CHACO CULTURE NATIONAL HISTORIC PARK, N.M. (AP) — A stillness enveloped Chaco Canyon in northwestern New Mexico as Native American leaders gathered under a warm sun. They made the trip to Chaco Culture National Historic Park on Monday to celebrate a recent decision by U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to begin the process of withdrawing federal mineral interests from development around the park for 20 years. The Indigenous leaders from New Mexico and Arizona are optimistic the needle is moving on cultural preservation now that one of their own holds the reins 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.

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