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Protest at Chaco Culture NHP exposes debate among Native Americans

The ongoing debate over oil and gas drilling around Chaco Canyon National Historic Park is going to be about fighting misinformation and not fighting one another, say the Diné activists whose celebration about a plan to protect the park turned into a contentious standoff last month with local Diné allottees who oppose the plan.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland had announced her intention to withdraw more than 336,400 acres of land around Chaco Canyon from new oil and gas leasing for the next 20 years. She had intended to talk about the 10-mile buffer at an event on June 11, but before she made it to Chaco Canyon to meet with tribal and state officials, grassroots organizers and climate activists, chaos erupted at the road leading to the park's visitors center.

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