Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Sheep Dog Nation Media
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
“I am told that I am of no account because I will not pay rent to Washington (U.S. Government)…. But I have been paying my ‘rent’ all along. I pay my ‘rent’ to the Holy Beings every morning with my Sacred Corn Pollen offerings, and that is all the ‘rent’ that I need to pay…”
--Pauline Whitesinger, Dineh resister and Matriarch, June 2009 (Photo by Demitra Tsioulos)
Join the Caravan to Big Mountain, Black Mesa: November 21 – 28, 2009
By A BMIS On-Land Volunteer
Dineh (Navajos) on Black Mesa have been fighting to keep their land and lifeways in opposition to the law mandating that they ‘relocate’ for 30 years. Minor concessions by government and coal interests in recent years have not rectified the situation. These families have (spiritual and aboriginal) rights to remain on Black Mesa as they have for generations and be free of the threat of eviction or other excessive burdens exacted in order to run them off, in order to exploit their lands. And yet, the Office of Surface Mining has granted an extension in December 2008 for Peabody Coal’s strip mine on Black Mesa to expand and continue through 2026.
Supporters from around the globe will be convening on Black Mesa around the Thanksgiving Holiday for work parties and to establish new connections with this community that has suffered the very worst of U.S. economic gluttony and yet, exemplifies a valiant resistance to it. Consider this educational opportunity and come prepared to listen –not to preach. If you are coming, bring something to offer like: labor help, goods, winter supplies, foods, skills. Expect to leave enriched and to return.
Please contact the Black Mesa Indigenous Support (BMIS) for more details on coordination and do visit and get familiarized with the BMIS website: http://www.blackmesais.org/, also check out some Big Mountain Dineh writings at http://sheepdognationrocks.blogspot.com/ Please note that, Elders in Resistance are requesting long-term volunteers to herd sheep and assist with daily manual chores. So, consider setting aside a long stretch of time if possible. Are you willing to organize a crew from your community? If so, and/or have any other inquiries about supporting the Big Mountain resistance to coal mining and cultural extermination contact: BMIS at 928-773-8086 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, October 9, 2009
How will that take place? Will the Rez councils be scapegoat for law-suits so Peabody Coal Company can do its thing?
Sheep Dog Nation Media, October 9, 2009
By Bahe (Kat) Keediniihii (Katenay)
Big Mountain Territories, Black Mesa (northeastern Arizona) – In the drought stricken dusty high desert of Black Mesa, capitalistic domination and the resurgent of repression is the only thing starting to take root and bloom. All other natural life forms and natural ways of cultivation are barely getting by with thirst and breathing plenty of wind-blown sand and smoke-hazed air.
There are several fronts by special interest groups, including Dineh residents of Big Mountain, who are fighting to stop Peabody’s rape of Mother Earth. All these fronts are composed of traditional elder communities, several small reclusive groups, and the well-funded organizations like Black Mesa Water Coalition, Black Mesa Trust, and the Grand Canyon region Sierra Club. Sadly, these fronts are within their own reclusiveness as well all because of the great American illusions of “civil rights,” Native American “Freedom” of Religion Act, “constitutional ‘guaranteed’ rights,” and the situation of desperate lawyer-clients scenarios.
Now, all these organizations except for the residing family residents of the area will soon be banned from the Hopi reservation as the Navajo Nation government joined up with Hopi. (One piece of note is that the families in resistance’s invited non-Indian supporters are already banned but are still active out there.) The environmentalists will now be policed and perhaps be prohibited from holding meetings, having headquarters and be stopped just because of their ‘green’ bumper stickers. The tribes’ justification is that these orgs are taking away tribal economic jobs and revenues by opposing Peabody and Desert Rock’s expansion. Certainly, there are more information and news on this entire new political shift in Indian country in regards to “protecting the sacred” versus “protecting the (capitalist) economy.” Here is a couple of links if you wish to read about it.
The characterization that SDN Media draws from all these environmentalists’ freak-out is stated rhetorically here by yours truly, Chief Loner:
“I cannot believe this stuff. These stories are so amazingly saturated with the undertones of diversionary, political facts that seem so self-intentional by 'environmental' groups to refresh their stagnant avenues of legalities. Puppet tribal governments are of course designed to facilitate "pro" rape of mother earth and exterminate ancient indigenous thought. If It’s so bad, join the traditional Hopi and Dineh elders at Big Mtn. and at the Independent Hotevilla Pueblo. What is happening now, the U.S. imperialistic oppression, is nothing new, come on!”
Environmentalism is cool but it can also mean a government agency who promotes mining or toxic waste exposure for giant corporations. However, they all seem to rub elbows in formal hearings while trying to interpret ideas of privileged legal rights. This corporate ban on environmentalist activities in Hopi should not come as a surprise for the regional green organizations because of 9-1-1 and the Patriot Act. It should all be clear that “Freedom” is only for that small segment of American society that are capitalist parasites living off the poor and the under-privileged. The saddest part of environmentalism is when they refer to themselves as grassroots movement and they end up leaving out the real grassroots peoples. Like for example at Big Mountain and Black Mesa, the local groups do not mention “traditional elder resisters of Big Mountain” but instead the closest they get to mentioning them is saying, “the relocation that is going on up there…”
We knew eventually that we might all be thrown in together into that corporate pee-pot and be shoved back under bed that is shared among tribal councils, the BIA, and utility companies. However “freedom” does not have to be just an idea but it can be something physical that can be held high and with pride. Our ancestors have done that since 1492. So, ladies and gentlemen of the government-policy-dependent environmentalist, what options is on the table for you now? Put your grant monies towards law suits against the local puppet tribes? Do it and you will see how messed up tribal/federal jurisdiction and BIA laws are. Or if you all have the guts to be real renegades and hostiles, join the Big Mountain and Hotevilla Liberation movements.
