Ute Indian Tribe Calls on Rep. Bishop to Resign after Claiming He is a Victim of Genocide

Rep. Rob Bishop: Victim of Genocide?

Published March 21, 2019

FORT DUCSHESNE, Utah — On March 14, 2019, Congressman Rob Bishop claimed that he is a victim of genocide and then defended his claim by saying that he is an “ethnic” who may suffer death at the hands of proposals in Congress. Bishop, of course, is a Member of Congress representing the 1st Congressional District of Utah.

The Ute Tribal Business Committee commented, “Bishop’s ‘poor me’ attitude is typical bully behavior. After years of attacking our tribal lands, he now wants to paint himself as a victim.”

As Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, Bishop continued long-standing efforts by the State of Utah and many members of the Utah Congressional Delegation to decimate the Ute Indian Tribe by taking the Tribe’s lands, waters and resources. After the Tribe reserved its homelands through treaties and agreements with the United States in the late 1800’s, the State of Utah and much of its congressional delegation continued to pursue efforts to take the Tribe’s grazing lands, then its water
and now its mineral resources.

Genocide is defined by the United Nations as “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.” The theft of Indian lands, cutting a tribe’s cultural, spiritual and economic ties to its land and resources, is well known as an act of genocide against Indian tribes.

In recent years, Bishop renewed this policy of genocide against the Ute Indian Tribe. As
Committee Chairman Bishop tried to pass legislation that would have resulted in the first Indian land grab in more that 100 years and would have given Utah control of the Tribe’s lands and waters. The Ute Indian Tribe was forced to spend its government resources defending its lands and waters against these
attacks.

Bishop made his claim of genocide in response to proposals in Congress for a Green New Deal. The Green New Deal is a resolution, not a law, and merely provides goals for securing clean air and water, addressing climate change and providing job training for changes in transportation, industry and electric generation. Rather than an act of genocide, the Green New Deal could provide substantial benefits for Utahns and its booming recreation industry. And, of course, as a Member of Congress, Bishop is free to seek changes to this resolution or simply vote against it.

The Ute Tribal Business Committee commented, “Bishop has reached a new low. As a member of the House minority, Bishop has nothing left to do but complain. He has no interest in working with the majority for the benefit of all Utahns. If he can’t take his job seriously, he should just resign.”

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