Ida Yellowman stood at the top of Muley Point, seeing memories in every cardinal direction. To the north were the Baja Mountains and rock-strewn desert where she first learned to hunt with her dad and brothers. The south held views stretching out through the Mexican Hat area on to Arizona, the landscape marred by the uranium mine: as a nurse she couldn’t help but see the faces of the people she took care of, sick from the uranium.
Yellowman turned to the others in her group, one holding up a cellphone trying to catch a signal. The voice of U.S. President Joe Biden came through, announcing restored protections for Bears Ears National Monument. The president’s voice was followed by that of Deb Haaland, the first Native American to serve as a cabinet secretary in the United States.