© SheepNationRocks, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
The U.S. economy maybe down but Americans will never stop or limit their consumer spending on electrical energy, gadgets, appliance, and recreational toys and vehicles that are powered by electricity generated by fossil and nuclear fuels. At what cost do American consumers able to acquire such conveniences?
The first thing that comes to mind for people of conscience is air-water pollution and other toxic contamination. A very few conscience peoples will think about indigenous humans, plants and animals. Let me try to take you further and ask, what do think one feels when this cost of devastation is taken place in their backyard, to their peoples, and it has greatly impacted his or her spiritual state of existence?
It is a feeling of much, much sickness and suffering. Complete loneliness because you are not normal. You cannot party, have a “good time,” relax, talk about popular happy subjects, and others consider you weird and out-of-place. You feel rejected by both the “normal thinking” society and by federal states. (I) can only dig very hard to find that old ancient spirit of natural happiness, and try to “find peace in (my) endeavors and projects,” as a friend wrote to me recently.
Territories of indigenous peoples of the U.S. (so-called Native Americans) become the price for electrical power’s beginnings. These territories hold much of the natural resources and which were once considered as mother earth and that it was sacred to these aborigines. How these issues are confronted and how they are resolved are forums where free America fails. Environmental policies are finalized by the consent of powerful energy and utility companies who influence governments at every level. We only hear about environmentalist and certain Indian groups that try to collaborate “legally” to intervene or make appeals.
We, however, never hear about the real victims that are paying the price. On Black Mesa in northeastern Arizona, small land-based and traditional families at Big Mountain are holding off Peabody coal mining by resisting federal relocation policies. This has been possible only through “illegal” means by continuing the natural and ancient habitation of ancestral lands. Though this handful of resisters are not mentioned in any updates by native activists and environmentalists, they have had a great impact in keeping Peabody Energy at bay and keeping the air you breathe, today, a little cleaner. Also, the U.S. federal government has spent several billions of tax-payer dollars since 1955 to: undermine tribalism of the Dineh and Hopis, partition Black Mesa and Big Mountain for mining claims, relocate and displace thousands of indigenous people, maintain a state of fear through the U.S. Justice Department and the Bureau of Indian Affairs policing.
Uranium and the Nuclear-Cycle:
Along with the black poison of extracted fossil fuels, the extraction of radioactive uranium has reemerged in northern Arizona and the four corners region. Other regions across Dineh (Navajo) country remain as “hot spots” or the presence of heavy radiation exposure. One thing governments and environmental actions collaborate on together is leaving the real radiation victims out of their agendas. Case in point is the communities of Cameron, Arizona which is next door to the Grand Canyon. The Navajo Nation has kept the citizens of Cameron, Black Falls and Shadow Mountain in silence while hundreds have died from radiation poisoning and surviving victims are forbidden to drink from local water supplies.
"We only use it for washing but our animals have to drink it, too,” the residents have stated. They only use local water to wash their dishes which they eat and drink from, and wash the clothes they wear on their bodies. Drinking water has to be hauled in from Flagstaff (50 miles) or Tuba City (30 miles). The livestock have to drink from local contaminated wells and they very often become the meat that is eaten or sold to the beef industry.
In 2001, I visited Alice Horse who lived right under a 300 Kv power lines that comes from the Four Corners and San Juan power plants, and she also lives next to three mine pits that were recently covered with extracted waste tailings. Clay Big Man at World War II artilleryman and veteran claims he is suffering from an “incurable disease” according to his doctor. His face and limited physical mobility tells of his constant suffering. Alice lives less than two miles from Clay and she briefly mentions people that have died from cancer, and she points across the river to some distance houses where she knows of a very young girl who has cancer. Alice, a traditional elder, looks strong in her old age and has a slight cheerful demeanor, but she shows much sadness as she looks at the ground to talk about the destruction that the uranium job opportunities brought.
“My husband worked the mines, and we were all happy because he can just ride his horse to work and we had money to live better. Money also brought alcohol and cancer to the men of the local area. Maybe the poison from this green dirt (lee’t’so’h) would have killed him but the alcohol took his life instead.”
Black Falls is not too far from the Wupaki National Monument, about a two hour donkey ride, and that community has made complaints to the Navajo Nation government for lack of concern for clean water and the alarming water test results. Wells were tested for radiation levels by the sole efforts of local resident, Milton Yazzie. He has tried to make it his mission to have more studies and to get the Navajo Nation to supply clean water, and to let the world know that nuclear ‘holocaust’ is not yet over in Dineh country.
The Potential Demise of Culture, Ecology and the Humans:
Along with earth’s Arctic melt down, we may melt into history with our daily ingestion of radioactive heavy metals that come from automobile exhaust, coal fired power plants and nuclear power. Certainly, I don’t want that for my grandchildren or their children, and I truly think that if everyone knew more they would now viciously and desperately, try to do the right thing to stop our fossil and nuclear fuel addictions.
