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FILM PREMIER | Common Ground: The Story of Bears Ears

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Salt Lake City Public Library

210 East 400 South

Salt Lake City, UT 84111

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A critical and timely portrait of one of the most important public land conservation decisions in our lifetime.

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Click here to watch the preview. Panel discussion to follow the screening.

On December 28th, 2016, former President Obama protected nearly 1.5 million acres of sprawling canyon lands and ancient cultural sites in southeast Utah by designating the area as Bears Ears National Monument.

Politically, Native American Tribes and environmentalists applauded the designation. However, it infuriated some locals and state politicians who, declaring government overreach and unnecessary restrictions to the land, demanded the monument to be rescinded. As a result, President Trump signed a proclamation reducing the size of the monument by 85 percent. Environmental groups and tribal governments have responded by filing a host of lawsuits against the Trump administration.

Locally, the controversy has divided the community and riled longstanding cultural tensions. While this political debate unfolds in the national spotlight, this project seeks to transcend the rhetoric, following diverse characters living in San Juan County and their relationships with the land.

The film’s goal is to humanize this polarizing issue, depicting the deep pull within us all to connect with our wild lands. It seeks to bring clarity to the complex and divisive arguments surrounding Bears Ears, revealing the common ground between opposing ideologies: love and awe of a beloved land.

This film was made possible through partnership with PANDOS, a Utah-based, Native and environmental rights organization that began in September 2016 in response to the Dakota Access Pipeline Protests at Standing Rock. The Standing Rock struggle has brought a spotlight to the interconnected issues of environmental racism and Native sovereignty that have long been ignored. These issues effect and unite Native and non-Native communities alike, all across America. We work with community leaders, tribal leaders and activists to raise visibility for Native American and environmental issues through dialogue, education, mass mobilization, and direct action.

PANDOS welcomes people of all colors and creeds to join together in solidarity to promote healing dialogue and protect our shared home. We seek to educate the public and influence decision-makers to create policy that addresses the impacts of systemic racism and environmental injustice. We are an all volunteer organization - join us today! To learn more visit pandos.org.

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Salt Lake City Public Library

210 East 400 South

Salt Lake City, UT 84111

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