First off, regarding the article A TRUST BROKEN, A HERITAGE BETRAYED: Battle for Native American Rights, which I urged you to read. Last time I checked, the magazine still hadn’t put it on their website, but the editor (firstname.lastname@example.org) will send you a copy of the magazine if you ask him. Those people here who can read english have given the article an enthusiastic two thumb up.
This issue of VFH is going to consist primarily of the words of others. I have three statements from divergent sources to distribute. This first one is from Leonard Benally, a non-signer here. Many of you have heard Leornard speak at events around the west.
ACTION ALERT FROM BIG MOUNTAIN PHONE MOBILIZATION 2000
THE RESISTANCE CONTINUES AT BIG MOUNTAIN
Current statement from Leonard B. Oct 4th 2000 in South East Foothills, Big Mountain AZ
Oct 4 2000
Greetings to the National and International concerned people. At this time I’d like to respond to Department of Interior BIA Assistant Kevin Gouer’s recent apology to the Indian People for 124 years of Genocide.
Now the US Goverment may be touched by the misery of the Indigenous people of Big Mountian and through-out the whole Western Hemisphere. Once again they are filling our souls with empty promises. And everyone should know that US Department of Interior BIA harrassments and intimidations continue against our Traditional Dine Tribal Native American Matriarchs within United States borders.
Yes Senator McCain himself has participated in silencing the war that has gone on for 32 years. Today the BIA still uses starvation tactics on the “Little People” by taking our livestock and water and the BIA and Hopi Tribal Rangers continue to use armed paramilitary strategic gorce against us. We have no phones, no running water and no electricity.
Eventhough the BIA is apologizing for the past 124 years of genocide, they are at the same time escalating evil forces of something we do not understand. And now the Hopi Tribal Council court hearings of Exculsion are isolating the Dine people from their family and friends. All we know is that our ways of Life, Ceremonial and Religous Freedom Rights are being violated. The list goes on as our human rights are violated on a daily basis. And here we are facing another harsh winter as the weather severity may be unpredictable and we are cast out of our own history according to the plans of the current US Goverment Laws.
Because things are now moving so fast, we now know the BIA, Lehman Brothers Corporation and the Navajo Hopi Relocation commission want to exterminate us. There is word out that the BIA has already moved at least two US Attorneys to Flagstaff AZ to complete the Department of Justice forced eviction as soon as petitioned by the Hopi Tribe to do so. The bottom line is that there is a corruption that no one wants to do anything about. This corruption is driven by the corporate and Federal greed for Mother Earth’s Wealth of coal, uranium, oil, and water all of which lies beneath our sacred Dineh Alter.
The BIA and Lehman Brother’s Corporation (Peabody Coal Company) wants to steal the mineral and natural resources from the Dineh Alter. This Religous Intolerance by the US Government also has tremendous Global impact on the environment. This is why we are turning to the outside world to request urgent phone calls, hundreds and thousands of them to stop what the BIA/Peabody Coal Company has planned for us.
We have spent 32 years in Resistance. We will continue to Resist and we will never surrender. We need concerned citizens to build a phone mobilization Global wide with calls directed to the offices listed below. This is our next step in making Federal Tribal Officals accountable for genocidal policies.
Its time to stand together and walk together on the same path, all of us who support Big Mountain must now unify. We are calling for solidarity. This is the only way we know we are not alone in our struggles and not dying alone, nor in silence anymore. It requires all of us to take a great risk to stand with courage unifed on one truth for the People’s rights to live the right to eat, the right to pray, and the right to bury our relations on our sacred homeland which is our birthright. These things are being denied. Even the right to carry on our cultural ancient ways of Life must be preserved.
Politicans are not helping us. They are deaf to our problems because of the poor Life that inhabit us, the poverty, the neglect, and the list goes on.
Your phone calls can make a big difference. You and only you, the people, can protect “the Little People” from the Beast.