But this addiction is a runaway train: computers and their servers suck up energy 24/7, the digital age increases these addiction, there is no push or mentioning of alternative green energies unless a politician feels obligated to say it, and our minds are confined to everything from the Worldwide Web to the tiny cell phone LCDs. We are only bothered if we got rained on, got too cold or got too hot, and that our little capsule world was intruded by issues of the environment, “American Indians,” freaks in the streets, and more “Native American” whining.
Meantime, let us begin the Beauty Way Ceremonies which is about helping others and as the Big Mountain medicine woman said, work together to save the ecology, the culture and wisdoms that go with them. This can only be achieved by sustaining communities that embrace unity and kinship and by not embracing corporate grants that manipulate potential, reliable organizations. The sacred ways and circles await us at Big Mountain and at other forgotten indigenous resistance territories. We’ll see you there.
© Sheep Dog Nation Rocks, 2009
Two links that has articles on the current status of “the nuclear madness” in the southwest USA:
30 years ago, the Church Rock Uranium Spill, http://www.navajotimes.com/news/index.php
Uranium at Grand Canyon, Red Butte,
Monday, July 20, 2009
Big Mountain Elder: “State of the Dineh and the Big Mountain Resistance”
July 19, 2009, Big Mountain, Black Mesa – A sign just outside of Flagstaff says, “Beat the Heat!” as it tries to lure people into a get together of grown-up adults that ‘play’ with model airplanes. This gathering seemed mostly of non-Indians scheming to make some money and sell more membership. 120 miles away on the reservation at Big Mountain some families still do not have electricity and the day time temperature has reached 104 degrees Fahrenheit. There are no icy refrigerators to provide a 40 ounce glass of lemonade with ice or a chilled, 32 ounce of sugar called Coca Cola. It felt like the “Heat has Beaten Us” at Big Mountain, but the U.S. Relocation Policies in the name of Peabody Energy has not beaten the Dineh, yet.
As we sip on a cup of shade or room temperature water, the traditional elder resister takes the opportunity with my visit to talk about the struggle to resist relocation. She is a medicine woman as well as being a sheep rancher in her late sixty. I wish not to disclose her name because of her status as a healer and spiritual leader.
“The Dineh, overall, have transformed their ways of doing the rituals. We here at Big Mountain, those of us resisting the harsh policies aimed at us, have tried to set examples through speaking out about strengthening our languages and our ceremonial ways. We even had hopes through the sacred, Lakota Sun Dance. The Dineh across the reservation try to conduct the great healing ways like the Great Gathering Ritual and Dance (a.k.a. “Squaw Dance”) and the Yei Bi Chei Dances. Now, these have become nothing but social gatherings where people come for the feasts and the giveaways. Once all foods and gifts have been acquired, the ceremonial grounds are suddenly deserted. The Clans of the Staff-Receivers are all gone except for lone Receiver of the Staff. The Initiator Clans of the Gathering Ritual are all gone, too, except the Patients. No one is around to sing and hold the final and very sacred dance. This great ritual of the Dineh has become a very silent conclusion ceremony which was once full of celebratory and jubilant singing and dancing.
“All this (American) greed and mannerism has taken away the ancient, traditional thoughts of the old time Dineh. ‘Taken away’ just like relocation. It has been moved away or it has been separated from us. Traditional parents and their children were separated and many elderly parents die of heart break caused by this. Every sibling within one family unit that I know of have accepted the relocation benefits, the matriarch became sick and she died, her brother tried to resist but he also died of heart break, and now, only the elder patriarch remains. He is so alone. I have never seen such a lonely person. He is surrounded by several houses and hogans but there is no one else to be expected, to come out of any of those dwellings. This elder man only has his late wife and brother in-law’s sheep and horses to look after. Why did his children decided to leave the land? This is hard for me to comprehend.
“My children have never accepted the relocation benefits. None of them accepted that and I consider them all to still be residents, here, though their attempts to build homes were stopped by the B.I.A. Police. So, how can children just leave their land and parents behind?
“Our history told us about the ‘Long Walk’ when the U.S. Army forced thousands of our peoples to march to Ft. Sumner. Many had their heads bashed-in and died on the way to the four year internment camp. So, I would understand about being forced-relocated if we were to have received the same kind of brutality. But we did not.
"What is left of our past resistance at Big Mountain is nothing but a ‘war of words on paper.’ Papers are served to our front doors and most of our Dineh take that as a threat and run. The whiteman’s paper is considered more sacred. These papers supposedly interpret the American laws. Our ancient sacred ways are no longer held with high reverence and the modern Dineh can violate those ancient ways as they wish. The Dineh have all truly become greedy and selfish and to only seek hand outs.
“Even the idea of love and freedom is used by the Americans as ‘sugar-coated’ mentality and behavioral acceptability. Love is many things but to us at Big Mountain, love was what we bestowed for our country, the land. Freedom was that same thing. We resisted and fought, physically and with papers. A couple of our local Dineh have volunteered nearly their whole life to maintain this love and freedom for us, those of us who are now very old and some who are alone. Love and freedom is the willingness to visit the elders, to learn more about our sacred places, to visit those sacred places, to communicate with non-Indians and other tribal communities that believe in harmony and sustainability, and to teach the youth about who they are and where they really belong.
“It is time, while in our last desperate attempt to save our identity, to do the Beauty Way Ceremonies. Yes, we can call it ‘a fight’ but it is that (real) love and freedom that involves helping people to withhold the sacred and support their existence on their ancestral lands despite the threats and harassment. The indigenous peoples must resort to these rituals ways immediately instead of wasting energy on designing more words on paper to send to the oppressors.”
