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Mark Maryboy made history when he was elected in 1986 as the first Native American county commissioner in Utah’s history — in San Juan County, home to Bears Ears National Monument. A former Navajo Nation Council delegate and longtime advocate for Native people and the environment, he currently serves on the Board of Directors of both SUWA and Utah Diné Bikéyah.
In this episode, Maryboy shares his personal stories about the political history of San Juan County and the struggle of Native people for representation at the county government level. More than half of San Juan County’s population is Native American, yet it wasn’t until 2018 that a majority Navajo county commission was elected, after gerrymandered commission districts were redrawn by the courts following a successful Voting Rights Act challenge by the Navajo Nation.
Wild Utah is produced by Jerry Schmidt and is made possible by the contributing members of SUWA. Our theme music, “What’s Worth?” was written and performed in Moab by Haley Noel Austin.