The International Indigenous Youth Council and Native youth in the Four Corners Area hosted a nearly 80-mile run to help bring attention to fracking in the Greater Chaco Area and the negative health effects fracking has on the local communities.
The Greater Chaco Region is a checkerboarded area of Tribal, state, federal, and allotment land. The Bureau of Land Management has approved more than 400 new fracking wells without adequate Tribal consultation or protections for community health, water and climate impacts. Fracking development threatens ancient Chaco culture and sacred sites and also Navajo people and living communities in the area who have been dealing with the impacts of resource extraction for decades.
The youth ran throughout the day and set up tents in the evenings. They hosted "Southwest culture nights" during their camping hours which consisted of songs, stories, prayers and ceremonies shared by Southwest elders from the area. These culture nights were open to the public with dinner provided for those who attend.
On Monday, June 26th, the public welcomed the runners on their final leg as they arrived at the Bureau of Land Management office in Farmington to deliver a letter carried the length of the run.
The public came to celebrate the journey and continue the call on BLM/BIA to immediately stop approving new fracking wells and leasing more land until the current planning process is complete. The letter will further detail the needs of the planning process.
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