Earlier this week NARF filed an amici curiae (friend of the court) brief on behalf of Indian Peaks Band of Paiutes, the San Juan Southern Paiute, and the Morningstar Institute in the case Yount et al. v. Jewell et al. In 2012, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar withdrew roughly a million acres from mining around the Grand Canyon. The withdrawal did not impact valid existing rights as of that date, but would prevent future mining claims in the area. Part of the reasoning for the withdrawal was that mining would impact many cultural, spiritual, and traditional resources within the area.
The mining companies and Mr. Yount challenged the withdrawal on many grounds, including that the withdrawal violated the Establishment Clause by relying on Native beliefs. Indian Peaks Band of Paiutes, the San Juan Southern Paiute, and the Morningstar Institute all have an interest in seeing Secretary Salazar’s withdrawal upheld, and thus NARF filed a amici brief addressing the Establishment Clause claim and the American Indian cultural resource arguments raised by the Plaintiffs. To read a copy of the brief, click here.