Community Member

Utah Diné Bikéyah

Salt Lake City, Utah

From the Navajo language meaning “the people’s sacred lands,” Utah Diné Bikéyah (UDB) elevates indigenous land conservation and advocacy through community organizing—an effort that in 2016 delivered the first Native American-led National Monument designation in American history. The 1.3 million-acre Bears Ears National Monument happened thanks to the leadership of the five sovereign nations of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition: Hopi Tribe, Navajo Nation, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, and the Pueblo of Zuni with support from UDB and many allies. Utah Diné Bikéyah’s overall mission is to bring healing to the Earth and its people while protecting ancestral Native American lands and preserving Indigenous language and culture. Centered around Bears Ears National Monument in San Juan County, UT, and in particular the area of San Juan County within the Navajo Nation’s borders, UDB has a multi-faceted long-term vision: to support tribal members who value their heritage; encourage tribal governments to celebrate traditions; link indigenous practice directly to the natural resources all depend upon; and ensure natural resources are sustainably managed by federal agencies.

UDB hopes to share their knowledge through the Bears Ears initiative process with other indigenous groups.

Founded in 2012, Utah Diné Bikéyah (UDB) is an Indigenous-led 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the healing of people and the Earth through supporting Indigenous communities and protecting their culturally significant, ancestral lands within Utah’s Colorado Plateau region, in particular the Bears Ears National Monument. UDB also promotes Indigenous knowledge by supporting Indigenous artists through its Artist in Residence Program and by strengthening connections to Indigenous food heritage through its Traditional Foods Program. These programs are made possible by UDB’s eight-person staff team, partnerships with national allies including Patagonia and the Conservation Lands Foundation, and close relationships with the five tribes that co-govern the Bears Ears National Monument.

The Traditional Foods Program plays an important role in helping UDB further its mission to preserve and protect the cultural and natural resources of ancestral Native American lands.

For more information:

5 Native American tribes will work with federal officials to co-manage Bears Ears National Monument – CNN, June 2022

Utah tribes secure co-management role for Bears Ears National Monument – The Salt Lake Tribune, June 2022

BLM, Forest Service and five tribes of the Bears Ears Commission commit to historic co-management of Bears Ears National Monument – Char-Koosta News, June 2022

Agreement with Native American Tribes Could Set Precedent – The Washington Post, June 2022

A new Salt Lake City gallery makes space for Indigenous artists to tell their stories – The Salt Lake Tribune, March 2022

Bears Ears supporters celebrate Biden’s restoration of Utah monuments at Cedar Mesa gathering – The Salt Lake Tribune, October 2021

Indigenous-led nonprofit asks to help federal investigation into abuses at Native American boarding schools – The Salt Lake Tribune, July 2021

A2 Staff

A2 Staff

This profile was compiled by a dedicated team of staff members who conducted interviews and gathered information from various outlets, including news articles, social media, and other sources.


Reem Ikram


Social Media

Climate Impacts

Air Pollution, Drought, Erosion-Subsidence, Heat, Mining, Water Contamination, Wildfires


Affordable Housing, Art Activism, Community Farm/Gardens, Community Land Trusts/Land Conservation, Direct Relief and Aid, Fighting Industrial Contamination, Green Infrastructure, Halting Bad Development, Nature-Based Solutions, Renewable Energy

501c3 Tax Deductible


Accepting Donations