Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

March 17, 2014

Dine' and Hopi to Peabody Coal: Stop the abuse of Black Mesa remains and artifacts

Peabody coal removed 250 human remains from Black Mesa, 1.3 million artifacts

Today the remains and artifacts are in infested areas, and looted. Scattered at universities, this could be the source of the auctions of sacred items in Paris.

Jennafer Waggoner-Yellowhorse
Black Mesa Coalition
Censored News
March 17, 2014
French translation by Christine Prat

Black Mesa Archaeology Project was a field excavation paid for by Peabody Energy to colleges, who operated a project to remove more than 1.3 million artifacts, and approximately 250 or more human burials.  

Prescott College held the archaeology removed from the Kayenta-Black Mesa Mining area, and went bankrupt in the late 1970’s. The BMAP archaeologist team managed to separate and scatter the collection to several universities, including Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and University Nevada Las Vegas. Coincidentally, an hour away from Peabody Headquarters in St. Louis, and in the arms of Las Vegas Department of Water and Power, all customers from the coal-fired Navajo Generating Station at Kayenta power conglomerate.  

In a series of FOIA’s it was discovered that Peabody has withheld a 2002 Army Corps of Engineers Inspection of the collection which revealed paltry conditions like rat and spider infestations, scattered artifacts among various colleges and museums and most certainly two-break ins of which unknown quantities of archaeology disappeared which may indeed be connected to well known auctions in France and oversees. In fact one of the Auctioneers is a member of the Black Mesa Archaeology Project reunion group found on Facebook, who is also a Discovery Channel entrepreneur. This group has admitted touring the reservation sites, without Tribal escort, with members loosely discussing looting type language in their interpersonal communications. Sixth Graders were allowed to handle and relabel remains.  

This report is surfacing as Dine’h Hopi Partitioned Land impacted residents are petitioning Peabody for a meeting with Brian Dunfee, environmental services coordinator, who had promised he would meet with residents in a recording we have provided. Mr. Dunfee has responded by referring them to the CRUM process, for which Indigenous Action Media provides a recording that they clearly eliminate BMAP from the CRUM 2019 process. While Peabody promises they will return at any time, they refer to the Navajo Tribe for an agreement for curation that has been struck without any formal notification to the Black Mesa residents who worked the project, or live in the mining area.  

We encourage everyone to connect with the Black Mesa Group of their choice, and ask how to assist them in their plea to request the return of their ancestors for reburial and self curation projects.  

Read new documents: 

Black Mesa Coalition letter to Peabody Energy March 17, 2014
Cultural Review and update of meeting at Arizona Museum 2013

1 comment:

Michelle_O_My_ said...

These people are the lowest of the low..entrusted to conserve ...abominable.