* * *Elders and their extended families at Big Mountain traditional communities still need your support and prayers. The crop fields need tending to, the wooly sheep and goats need to be herded, and if you cannot get away, contact your local indigenous support groups and see how you can help in the coming fall or winter.
[**Learn more and contact: Black Mesa Indigenous Support at http://www.blackmesais.org/ or call BMIS Voice Mail: 928-773-8086. The BMIS Fall 2009 Caravan is tentatively being planned and continued, long-term (2 wks to two months + ) on-land stays are needed.]
Free Leonard Peltier and Free All Political Prisoners!
And remember nature always beats you and if you endure that, lessons of many blessings will come. (The foregoing statement was translated by Yours Truly, Chief Loner.) –sdnRocks, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
The lands of Big Mountain has perhaps returned to its "once upon a time" natural state. Dineh pastoral lifestyles have been depleted and wide areas are now teaming with coyotes, foxes, wolves, deer, elk, and cougars. The diverse vegetation of this high-desert, woodlands are now free from sheep and cattle grazing --"thanks" to the U.S. government's inhumane energy policy of 1974. The lands seem very peaceful in many aspects while you immerse yourself in that month of May's time of flowering, if the winter climate was near normal.
Elder matriarch of Sweet Water Stronghold has just returned with her grandson from checking on the few cattle she still owns. She is dressed for work but not your usual ranch lady as she wears a well dirt-stained apron, scarf, sweat shirt, the traditional skirt, and good walking shoes.
"We covered a big area to see where all the cattle were," she says in the Dineh language. "One cow had a newborn calf but she is without it today so, we drove around more and only found tracks of her and her calf from days ago. My grandson said he noticed fresh cougar tracks. Maybe the mama-cow eventually lead her newborn into the 'mouth of that pedator...'
Some of the few hardcore, elder resisters to the relocation policies have lost their livestock to the these predators particularly the cougar, a skilled and daring hunter. The transformation in the last 15 years is all too real and if Big Mountain people had access to all the monies and revenues that were all stolen by Mr. Peabody, the Dineh would hire ecologist and anthropologists that can explain with much merit the effects of human removal and how nature reclaims the ecosystems. Then this being all temporary because it will all be stripped for the coal and aquifer reserves to meet America's energy needs.
It does feel that this is only temporary even though you behold the beauty of tall green grasses, the white stacks of yucca flowers, and the intense-coloured flowers shooting out of thorny cactuses. Maybe only prayers and more deep searches for understanding by current conscience individuals will help save and restore the endangered ancient lifeways at Big Mountain.
Sheep Dog Nation Rocks, 2009
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
I recently left the land, in which i had spent the winter with elder Pauline Whitesinger. This experience inspired me to write a short essay that i wish to distribute hand to hand and through magazines or websites that may wish to publish my writing. To be accountable to you and the resistance on black mesa I am sending a copy for your comments. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Hagoshiin (Until Next Time), Haastiin Yazhie' (/s/nephew jake)
This winter I lived with a Dineh (Navajo) elder on the west side of Big Mountain. She was born there and continues to walk about the same land as she did when she was a child, more than 80 years ago. While at her homesite I primarily herded sheep through the rough, high desert terrain. I followed this grandma's wisdom, knowing her directions were ways of survival in the face of determined removal by the U.S Government and American Corporations. She taught me skillz in animal husbandry, wood cutting, and hogan care. It was an honor to live under her guidance and training.
I am a young person of mixed european decent. My late mother was an artist and student, my father is a vegetable farmer and a long time War Tax Resister (has widtheld all income tax from the US Govt since 1980). I am a child of activists yet I found the Dineh resistance on Black Mesa from my own journey. I first began to sort the debt I have as a white living on indian land when i came out to Black Mesa the first time a few years ago through Black Mesa Indigenous Support. But enough about me, lets get to the issue that remains; Dineh resistance to American imperialism.
Since 1978 Dineh communities n Black Mesa have resisted US relocation laws and Bureau of Indian Affairs policing strategies to remove them and their way of life. Washington has supported 'relocation' as a solution to their self-created, make-believe navajo-hopi land dispute. A closer reality seems to be American energy corporations partnered with Washington to manufacture a cultural divide that is used to sustain corporate land grabbing on Dineh sovereign territory.
The latest example of imperial landscaping was in December 2008. Despite protest from Navajo, Hopi, native, and non-native people; the Office of Surface Mining approved a Life-of-Mine permit for the Black Mesa Complex operated by Peabody Energy. This permits Peabody to continue strip mine Black Mesa coal and water. In addition Peabody has the opportunity to seize 19,000 acres of sacred land beyond the 67,000 acres already in Peabody's grasp.
I gathered from this decision that mining and burning coal, which threatens catastrophic climate change, is not a real concern to Washington. Their attitude remains war mongering towards the earth and indigenous people, which are both considered collateral damage in the wake of National Security. It appears that neither the OSM or the tribal governments intended to stop Peabody and support traditional Dineh sovereignty on Black Mesa.
Certainly the few sheep camps that are left since relocation and mining began could not be a serious threat to national security? However, in my short time on Black Mesa, grandma and myself came into contact with BIA deputized rangers on several occasions. We were confronted about the activities going on around her home. This type of harassment is not isolated and has happened over the coarse of 30 years. But resistance is also not isolated and continues each day in varied degrees. All acts on Black Mesa under traditional Dineh authorization for survival are direct actions of resistance to American imperialism. The bottom argument I wish to make is relocation = imperialism. The sheep, horses, cattle, deer, birds, elders, youth, and sheepherders all stand in the way of Mr. Peabody's coal train and American progress.
