SALT LAKE CITY — Tribal leaders in Utah are asking lawmakers to turn the state’s small Division of Indian Affairs into a separate department that includes an appointed position on the governor’s cabinet.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports the lobbying efforts from tribal leaders come three months after the Trump administration downsized Bears Ears National Monument by about 85 percent against the wishes of a coalition of Utah tribes that fought for the designation.

Braidan Weeks with the tribal coalition Dine Bikeyah says the proposed cabinet-level position is meant to “elevate natives and native voices” on a variety of subjects including health care and education.

Paul Edwards is the deputy chief of staff of Utah Gov. Gary Herbert. He says Herbert recognizes that issues relevant to the tribes “would benefit from meaningful reorganization.”

Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune,