Navajo president speaks to Utah Legislature

Salt Lake City, Utah (AP) October 2011

Navajo Nation President Ben Shelley is urging Utah officials to include native tribes in public land planning.

Shelley says during a speech to state lawmakers that the conservation of lands in southeastern Utah is important to the Navajo people because of their cultural and ceremonial significance.

Shelley says including tribal leaders in public lands planning could help repair the distrust of the U.S. government among Native Americans.

Shelley is highlighting a new book, titled Dine (dih-NEH’) Bikeyah (bih-KAY’-yah), during his visit to the Utah Capitol. The book includes pictures of important lands in southeastern Utah and quotes from Navajo people about their personal connections to the land.

The book highlights other Native Americans that have lived in the area, including the Ute, Paiute and Hopi tribes.