Sunday, September 14, 2008

Navajo, Hopi and Lakota delegation warned Lehman Brothers of consequences of mining sacred Black Mesa

By Brenda Norrell
UN OBSERVER and International Report

NEW YORK -- A delegation of Navajo, Hopi and Lakota warned Lehman Brothers stockholders of the dire consequences of their actions in 2001. In a rare move, censored by most media, the Navajo, Hopi and Lakota delegation warned Lehman Brothers, after it acquired the financial interests of Peabody Coal, of the spiritual consequences of mining coal on sacred Black Mesa and the aftermath of Peabody Coal's machinations that led to the so-called Navajo Hopi Land Dispute.
Lehman Brothers is now in the midst of financial collapse, with its bankruptcy producing a rippling effect throughout the world's economy.
At the time of the Lehman Brothers stockholders meeting in 2001, Arlene Hamilton bought two shares of stocks in Lehman Brothers to pave the way for the delegation to address the stockholders. Hamilton said her life was threatened because of this action. Shortly afterwards, Hamilton was killed in a car crash. Longtime Navajo relocation resister Roberta Blackgoat died in California, where she had gone to attend Hamilton's memorial.
A traditional Hopi was among those addressing the Lehman Brothers stockholders. His admonitions followed those of the late Hopi Sinom elders Thomas Banyacya and Dan Evehema, among the Hopi elders who warned of dire consequences, including natural disasters and worldwide consequences, if Peabody mined coal on Black Mesa and Navajos were relocated from this sacred region. The Hopi Sinom never authorized the establishment of the Hopi Tribal Council, which they referred to as a puppet government of the United States.
The traditional Hopi in the delegation told stockholders, "Lehman Brothers, even though we are just a few here, we speak for the Creator, who is the majority.“Therefore we demand you stop the Peabody coal mining and the slurry. We demand again,” said the Hopi elder who asked that his name not be published in the media.
"Traditional and priesthood people don't want this mining. The Hopi prophecies say that we have to protect land and life. If we don't protect our beautiful Earth --our Heaven, our Mother, we will suffer with her." He told stockholders that Hopis never signed a treaty with the United States and the current Hopi Tribal Council is not legitimate since it was created by less than 30 percent of the people.
Referring to the beginning of the turmoil, he said, "John Boyden was a lawyer who worked for Peabody Coal. He was instrumental to the creation of the Hopi Tribal Council.
"Our ancestors warned that someday this would happen. White men will say that it is our own people that sold this land. I will not accept this.
"Our roots are rooted in our villages and it goes up to the whole universe. If we break these roots the world will get out of balance.
"I pray for you and hope that we open your eyes and you find the majority in your heart.”
Roberta Blackgoat, longtime resister and sheepherder from Cactus Valley, told stockholders the region of San Francisco Peaks is holy to the Navajo people. Mining in the area of this sacred mountain is the same as desecrating an altar and church. It is making the people sick."We can not go away to other places," Blackgoat said, adding that livestock confiscation is “starving the people.”
"When you have a pinprick on your finger, just take it off and the pain will go away. But there are too many pins on the Mother Earth. Barbed wire is all over the country, dividing the people."
Blackgoat was among the families resisting forced relocation. After Peabody orchestrated the so-called Navajo Hopi Land Dispute, more than 12,000 Navajos were relocated to make way for Peabody's coal mining. Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., was among those responsible for Navajo relocation.
Leonard Benally, Navajo from Big Mountain on Black Mesa in Arizona, said the delegation told Lehman Brothers that it is time to transform operations to renewable forms of energy, including solar and wind power.
"It was like opening this marble door to the Lehman Brothers. We got our foot in there. They were willing to listen. By going there, the delegation touched their hearts.” Benally said the delegation also dispelled myths.
"They say it's a land dispute, but it is not. The traditional Hopi and Navajo are standing together, they are the original inhabitants of Black Mesa. We are the caretakers."Benally said the people have been struggling for 32 years because of the turmoil created by Hopi and Navajo tribal leaders intent on making money from the 92 billion tons of coal beneath the ground at Black Mesa. But, he said, the resistance actually goes back 500 years to the Spanish invasion, followed by the European invasion. Finally there was the Kit Carson invasion.
"That's when the people were put in the death camps."
While Navajos were incarcerated at Fort Sumner, he said, "The military made promises, mountains of promises they never kept."While the Navajo Nation government in Window Rock celebrated Sovereignty Day in April (2001), Benally said tribal leaders force their own people to suffer respiratory disease and death from coal mining, sacrificing them for mining royalties.
"Sovereignty Day? That's a joke. For us, we live it. They oppress their own race. They make them bleed."In the 1970s, the Four Corners region was considered a National Sacrifice area, but Benally said it is time to change that classification to a National Historic Site.
"The sacredness is still here. Mother Earth is still here. She still breathes. As long as the air blows, the rivers run, Indigenous people will be out here."
Benally said the Navajo, Hopi and Lakota delegation moved in solidarity with the Zapatistas whose caravan through Mexico gave them hope in 2001.
"We felt the wind, it came from the South. It is telling the Indigenous people to rise up for their beliefs, their culture. These things are not being respected by anyone but the Indigenous people."
In New York, Joe Chasing Horse, Sundance Chief at Big Mountain, addressed the protest rally and spoke to Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking Fund stockholders.“You have taken all of our land, now we have come to show you how to take care of it,” Chasing Horse said.
“The traditionalists have the wisdom, we are the wisdom keepers.”
Glenna Begay, Navajo protesting in New York, said, "I traveled 3,000miles to be here and to voice my concern about what's happening to us out there on the land. I want the mining to stop."
Louise Benally of Big Mountain said, "We need to hold the owners accountable by letting them know the hardship we live with every day."
Arlene Hamilton, coordinator of the Weaving for Freedom project and wife of Leonard Benally, personally bought two shares in the corporation to ensure entrance into the stockholders meeting. She and Benally negotiated with Lehman Brothers to allow the elders time to address stockholders.
"These were some of the richest men and women in the world. The delegation was so beautiful, and so with the truth. Their presence was holy."
Back in Flagstaff in 2001, Hamilton said Lehman Brothers and Peabody Coal now have the opportunity to make a difference in the future of mankind.
"We want the dehumanizing and militarizing to stop. There is a lot of suffering going on. We want to make sure the ceremonies are not surrounded by guns and the people have clean drinking water.
“There is no life without water." Hamilton said Navajo elders resisting relocation often become dehydrated during the hot summer months because of the scarcity of clean water, while Peabody Coal pumps 10,000 gallons of water a minute to slurry coal.She has taken human rights concerns to Peabody management for years, but she said they have done little to improve the quality of living as promised.
"It's really just diversion and distraction while the people are suffering out there. Everything is based on making way for mining."
The delegation presented a list of demands to Lehman Brothers, demanding that Peabody leave the water and coal alone because they are the lungs and liver of Mother Earth. They called for a halt to mining and the initiation of a solar project, availability of clean drinking water, and a halt to military over flights and the intimidation of elders and youths by armed rangers.
Hamilton said the Weaving for Freedom project is a collective of Dine' weavers in resistance struggling for religious freedom to practice their ancient craft while protecting their sacred land. Hamilton said, "This work is very risky now. We protect each other by traveling in large groups." Leonard Benally said, “The whole thing is about materialism, money. In our culture, money doesn’t matter. It is about how you live in harmony with nature, in harmony with your prayers.
“That’s why we are fighting for our lands, even though the media and politicians are telling us we don’t have a right to exist."
Meanwhile, Bill Ahearn, spokesman for Lehman Brothers, said the protesters were welcome to speak at the meeting but said the firm would be unable to help them. He said the issues must be resolved by the tribes and BIA.
"We're very sympathetic and we feel badly for them, but there's nothing we can do for them because it's not a problem with us."

