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Subject: Dine'

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Date Posted: 14:54:46 04/24/01 Tue

From: MIKECHEROKEE@aol.com
Subj: Support letters needed on Dine'h issues
Date: 4/21/01 7:14:18 PM, Pacific Daylight Time

[Note: I was asked to get this together so that all would know what I'm talking about, tho I'm sure most here do. This was sent out a little more quickly then I thought it would be. I had wanted to add a few more things but those will be sent out later. This is why I hesitated sending this now.]

Forward to all

Where do I start to begin to say who the Dine' are? Do I go back to my first experiences with their ordeal? I suppose this is the best place to start. A few years ago I came in contact with someone who was also working on the Honor Ride. She told me what was going on in AZ, and I wanted to kick myself for being blind to it all while I lived there. It is that blindness I had which somewhat helps me to understand why others who live there and in other places may not know.I came in contact with others as a result, and started searching for documents which seem to have disappeared dating back to the sixties. I looked into what was happening there and I wanted to cry,wondering just what I could do to right the wrongs which have been going on

What are these wrongs? First there is PL 93-531 (the 1974 Navajo / Hopi LandSettlement Act) which was passed "to authorize the partition of the surface rights in the joint use area of the 1882 Executive order Hopi Reservation and
the surface and subsurface rights in the 1934 Navajo Reservation between the Hopi and Navajo Tribes, to provide for allotments to certain Paiute Indians,and for other purposes," which includes the Bennett Freeze. Basically what this says is the Dine' are not allowed to repair or construct dwellings, use the water, gather fire wood or medicinal plants. Families have been forced to live together in dwellings that are really uninhabitable. Essential construction of power and water line extensions was stopped. In essence,these families have been forced to live in unhealthful conditions.

This is the reason it is so important to write to your Representatives, asking them to bring HR 104 out of committee onto the House floor for a vote.What needs to be remembered here is the Bennett Freeze is, as described in
the bill, "a gross violation of treaty obligations to the Navajo Nation." This bill also authorized "the creation of a Relocation Commission." The person who sponsored this bill was working for John Boyden of Peabody Coal before becoming a Representative and having the power to sponsor such a
law. What could these "other purposes" be but to benefit Peabody Coal who coveted the coal at Black Mesa.

As if this wasn't enough, John McCain, Senator of AZ, sponsored PL 104-301 (the Navajo-Hopi Land Dispute Settlement Act). This is the bill responsible for the Accommodation Agreements which were forced upon the Dine' who lived in that JUA. If they signed, they lost all rights, but could remain there for the duration of the lease. Of course, the HTC wanted to force this on the Dine' because they were promised a 25 million dollar payment if they got 85% of those living in the area to sign the Accommodation Agreement. Since that time (1996), to try to force the signing, there has been harassment in the form of impoundment of their animals, and general harassment of the
people who remain. Those who chose to relocate have suffered in many ways,be it suicide, cancer as a result of a contaminated water supply in the "new lands," depression, just to name a few. Who remains? Mostly elders who face
constant harassment from the Hopi Tribal Police and others.

Now since the Supreme Court has denied hearing the Manybeads case, the Hopi are now saying that evictions are "imminent." This can not be. There was never a land dispute unless you want to call what the HTC has created as such. The traditional Hopis have lived along side the traditional Dine' for years. They don't want to see them go. They know that the Dine' are the keepers of the earth, and should they leave, nothing but chaos will follow.

The Dine' are tightly bound to their land. It is a part of them. It is here they believe the internal organs of Mother Earth can be found. The land is sacred. But what has happened to this land? The area all around has been scared permanently through the actions of Peabody Coal. Many plants that were used for medicinal purposes are no longer there.The land is drying up.Why you might ask. The use of the N-aquifer as the coal slurry to pump the coal strip mined by Peabody Coal to the Mohave Generating Station is drying up what wells were there. Others have been capped so that they have to travel long distances to get water.

Even though there is international support (the European Parliament's Resolution in 2000), the demonstrations, the talks with Peabody, the goings on at Black Mesa seem to be the Government's best kept secret. Rarely is anything seen in the papers about it. It can no longer be a secret. Everyone needs to know and to act. We can't as human beings allow the treatment of the elders to continue. Whatever happened to respect? This is it in a nutshell, and this is why I come to you. We can no longer sit quietly, thinking others can handle this. We need to work together toward a
common goal, the end of all the harassment of and threats against the Dine' elders at Black Mesa.

There are other places on the internet where you can access sites which contain information about Black Mesa. One good one is an article written by Judith Nies entitled "The Black Mesa Syndrome: Indian Lands, Black Gold"
Another is "Black Mesa-Human Rights and the Environment"
. Other sites worthy of visiting for current updates as well as background information and which are the primary sites on this issue include BIG MOUNTAIN DINEH RELOCATION RESISTANCE
, Black Mesa Indigenous Support
. It is to the last three sites I would go for contact.

Please send your letters of support to Congressman JD. Hayworth of AZ.
Address to:
Ryan Serote
2434 Rayburn Build.
Washington DC. 20515
Fax: 520-556-8764


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