For more information to become a live-in supporter/sheepherder on Black Mesa please visit:
blackmesais.org or contact: email@example.com vm 928-773-8086
Written by Bahe Katenay, Sheep Dog Nation Media
May 5, 2009
I’ve never been in a jungle or in the arctic tundra. I have visited and camped in some tundra zones in the mountains of the U.S. southwest. The only wilderness that I have spent so much time in is the Big Mountain range in the heart of Black Mesa. If you have been to Big Mountain, you may have been shown the summits of Big Mountain and you might have thought, “Oh, those little hills?”
I’d tell you to, “go take a hike.”
Dzil Ntsaa (misinterpreted as Big Mountain) means Great Mountain. It is a very rugged region, two summits marked its sacred areas, series of deep canyons radiate outward from these ‘little’ summits, narrow ridge lines and saddles connect isolated plateaus, the juniper and pinon forest is thick with under brushes that includes sharp spiny yucca and cactus, most of its slopes are steep and rocky, and everywhere you look there is beauty and you can feel the embrace of the sacredness.
There are no Anasazi ruins nor is there any evidence of past human habitation. However, there are thriving communities of civilized life (not ‘wild life’) like cougars, lynx, white tail deer, elks, wolves, porcupines, reptiles, hawks, many flocks of birds, owls, woodpeckers, falcons, occasional eagles, and our most ancient relatives the insect kingdom. But this experience can be disrupted when you find pieces of metallic or rubber balloons or plastic shopping bags that might have all blown in from the far distance areas of wild life (not ‘civilization’) sanctuaries of urban-dwelling.
I wondered, as I do my pilgrimage in this special and gifted place, does anyone that knows about the forced-relocation programs that is happening at Big Mountain ever think about how much the sacred is endangered? At night being on one of the summits, you see the ‘street-less,’ street lights scattered along as they outline, exactly, the boundaries of the so-called, Hopi Partitioned Lands. The bright lights from the Peabody coal mines glow into the dusty atmosphere like there is a smoggy city beyond the northern Big Mountain point. Every 15 to 25 minutes commercial airlines roar high above as their wing lights flash and you can almost feel the presence of hundreds of passengers passing through between the mega-cities of California and of the Midwest or New England.
I am alone up there but I also am lucky, too, because my two intelligent sons are with me, and we all wonder: ‘does anyone care that Peabody Western Coal Company is getting closer to this sacred and pristine place? Does the world care about the Big Mountain elders who are resisting relocation and the expanding coal mines? Do people care at all about the natural way of actually doing things like making your own bow and arrows, cooking with the campfire, collecting water from a spring, and just trying very hard to learn from nature.’
As we complete the pilgrimage, we cannot ignore the strange dusting of red color on every square-centimeter of surfaces. We are in awe as we talked about how the climate, the human beings, and earth is changing, and how an intense wind storm from April 4, 2009 can transport thousands of tons of dust and even created the pink snowfall in Colorado.
I am still not sure how I will ever fulfill even a small degree of cultural and spiritual obligations that is expected of me / us at Big Mountain by the (last) traditional elders of the Dineh. I wish the great divine forces to pity me…
My elder relatives of Big Mountain grew up in a pristine world of strong leadership and wisdom and like my late mother, these elders had hope we grow up in the same way as they have despite the rest of us being forced into the government schooling. Now, those few elders that are left still maintain defiance against the colonialist of the USA. Today, the Bureau of Indian Affairs agency police continue their patrols, intimidations and livestock-count regulations. Also today, Mr. Peabody continues to maximize its profits as it is nearing completion of mining the original lease area of 1964, and they are prepared to christen new lease areas that will include the actual Big Mountain topography.
© Sheep Dog Nation Rocks, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
My apologies for saying so much, and bottom line: I am not Red. I am White.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Stockholm, Sweden – March 7, 2009 Swedish Indigenous Supporter and Human Rights Observers held a protest and petition signing in support for the Dineh resisters at Big Mountain and for the indigenous resistance against Peabody coal mine expansion. The protest rally in Stockholm’s city square went well despite the heavy police surveillance. After the rally, the police escort notified the US embassy that the protest march was on their way towards the embassy. The protest organizers had originally hope to hand-deliver the petitions to the gates of the Embassy as they did in 1998’s Protest for Big Mountain.
According to one of the key organizer of the Stockholm protest, “The (stupid) American that I spoke to on the phone, who was inside the embassy, and I asked, ‘if they can have an Embassy representative meet us at the gate to deliver the signed petition?’ This U.S. Embassy official was very rude and his answer was basically, ‘in your dreams!’ I asked him, ‘what would it take?’ His arrogant answer again was, ‘well, maybe if you were the king or queen..’ The Embassy prefers the petitions to be sent via post.”
The Stockholm organizer also said people in the U.S. have expressed their solidarity and some even wanted to sign on to the Petition. One human rights organizer from France also was making much effort to collect signatures, there, and spreading the word about the Black Mesa / Big Mountain situation.
Wild Oak Meadow, the Swedish based indigenous support, further reports, “we have formed a network on the internet for Big Mountain, Black Mesa and about 800 people have signed up to receive information and updates, and we are still counting!”
“Wild Oaks is trying to connect with the Swedish network called, Climate Action, as well. We want to be in Copenhagen in December 2009, and show up with the Black Mesa banners and signs and hold a vigil outside the Climate summit.”
