Policy from Vermont Law School. During the course of her career she has supported Clean Energy and Climate industry group at Covington & Burling, LLP, served as a policy aide supporting Senator Schatz’s portfolio with a focus on Environment, Alternative Energy and Native Hawaiian issues and spent time working on the ground convening environmental mediations under the direction of Peter Adler (former Director of the Keystone Center). During her time working as the Federal Public Policy Advocate at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs she was part of a multi-year effort that resulted in the expansion of the Papahānaumokuākea National Marine Monument and elevation of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to a Co-Trustee for the purpose of management and oversight of the monument. She uses her degrees and experience to analyze and contextualize the issues at hand, but finds deep listening and coalition building invaluable when empowering people to design and embrace their path forward.

The Conservation Alliance (At Home) Breakfast is open to all registered attendees of Outdoor Retailer and is free to attend. Arrive tired, leave inspired!


Photo Credit: “Hotel Rock” by Tim Peters. Photo courtesy of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition.