FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 21, 2023
Contact: Will Pregman, firstname.lastname@example.org, 702.752.0656
Avi Kwa Ame Coalition Celebrates Biden Designation of New National Monument in Southern Nevada
WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, President Joe Biden officially designated Avi Kwa Ame National Monument, a parcel of land spanning several hundred thousand acres in Southern Nevada, for its cultural and ecological importance to the Southwest.
In response, the Honor Avi Kwa Ame coalition issued the following statement:
“Since President Biden‘s announcement at the Tribal Nations Summit, we have been eager to see the administration follow through and issue an official designation of this sacred land. The President’s action today will safeguard these hundreds of thousands of acres in southern Nevada bearing great cultural, ecological, and economic significance to our state. We are honored and grateful to his leadership and are thrilled to be a part of this historic day.
Tribal leaders and members, monument supporters, and the general public made their voices heard in unanimous support of this proposal and the need to safeguard these resources for future generations. Yuman-speaking Tribes believe the mountain is the spiritual birthplace of the tribes – the place where ancient ancestors emerged into this world. Locally, supporters of Avi Kwa Ame also gathered over 160,000 petition signatures and counting in support of the designation, and polling has shown overwhelming bipartisan support for protecting this sacred land.
We want to recognize and thank Congresswoman Dina Titus, who sponsored legislation in the House urging this protection. We thank Congresswoman Susie Lee, who worked with stakeholders throughout southern Nevada to rally support for this designation. We also thank Senator Catherine Cortez Masto and Senator Jacky Rosen, for listening to Tribal voices, and the members of the coalition, and assisting the effort to reach a full designation by the President.
We appreciate Interior Secretary Deb Haaland’s willingness to meet with Tribal leaders and our coalition, as well as Bureau of Land Management Director Tracey Stone-Manning, for their critical work to visit the proposed site and hear feedback directly from members of the community. Without their efforts, we would not be here today.
Finally, we again express our deepest thanks to President Biden for taking action to protect this land as a new national monument in southern Nevada. Our coalition looks forward to continuing to educate our Nevada community, our elected officials, and the nation about the importance of Avi Kwa Ame, the leadership of those who made this designation possible, and the need for respecting and honoring Indigenous history in the southwest.”
About Honor Avi Kwa Ame: A coalition of tribes, local Searchlight, Boulder City and Laughlin residents, the Nevada Legislature, conservation groups, recreation interests, and others are working to establish the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument to permanently protect these treasured lands. Avi Kwa Ame is the Mojave name for Spirit Mountain and the surrounding landscape. The mountain, located on the eastern boundary of the proposed monument, and the surrounding landscape are sacred to twelve Native American tribes.
For a full list of Avi Kwa Ame National Monument supporters, click ihere.
About Avi Kwa Ame (Pronunciation: Ah-VEE kwa-meh): Sacred to 12 tribes, the proposed Avi Kwa Ame National Monument is at the center of Yuman creation stories and spiritual ideology and deserves permanent protection. Located between the Lake Mead National Recreation Area and the Nevada/California border, Avi Kwa Ame, the Mojave name for Spirit Mountain, could be Nevada’s 4th national monument. Covering hundreds of thousands of acres in southwestern Nevada, it is rich in both history and beauty. The proposed national monument includes petroglyphs; historic mining- and pioneer-era artifacts; rare and threatened wildlife such as the Mojave Desert tortoise and desert bighorn sheep.