“We are networking as much as we can, right now.”
“Also Wild Oaks hope to join a local nature protection organization, Naturskydds-föreningen, who has been around for 100 years, this year. They are also involved in trying to stop the test drilling for uranium, on our Table Mountain (central Sweden), which is proposed this coming summer. All the so-called legal avenues are now exhausted in stopping this --so civil disobedience is the only option left.”
A through report from Sweden will soon follow, or follow link below to the Swedish indigenous support website.
Much love & solidarity from the Land of the Gethes (central Sweden),
Carina - on behalf of Wild Oak Meadow
- - - - - - - - - - - - - ^^^*^^^- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
UPDATE from Big Mountain, March 21, 2009 "Happy Spring Equinox" and:
A message from Grandma and Chief of the Big Mountain resistance movement, Pauline Whitesinger:
"The BIA Indian police are intensifying their daily presence and intimidations. They have graded the main dirt roads that allows them to be on constant patrol. They are taking pictures of sheep herds and asking elders residents about the total number of animals they have corraled or roaming about.
"I think that they will be rounding up Dineh-owned cattle and horses. It is pretty likely that there will be livestock impoundments or confiscation.
"It has been mentioned to us by local Navajo officials that these Indian police operating out of the Hopi reservation do not have any real commanding-authority, because the Hopi tribal council is in defunct and is without a tribal chairperson.
"People world wide need to still support the resistance out here. The great evil wolves (U.S.A.) are prowling closer and all around us."
Monday, March 2, 2009
It was on a silent 8mm film that I saw Dan leading a group of mostly women who were jumping into a long ditch with pipes and machinery nearby. There were a good number of police and officials with haircuts and suits that were observing or addressing the crowd. Another scene showed Chief Dan overseeing people and mostly women again with shovels digging at tall telephone poles. A pole falls into the sandy ground and the film shows the women with big smiles and jumping in celebration. The elders later told me that that was from 1964 when the new and modern Hopi council tried to bring water, sewer lines, and electricity into Hotevilla. Also this was the first time (I hadn’t be expose too much to “civilization,” yet) that I heard the elders mention a Hopi way of resistance: non-violent and civil disobedience.
For some strange reason today in the early 21st century, we don’t hear much from the traditional Hopis. Not much about how they may feel about their neighbor Dineh being relocated and threatened. So, here are parts of Chief Dan’s message from around 1970 when he was about 105 years old. –Sheep Dog Nation, 2009]
Hopi Peoples’ History & Prophecies: (Excerpts of Dan Katchongva’s Message.)
By Dan Katchongva, Sun Clan (Ca. 1865-1972) Translated by Danaqyumptewa
THE ARRIVAL OF ANOTHER RACE FORETOLD
Time passed on, people passed on and prophecies of things to come were passed from mouth to mouth. The stone tablets and the rock writing of the life plan were often reviewed by the elders fearfully they waited as they retold the prophecy that one day another race of people would appear in their midst and claim our land as his own. He would try to change our pattern of life. He would have "sweet-tongue" or a "fork-tongue," and many good things by which we would be tempted. He would us e force in an attempt to trap us into using weapons, but we must not fall for this trick, for then we ourselves would be brought to our knees, from which we might not be able to rise. Nor must we ever raise our hand against any nation. We now call these people Bahanna.
('JUST AN EVENT OR THE FINAL EVENT OF PURIFICATION?' -sdn)
This third event will depend upon the Red Symbol, which will take command, setting the four forces of nature (Meha) in motion for the benefit of the Sun. When he sets these forces in motion the whole world will shake and turn red and turn against the people who are hindering the Hopi cultural life. To all these people Purification Day will come. Humble people will run to him in search of a new world, and the equality that has been denied them. He will come unmercifully. His people will cover the Earth like red ants. We must not go outside to watch. We must stay in our houses. He will come and gather the wicked people here first. He will be looking for someone whom recognize by his way of life or by his head (the special Hopi hair cut), or the by shape of his village and his dwellings He is the only one who will purify us.
The Purifier commanded by the Red Symbol with the help of the Sun and the Meha will weed out the wicked who have disturbed the way of life of the Hopi, the true way of life on Earth. The ills of the Earth will be cured. Mother Earth will bloom again and all people will unite into peace and harmony for a long time come.
But if this does not materialize, the Hopi traditional identity will vanish due to pressure from Bahanna. Through the whiteman's influence, his religions, and the disappearance of our sacred land, the Hopi will be doomed. This is the Universal Plan, speaking through the Great Spirit since the dawn of time.
THE FAITHFUL HOPI EVICTED FROM ORAIBI
On September 7, 1906 his followers, commanded by chief Tewaquaptewa himself, entered the house where discussing prophesies and us threw out. We did not resist until rifles and other weapons were shown and they began beating us. Then we resisted only to the extent of defending ourselves from injury. I was knocked unconscious. When I came to, all my people were gathered to go. My father, Yukiuma, was selected to be the leader. The women and children, few belongings on their backs, a little food, and no shoes, were prepared to leave. Some tried to go back to their houses to get their valuables and some extra food, but they were turned back. (In "Book of the Hopi" it is said we were allowed to go back and get some belongings, but this is not true. That book is no accurate.) After we had left we learned that our houses had been looted and that horses had been turned loose in our fields and had eaten our crops, which were just ready for harvest.
