Due to the crisis resulting from the destruction of a sacred sundance site, Camp Anna Mae at Big Mountain, Arizona, and continuing threats being made against the civil and religious rights of the people involved in those spiritual ceremonies, a panel of civil, traditional and religious leaders will be holding a press conference at 6 p.m. on Aug. 29, 2001, at Little America, 2515 Butler Ave., Flagstaff, Arizona.
On August 17 at 5:30 a.m., the Hopi Tribe’s Land Team, with assisitance from the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Navajo County Sheriff’s department, raided the Camp Anna Mae sundance site with up to 60 officers, a bulldozer, a backhoe, chainsaws, and other equipment. Heavily armed for their assault, they brought ambulances along.
Without warning or warrant, the ceremonial site was invaded. The sundance tree was torn down and shredded, the entire site bulldozed, including the sweat lodges, and two people were arrested and taken to jail for interferring, even though there was no proof given of the legality of the action. In view of the ongoing conflicts between the Navajo and the Hopi Tribal Council and the potential this incident presents for an escalation of violence, this is a matter of great urgency.
We sincerely hope you will attend this press conference.