WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Wednesday said he is poised to designate Avi Kwa Ame, a sacred site for Native American tribes in southern Nevada, as a national monument that would ensure the preservation of ancestral lands for those 12 tribes.
“I’m committed to protecting this sacred place that is central to the creation story of some many tribes,” Biden said during the second White House Tribal Nations Summit.
It was not an official designation, which tribal leaders pointed out, the Nevada Current reported.
The announcement took place at the U.S. Department of Interior, where the president also announced economic, climate and land management actions the administration is taking to foster a strong federal relationship with Indian Country.
Spirit Mountain, named Avi Kwa Ame by the Mojave tribe, is considered sacred to 10 Yuman-speaking tribes, and the Hopi and Chemehuevi Paiute tribes, because the area is the center of the Yuman tribe’s creation story and ancestral lands.
Those Yuman- speaking tribes are the Mojave, Hualapai, Yavapai, Havasupai, Quechan, Maricopa, Pai Pai, Halchidhoma, Cocopah and Kumeyaay.
Local leaders and tribes have petitioned for the land to become a national monument to ensure its protection.
“The Yuman Tribes believe the mountain is the spiritual birthplace of the tribes, the place where ancient ancestors emerged into this world,” according to the petition.
Biden added that he looked forward to visiting the site in person and also said he plans to make an official presidential visit to Indian Country, but did not elaborate on when that would take place. Read more