Thus we had to migrate once again to find a new home, leaving behind a corrupt world of confusion. We sought to start a new life, carry on our ceremonial cycles, and preserve our way of life without interference, but now we know that this was a dead dream, for the interference has discontinued right up to the present day.
THE FOUNDING OF HOTEVILLA VILLAGE
The village of Hotevilla was settled for one purpose, to stand firmly on the Great Spirit's instructions and fulfill the prophecies to the end. It was established by good people, one-hearted people who were actually living these instructions. Water was plentiful, and so was wood, from which we built temporary shelters in which we were to survive the cold winter with very few blankets. Food was scarce, but we managed to live from the land by hunting game and picking greens. We were united into oneness, but it would again be split into two due to extreme pressure from the outside.
THE DISRUPTION CONTINUES TODAY
At the present time we face the danger that we might lose our land entirely. Through the influence of the United States Government, some people of Hopi ancestry have organized what they call the Hopi Tribal Council, patterned according to a plan devised by the Government, for the purpose of negotiating directly with the Government and with private businesses. They claim to act in the interests of the Hopi people, despite the fact that they ignore the existing traditional leaders, and represent only a small minority of the people of Hopi blood. Large areas of our land have been leased, and this group is now accepting compensation from the Indian Claims Commission for the use of 44,000,000 acres of Hopi land. This is in error, for we laid our aboriginal claim to all of this land long before the newcomers ever set foot upon it. We do not recognize man-made boundaries. We true Hopi are obligated to the Great Spirit never to cut up our land, nor to sell it. For this reason we have never signed any treaty or other document releasing this land. We have protested all these moves, but to no avail.
Now this Tribal Council was formed illegally, even according to whiteman's laws. We traditional leaders have disapproved and protested from the start. In spite of this they have been organized and recognized by the United States Government for the purpose of disguising its wrong-doings to the outside world. We do not have representatives in this organization, nor are we legally subject to their regulations and programs. We Hopi are an independent sovereign nation, by the law of the Great Spirit, but the United States Government does not want to recognize the aboriginal leaders of this land. Instead, he recognizes only the what he himself has created out of today's children in order to carry out his scheme to claim all of our land.
Because of this, we now face the greatest threat of all, the actual loss of our cornfields and gardens, our animals and wild game, and our natural water supply, which would put an end to the Hopi way of life. At the urging of the Department of the Interior of the United States, the Tribal Council has signed several leases with an outside private enterprise, the Peabody Coal Company, allowing them to explore our land for coal deposits, and to strip-mine the sacred mesas, selling the coal to several large powerplants. This is part of a project intended to bring heavy industry into our area against our wishes. We know that this will pollute the fields and grazing lands and drive out the wildlife. Great quantities of water will be pumped from beneath our desert land and used to push coal through a pipe to a powerplant in another state (Nevada). The loss of this water will affect our farms as well as the grazing areas of the animals. It also threatens our sacred springs, our only natural source of water, which we have depended upon for centuries.
We Hopi knew all this would come about, because this is the Universal Plan. It was planned by the Great Spirit and the Creator that when the whiteman came he would offer us many things. If we were to accept those offers from his government, that would be the doom of the Hopi nation. Hopi is the bloodline of this continent, as others are the bloodline of other continents. So if Hopi is doomed, the whole world will be destroyed. This we know, because this same thing happened in the other world. So if we want to survive, we should go back to the way we lived in the beginning, the peaceful way, and accept everything the Creator has provided for us to follow.
Whiteman's laws are many, but mine is one. Whiteman's laws are all stacked up.
So many people have made the rules, and many of them are made every day. But my law is only the Creator's just one. And no manmade law must I follow, because it is ever-changing, and will doom my people.
We know that when the time comes, the Hopi will be reduced to maybe one person, two persons, three persons. If he can withstand the pressure from the people who are against the tradition, the world might survive from destruction. We are at the stage where I must continue to lead my people on the road the Great Spirit made for us to travel. I do not disregard anyone. All who are faithful and confident in the Great Spirit's way are at liberty to follow the same road. We will meet many obstacles along the way. The peaceful way of life can be accomplished only by people with strong courage, and by the purification of all living things. Mother Earth's ills must be cured.
As we say, the Hopi are the first people created. They must cure the ills of their own bloodline so everything will become peaceful naturally, by the will of the Creator. He will cure the world. But right now Hopi is being hurt. To us this is a sign that the world is in trouble. All over the world they have been fighting, and it will get worse. Only purification of the Hopi from disruptive elements will settle the problems here on this Earth. We didn't suffer all this hardship and punishment for nothing. We live by these prophecies and teachings, and no matter what happens, we will not buckle down under any pressure from anybody.
We know certain people are commissioned to bring about the Purification. It is the Universal Plan from the beginning of creation, and we are looking up to them to bring purification to us. It is in the rock writings throughout the world, on different continents. We will come together if people all over the world know about it. So we urge you to spread this word around so people will know about it, and the appointed ones will hurry up with their task, to purify the Hopi and get rid of those who are hindering our way of life.
I have spoken. I wish this message to travel to all corners of this land and across the great waters, where people of understanding may consider these words of wisdom and knowledge. This I want. For people may have different opinions about some things, but because of the nature of the beliefs upon which this Hopi life is based, I expect that at least one will agree, maybe even two. If three agree it will be worth manyfold.