The following “Beasts” need to be called, preferrably in the morning to tie up their phone lines. Remember, ask to stop all Human Rights and Religious Freedom Rights Violations as well as all the genocidal policies implemented on the Traditional Dineh People residing on the Hopi Partition Land.
With Respect and Solidarity with all peoples struggles, Leonard Benally
Lehman Brothers Corporation
Leave a message of your request for Richard Fuld, ask for Shawn Butler
Ask for the Chairman’s and leave your request to protect Dineh Rights for Chairman Wayne Taylor and Eugene Kahe, Hopi Tribal Council Chief of Staff.
BIA, Wendell Honanul
Request that all livestock Impoundment stop and there be no livestock reduction. Demand a stop to all human rights violations and no guns carried around the people.
Please call these telephone #’s once a week in the morning through January to make them protect Dineh and Indigionous Rights and Human Rights. Please request the Hopi Tribe and Department of Interior to protect Big Mountain as a National Historical Cultural Preservation Site.
This second statement comes from Leornard Crowdog. The document is dated August, 2000, and is signed by Leornard Crowdog and 19 other signatures. The document is notarized.
We the Nation of our Tribes of Internation Tribes of Declaration of our Original Peoples, we truly understand, for the matter of the record, by the evidence of the Four Sacred Mountains. We are the code dreamers, we see for the generations, theses are the remains of our ancestors territory, we are the caretakers of the elements of this sacred land.
We the Chiefs will ratify and endorse the enclosed document that we clearly are the understanding of the Balance of the Land that is sacred to the Dine’ Nation.
Before the Dine nation the Natural Proceedings of the Beginning of the Creation there were the Natural Laws and Natural order of life.
Dues to the safety of the Dine Nation unborn and born, we have invited the Dine Nation to Rosebud, South Dakota to secure Indigenous Rights.
We hereby stand in alliance with the Dine Nations rights, both Human Rights and Religious Freedom Rights to ensure their Religious Ties to their Territory and Sacred Homelands.
Declaration of the Council of Chiefs at Crowdogs Sundance.
This final statement comes from a traditional Hopi from Hotevilla. The author wishes toi remain anonymous. Unfortunately, this has now become the norm in Hopiland. Critics of the ruling Junta fear recrimination.
Protecting The Land: the Hopi perspective
The Hopi are a sovereign nation within the boundaries of the United States. We have never signed a treaty with the United States, nor did we fight any offensive war with them. We are one of a few groups of Indians who did not abandon our traditional ways. Therefore we claim not to be subject to the laws of the United States.
The existence of the Hopi people is being threatened by policies of the US government and the Peabody Coal Company, which have been exploiting the Hopi land for some time. The Hopi are against any form of violence, however the Hopi people have asked several organizations to exercise pressure on the US and Peabody Coal Company. Not only the nature of Hopi land is being threatened, but a whole People as well, because we have held to traditional ideals. Hopi who adhere to the old traditions must obey only the laws of our creator, Maasauu. This is awkward since although we live within the boarders of the United States we cannot live by conflicting American laws.
The American government would like to see it otherwise, giving rise to greater problems. The Hopi live from agriculture. For this water is needed, but Peabody Coal Company uses millions of gallons of Hopi water each day to transport coal to a distant power plant, and thereby sucks life’s blood from our sacred land. The government also found other minerals to be useful, such as uranium and oil. These should not be taken out before the hearts of all people are in harmony, but it is not sure that the government will wait such a long time. The US government is greedy for those minerals, and they have a good tool for obtaining them: The Hopi Tribal Council (HTC). The HTC exists without roots, only because it favors the American government. The government in return says that the HTC represents all Hopi people. This is not true.
Our existence is a difficult one with the coming of industrialization and other events of the past 150 years. And so it happened. The HTC agreed to sell a major part of Hopi land to the US for $5 million (Docket 196). The person to ask is President Carter. The date chosen by the US for a vote was one on which the traditionals would hold a religious ceremony. No other day was possible. Thus, the decision was left to a minority. (Only about 250 out of 6,000 voted on that day.) To tell of all these malpractices of the US against the Hopi people would only make a lot of noise.