Read: Hopi statement to Lehman Brothers
Listen to Democracy Now! Navajo, Hopi and Lakota delegation to Lehman Brothers in 2001
Sri Lanka Guardian: Navajo, Hopi and Lakota warned Lehman Brothers

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow !

Talk about karmic justice. I am LMAO.

I've said this quite some time ago - the American people have condoned a LOT of bad things over the last few decades, but the levels of evil have REALLY been ratcheted up in the last few years - the hundreds of thousands (or millions) murdered in Iraq being a prime example.

Now consider this - you are God/the universe and you have a nation of people who are the richest on Earth who deserve to be punished, badly - what would be the best way to do that ?

I think the answer would be to make them poor.

And that is what the Lehman bankruptcy is a harbinger of. The American people are going to be made desperately poor and then they are going to be subjected to the same types of illegal, coercive and violent behaviors by their 'superiors' that they have terrorized others with all over the world.

From a 'big picture' viewpoint - it's all quite hilarious actually. :) - couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch, eh ? And it's all pretty much inevitable at this point in time - last time to change direction was when I was a boy in the 1970's I think.

For those of you wanting to consider a psycho-social history of cycles which PREDICTS such a Crisis, you might want to check out a book called The Fourth Turning. All the same mistakes being made all over again.

kochevnik

Anonymous said...

Excellent website by the way Brenda!

Could Lehman Brothers just close down the operation and walk away? I suppose so if they own it. Thats not reasonably going to happen of course, but a great protest opportunity. Lehmans collapsed due to the credit derivitive problem that is engulfing the USA and UK economy that both have had free market dogmatists in control since Raygun/Thatcher. Check this analysis out:

http://www.moneyandmarkets.com/Issues.aspx?Weiss-Research-Press-Release-on-Federal-Bailout-2328

The whole USA banking system ediface is infected with dodgy credit derivities! Trillions and trillions of dollars! Thus the huge uncertainty and total panic and bank failures. Its kinda almost like the maniacal free market the dogmatists created in financial sector was so free it was anarchistic and this anarchy has now nearly destroyed the USA capitalist system!