I have spoken. I wish this message to travel to all corners of this land and across the great waters, where people of understanding may consider these words of wisdom and knowledge. This I want. For people may have different opinions about some things, but because of the nature of the beliefs upon which this Hopi life is based, I expect that at least one will agree, maybe even two. If three agree it will be worth manyfold.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Protesting is not Resisting, Resistance are based on Profound Manifestos: “Ancient Big Mountain Supreme Ways Dictates Dineh Resistance, Pauline Whitesinger Continues to Defy B.I.A. Police Harassment & Threats”
By Bahe Y. Katenay, Sheep Dog Nation Rocks
Sweet Water Stronghold, Big Mountain. February 9, 2009 - Dineh elder resister of the traditional lands of Sweet Water is bundled up for the chilly winds as she takes some hay out to her sheep and goats. The herds need a little extra feed before going out to graze. The non-Indian, volunteer supporter is dressed warm and ready to follow the sheep as he chops some wood for grandma, Pauline and while the herds nibble on the scattered hay on the ground. Not many non-Indian volunteers do occasionally make themselves available from their busy lives to come out for short stays and help traditional, elder resisters. Very few traditional elder residents are now left throughout such regions affected by the harsh relocation laws of 1974.
When asked, “How is everything out here?” The well-outfitted supporter says, “Just a lot of babies, and that is why I’m carrying this!” He wears a large, hand-sewn canvas bag which he referred to is to be used in case any of the sheep or goats have “babies.” Soon the sheep and goats are done feeding and they head towards the great pristine canyon of Sweet Water, and the supporter suddenly quits all chit-chat, grabs his stick and runs off toward a herd that is disappearing into the juniper forest.
Each non-Indian supporter that make these short stays with traditional elders have unique and deep sense of passion that is more than just positive, but they have the understanding of the suffering from injustice and the presence of environmental destruction. Though these kind of ‘hardcore’ supporters are becoming rarer, they value the human connections to nature or to the eco-systems rather than connections to corporate entities and its policing/policies. They see and appreciate, more than most native Americanas, what still exist out here at Big Mountain especially where an elder like Pauline lives. Supporters like this one at Sweet Water do have ‘profound’ commitments to stay two weeks or more to learn and experience a glimpse of natural survival skills and maybe a very small bit of ancient human ritual ways. Within their profound commitments they know they may encounter at any moment the ‘terror-threats’ of the U.S. sponsored, BIA Indian Police Gestapo.
Grandma Pauline moves about slow as she closes the “hay barn” doors that are made from frames of a single-bed, and the barn’s roof is of tattered plastic tarps and the walls are of leaning juniper logs. She greets with a friendly and joyful hand shake as she adds a little sense of humor to her greeting. Grandma is still strong but age is still giving her a challenge, too. She is like a story teller as she makes numerous comments about things and about the conditions out there. She also knows that she is part of a situation which is the struggle for liberation at Big Mountain—her birth place.
A few supporters are very concerned and that is why this independent monitoring of human rights violation and religious intolerance is being carried out. The Arizona-based, Black Mesa Indigenous Support had received a phone message on behalf of Pauline in January about BIA Police personnel posing threats to demolish a traditional earth lodge. Because of the lack of resources, it took a while for the support network to finally establish contact and get the information. This situation with her re-building this sacred lodge should be a natural process but the regional BIA Hopi Agency saw it as a violation of U.S. Court decisions in the name of the federally-supported Hopi council. Grandma Pauline who still lives according to her ancestors’ ancient, cultural lifestyles completed the earth lodge and which is another, direct-action that is obviously missing in Indian country, true Native Resistance!
Grandma recalls what happened on January 20th as she also refers to a radio announcement, “It was about that time, 10 AM, when the radio said that in the east ‘the hand shall to be raised,’ when my grandson beckoned me outside because there were some visitors. It was those BIA-Hopi Police, again, and one officer got out of the vehicle followed by a female officer. I sat down on the bench against the house and they both sat on either side of us, the man who spoke Dineh sat next to me. As he said, ‘we hear you are out here sitting in the mud and we come to check on you,’ the third officer got out of the vehicle and started to walk over towards the newly rebuild lodge.
“My response to the officer next to me was, ‘I’m sitting in the mud out here? You say that as if you spoke with someone that lives with me and knows about my situation.’ Then we all noticed that the third officer was taking more pictures of the earth lodge like (they) do not have enough pictures of it by now.
“I begin to ask the officer sitting with us, why do you all need more pictures and you all should just stop these picture-taking of my home? The officers both ignored my request but the third officer came over and took a couple pictures of me and my grandchildren. The police said nothing more to us but left to return and drive by my resident again, and they drove slowly like they were still up to something. About a week ago, (they) did not come here but (they) again drove by very slowly like they were making some intense observations. I believe these (BIA) police are going to start doing as they please because the actual Hopi council is in defunct…”
The Call to Action for Support Continues
The protests in the American streets where Starbuck, Bank of American and GE own the concrete-n-steel sidewalks are hopeless! Come to the place of opportunity to show the American Police State that you support the natural humans pay homage to, not control, the Mother Earth. At Big Mountain, you will see and understand what real resistance is and experience being part of defending the profound ancient ways of life that are threaten into extinction. Come out, rough it, have patience, find that humbleness within you, and you will be in the human circle for revolution. Help, Save the Microcosm of the Universe at Big Mountain, the Whitesinger Earth Lodge!
© Sheep Dog Nation Rocks, 2009
For more information about how you can help, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.blackmesais.org/ and / or leave a voice message @ 928-773-8086.
Friday, January 16, 2009
January 15, 2009