The difficulties began with Hopi people who adopted the white man’s ways.
This was followed by the split of Oraibi and the founding of Hotevilla in 1906 to carry on the ways of the creator. These problems continue to exist. We traditionals do not approve of the policies of the US government or its presidents. In the past they have ignored invitations to visit Hopi Land. The Hopi see the US as a neighboring country. Part of the problem is because the HTC doesn’t think much of traditionals since they only hold old fashioned ideas. For those reasons our elders stood firm on their beliefs, and so, have stood in solidarity with the Dine people of surrounding areas.
Since the Hopi are in serious trouble, the US government has promised to do everything possible to help out, to stop damaging our sacred land. This is not easy, because now the Hopi are divided. Two worlds are in conflict. In the USA we are known as the Hopi Tribe; a government comprised of a people who speak the Hopi language, but this does not exist. We exist, as we have always existed, as autonomous villages. Each village has to speak for, and protect it’s own Clan lands, and has its own headman. Recently, the HTC has appointed fake religious headmen to make necessary agreements and to sign on issues concerning village matters. These new fake elders have made a deep cut through Hotevilla village to install the sewer and water pipes to most of the homes last year, before the deadline to take away US funds. This has been a disaster to Hotevilla people because the traditionalists do not accept running water or electricity from the government. All land is sacred and the only way to maintain our way of life.
The US government offered a lousy $5 million for this land, which the HTC now says now has built up to $28 million. Minority rules: Rule is in the hands of the few who want to live in the white man’s way.
A recent sign made for Hotevilla village indicates that every white visitor is under Hotevilla jurisdiction. This is nonsense. We have no borders, as our stone tablet testifies that we claimed this land for Maasauu, its original owner, to protect it as our mother.
We Hopi traditionals are in our right when we are against the Peabody Coal Company and their abuse of the Earth. We have been waiting for this help from the Navajo, Paiute, and all peoples who respect The Land.
We will have to break away from this system of one will pay and one will not.
So we are at this stage; the temptations still stand.
To be chosen | You and I will decide.
May 13th 2000
Back in the real world, things have been muddy, muddy, muddy. Lots of late rain, and then some early snow. The reaction of most people has been to smile. Much of this moisture will stay in the ground through the winter and cause a blooming, green spring. It also means that things slow down a little. When its muddy, the “roads” are muddy, so people don’t attempt to travel much. Also means we don’t get visitors. This time of the year, if you do drive anywhere, then you travel with a shovel, axe, and blanket. The shovel to dig yourself out of the snow or mud. The axe to cut brush to get you out of the mud or snow, and the blanket because sometimes even with a shovel and axe you aren’t going to move, so need to spend the night in the vehicle. Contrary to what the commercials tell you, American Express and Visa can be left at home. They will be of no use whatsoever.
When I say that things slow down some, I refer to a pace of living that is already remarkably slow compared to “out there”. I keep hearing how the “pace of life” is increasing out there, but is this really so? Last time I checked, it still took 24 hours for the earth to revolve around its axis giving us the rhythmn of day and night. It still takes 365 days (approx) for the earth to circle the sun, giving us the cycle of the seasons, and it still takes nine months for a human baby to develop and be born. So I don’t think its the pace of LIFE that is increasing…. rather the machine, or even more correctly, the computer.
Of course, over in the headquarters of the Corporate Hopi, the rain is causing them some problems. The supposed “drought” has been the excuse they use to justify their snatching oif peoples animals. Without that excuse they will have to come up with another excuse. I have no doubt they will.
For those on the piclist, just one photo this time.
VFH16pix1 is a recent photo of one of the approxiamtely 84 individuals the Feds plan on forcibly eveicting from their homes.
But then, what the hell do I know,… I’m just a sheepherder.
“What we accept, we teach.”
Thanks for giving me your time by reading this
Your prayers, support, and correspondence are invited