You have the right to live in peace on tribal territory. It shouldn't be up to Lehmans or anyone else. It should be up to the real people..the traditional Native American tribal leadership -the elders.

I hope the cash I gave recently comes in this winter. That makes me feel good! Definitly not a communist zapatista wind by the way.

Love and respect,

Jim

Anonymous said...

Excellent website by the way Brenda!

Could Lehman Brothers just close down the operation and walk away? I suppose so if they own it. Thats not reasonably going to happen of course, but a great protest opportunity. Lehmans collapsed due to the credit derivitive problem that is engulfing the USA and UK economy that both have had free market dogmatists in control since Raygun/Thatcher. Check this analysis out:

http://www.moneyandmarkets.com/Issues.aspx?Weiss-Research-Press-Release-on-Federal-Bailout-2328

The whole USA banking system ediface is infected with dodgy credit derivities! Trillions and trillions of dollars! Thus the huge uncertainty and total panic and bank failures. Its kinda almost like the maniacal free market the dogmatists created in financial sector was so free it was anarchistic and this anarchy has now nearly destroyed the USA capitalist system!

You have the right to live in peace on tribal territory. It shouldn't be up to Lehmans or anyone else. It should be up to the real people..the traditional Native American tribal leadership -the elders.

I hope the cash I gave recently comes in this winter. That makes me feel good! Definitly not a communist zapatista wind by the way.

Love and respect,

Jim

s.beasley Unenrolled Cherokee African American White said...

osiyo Hello In cherokee I just want to say wa'd o thank you In Cherokee for Brenda's wonderful powerful article in the ulta cool the brenda blog ,and for asking me to write about what has happened to Lehman Brothers. When I first heard about what had happned to Lehman brothers I said so what does it have to do with me a Unenrolled Cherokee African American Woman?Let alone Indian Country? yet when I went to Brenda's web site via Pechanga.net Victor Rocha's great web site with the orginal Intention of reading of what the great Shelia Tousey Stockbridge Munsee Menominee nations was doing at the Autry theater, I saw a picture of the beautiful Roberta BlackGoat Dine nation I bout fell off my chair! wow!I was stunned! and I 'm still speechless at what I read and the amazing fact of the matter is that the two main Candates fro President of the United States Senator Barack Obama and Senator John Mc Cain have accepted campaign money from Wall street. go to Democaracy Now.org and read the trascripts, listen to, or watch the Tuesday September 16 Interview with the Reverend Jessie Jackson and the Wensday September 17 interview with Nomi Prins and Michael Hudson. In the intrest of National Disclosure I did vote for Senator Barack Obama for the Democaratic Nomination for President of the United States of America and I was going to Vote for Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzlalez for Vice president of the United States of America, yet since they have not visited any of the 563 federally recongnized tribal nations in the US and do not have a single plan for what is in the best intrest of Naitve Americans and Alaskan Natives. I will be voting for Senator Barack Obama For president and Senator Joe Biden for Vice President of the US.I listened to more of what Senator Obama was going to do about the sinking ship at his press conference on the day Senator McCain was going to bail out of the Debate at Ole Miss which was a joke becasue no third party canadates were going to be at the debate. And I said to myself this whole Lehman Brothers wall street disaster is going to hit their campaigns next becasue If you think you have seen it all so far you haven't seen anything yet!It's going to get worse before it gets any better.So in the words of the Hopi Elders I encourage all Native American Abogional and Indgeious Peoples to go back to your orginal Non Christian teachings before it is to late.Learn about your tribal history ,culture, language, food everything ,and anything about your nation. Read about the Hopi Propheicies that of your own tribal Prophecies and other Native American Aborgional and Indgeionous Prophecies, buy Indian give back to Native American Aborgional and Indgeious Orginzations and make a difference in your tribal communities even if you are a Urban Indian living on the Rez or living anywhere in the world.do it now before the sun rises and sets blood red according to the Hopi Prophecy.Observe nature and watch what is happening to our planet. read the wonderful book Black Dawn Bright Day by Sun bear with Wabun Wind It's about the end of the world from a Naitve view and it's lethal and dead on accurate!and Vote on November 4 for those who are US Citizens find out where your tribal leaders ,congresspeople state local, and ,national people stand on this horrible bail out issue and if you agree with them vote for them for election if not kick them all out!and vote for trbial leaders president , vice prsident state local and national leaders that will respect the Soverignty of the first nations. for those enrolled Tribal nations that will have elections vote in your tribal elections first then in the General elections.we need to give back to our nations now more than ever and need to take care of oursleves and others the first nations way . wa'do thank you brenda and keep up the great work!

CKaye said...

Wow! I remember hearing about the land grab and being sick to my stomach about it, but I did not know that they were warned of the consequences of doing so. It was a small matter for Mother Earth to put Lehman Brothers down and save her lovely body, wasn't it! How could piddling callous human beings think they could stand up to HER! :)

Knowing them, they will send some other callous dogs out to mine HER, but....maybe not, as all these humungous conglomerates are going down like bowling pins these days. Blessings to the Keepers of the Earth, and Blessings to the Mother!