At three o’clock on the afternoon of August 17th I spoke with the office of Hopi Tribal Chairman, Eugene Kaye. It was confirmed that:
1. Bulldozers and Chainsaws have destroyed all buildings/Sundance arbor at Camp Anna Mae. The office also says that “No personal residences were destroyed, only Sundance arbor and tree.”
2. Two people were cited/arrested: one young Dine’, a “minor” who was documenting, attempting to photograph the destruction by bulldozers and chainsaws on his homeland, at the home of his family. His arraignment is set for Monday August 20 at a.m. and he is charged with criminal trespass. The other person ceased/arrested was Arlene Hamilton, who had previously been charged at an exclusionary hearing by the Hopi Tribal Council. She was cited, ceased, and escorted from the reservation according to Hopi Tribal Chairman office.
Today, I also spoke with attorney Joe Washington who continues to say that these charges of criminal trespass are in direct violation of the rights of the Dine’ and they WILL be challenged.
And also a phone conversation this afternoon with a Benally family member who is now working to raise bond for their relative. To those Dine’ in resistance, and for those of convinced that this is a violation of human rights, we feel this this latest round of attacks, striking at the heart of a sacred ceremony is a flagrant act of arrogant and cruel disrespect for all Nations involved.
The Lakota Sundance leader, Joe Chasing Horse, has also been informed of this assault, discussing with his helpers what it is that can/will be done for protection of their families, now that sacred arbor has been destroyed.
When I told this story to a local S. Oregon person he replied “Are you saying this just happened? This is not a story from 100 years ago?” Yes. This is the 21st century version of respect.
There is much talk in Indian and white country about how these Sovereign Dine’ should just leave and that this land now belongs to the Hopi. Yet it is crucial to understand that Hopi Traditionals do not support the destruction of ceremony, it is Hopi Tribal Council calling this land their jurisdiction. With the sanctions of the U.S. Congress. AND the Sovereign Dine’ Nation has NEVER recognized the jurisdiction of either the United States (PL 93-531) OR Hopi Tribal Council.
Please pray for the Benally family as now one of their young men has been targeted. Because they refuse to participate in forced relocation designed by a Tribal Council and U.S. Congress who admittedly seek access to coal and uranium which lie beneath the sacred altar of Dine’.