Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

March 31, 2015



By Nihigaal Bee lina

GALLUP, NM -- The community of Gallup flocked to the Downtown Conference Center last Saturday to attend a presentation by the walkers of Nihigaal Bee Iina. The evening was filled with food, prayer, informative slide shows and creative performances affirming the beauty and value of Diné land and culture.
The movement--translated as “Our Journey for Existence”--was ignited by young Diné women earlier this year to expose the disproportionate amount of resource extraction and contamination suffered by Diné people for the benefit of others. They have walked over 300 miles since January, feeding and educating community members at schools, chapter houses and homes all along the way.
Walkers left Church Rock Chapter House in the morning and arrived in Gallup around 4PM on Saturday holding flags of the four sacred mountains and other banners expressing their message. Nearly 100 people attended the feast and presentation while walkers shared their experiences. Although the information shared by the walkers was heavy, the evening was filled with fun and laughter.
Libby Williams, an elder woman supporting the walkers, stated: “Walking will teach you. Every step is a lesson. When you are in a vehicle you don’t notice everything. You don’t notice all the trash along the road. You don’t notice the beauty of Mother Earth. You don’t notice what humans are doing to it. It’s totally inspiring to see them walking, that they believe in something. Baahozhó t’áá’ni’joogááłgoh.”
Walkers left Gallup on Sunday and headed towards Window Rock where they will meet with more community members. