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Indigenous leaders gather at Chaco, say prayers are being answered

Indigenous leaders gather at Chaco
AP/Susan Montoya

Native American leaders traveled to Chaco Culture National Historic Park this week to celebrate a recent decision by U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.

She put in motion the process to begin withdrawing federal mineral interests from development around the park for the next 20 years.

Indigenous leaders from Arizona and New Mexico are optimistic the needle is moving on cultural preservation now that a Native American is in charge of the federal agency that oversees energy development and tribal affairs. Haaland is from Laguna Pueblo, one of the communities that traces its roots to Chaco.