|Photos by Ed Becenti, published with permission|
By Brenda Norrell
Photos Louise Benally and Marshall Johnson at UofA by Ed Becenti
TUCSON -- When the University of Arizona in Tucson invited a water rights attorney who is protested by Dine', traditional Dine' made the long journey from the northern part of the state to southern Arizona to both protest the selection of the attorney to speak and to educate the university about Dine' water rights and true sovereignty.
Louise Benally of Big Mountain (above) was among the speakers. Benally's family has resisted forced relocation since the 1970s. The so-called Navajo-Hopi Land Dispute was actually orchestrated by an attorney working for Peabody Coal. The scheme was designed to remove Navajos from their homelands to make way for Peabody's coal mines on Black Mesa. More than 14,000 Navajos were relocated to make way for the coal mines. Some elderly died of broken hearts after being removed from their homelands.
Today, the State of Arizona, Arizona Congressmen and the United States government are relentless in their attempts to steal both Navajo and Hopi water rights. The water is sought to water the unsustainable desert cities in southern Arizona -- Phoenix and Tucson -- and to provide water for the dirty coal industry's Navajo Generating Station. It uses Peabody coal, Mother Earth's liver, from Black Mesa.
The coal-fired power plant located on the Navajo Nation near Page, Ariz., supplies electricity to southern Arizona and uses enormous amounts of water, while polluting the region and causing sickness for Navajos and others in the Southwest.
Meanwhile, most Navajos in the area live without electricity and are forced to drive long distances to haul their water.
Navajos speaking at the University of Arizona protested the selection of Stanley Pollack, hired by the Navajo Nation government as the tribe's water rights attorney. Dine' said Pollack is not serving the best interests of Navajos. The elected Navajo Nation government continues to sign leases with the dirty coal industry, and recently purchased a coal mine.
Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Dalai Lama honors Unsung Heroes, including Crow Peggy Wellknown Buffalo
Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014
By Brenda Norrell
|Honored today Grace Mashaba for soup kitchen in South Africa|
The Dalai Lama spoke on compassion, during the tribute to the efforts of 51 individuals from around the world who are working to alleviate the suffering of others without expectation of reward. The honorees included those rescuing trafficked children, providing soup kitchens, and clinics and doctors where the need is great. The 51 honorees came from Nepal, South Africa, Palestine and throughout the world.
Among the Indigenous honored was Carlos Tapedera, Raramuri (Tarahumara) for his work in maternal health in northern Mexico.
|Raramuri (Tarahumara) Mexico|
"It is our job to do the best we can where we live," Grandmother Agnes said. "Be the voice for the green, our Mother Earth, and her blood, our water."
Grandmother Agnes, 90, spoke of the exile of the Dalai Lama and of her own ancestors. While remembering the harshness of these journeys and struggles, she returned to the importance of protecting Mother Earth.
"There is life in that water and we are the Caretakers," she said urging others to let this message ripple out. She also spoke of what has happened to the Tibetan people, describing them as "very dedicated to their prayers, songs and to each other."
Actor Peter Coyote, master of ceremonies, welcomed the 51 honorees on the stage and each was honored.
Peter Coyote said, "It makes us believe in goodness once again."
During the applause, Peter Coyote said, "Each clap is a commitment to action."
Unsung Hero of Compassion Peggy Wellknown Buffalo
|Never giving up, Isabel Garcia, Derechos Humanos, battling for migrants rights|
|Raging Grannies taking on Obama, singing of Obama's broken promises|
|Hopi Foundation's 'Owl and Panther' poetry and arts for children victims of torture and exile|
|Iskashitaa Refugee Network sustainable community: Harvesting Hope, Empowering Dreams|
'Humanitarian Aid is Never a Crime' No More Deaths rescuing dying migrants in the desert