Webinar: Climbing on Sacred Land

When: Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at 5:00pm - 6:00pm
Event Description:

Understanding and Respecting Indigenous Culture

Join us for a webinar on Tuesday, April 27 at 5:00 p.m. MT for a discussion on understanding and respecting Indigenous culture.

Petroglyphs and other cultural resources are not only a window into the past, but an ongoing and vital part of Indigenous culture and identity. Indigenous people have cared for the land since time immemorial and continue to do so to this day.

When Richard Gilbert bolted a new route at Sunshine Wall, north of Moab, he said he did not realize that he was compromising prehistoric petroglyphs. Nor did he realize the level of outrage and vitriol his actions would generate from the climbing community.

Access Fund unequivocally condemns the desecration of cultural resources and sacred sites. However, respecting Indigenous culture is more complex than the protection of a physical space with cultural significance. Understanding contemporary Indigenous identity, the intrinsic connection between Native peoples and America’s public lands, and the value of Indigenous sacred sites is fundamental to developing a holistic respect for Indigenous culture.

This is a journey for us all, best approached through humility. Join our panelists for a discussion on understanding and respecting Indigenous culture, and each other. The panelists will discuss practical ways to ensure that climbers do not harm the vast cultural legacy of sacred land.


Angelo Baca, Utah Diné Bikéyah, Cultural Resources Coordinator
Richard Gilbert, Retired U.S. Marine and Climber
Skye Kolealani Razon-Old, Kanaka Climbers Founder and Director
Ashleigh Thompson, Indigenous Archaeology/American Indian Studies, University of Arizona
Chris Schulte, Friends of Indian Creek Board Member and Professional Climber

Moderator: Chris Winter, Access Fund, Executive Director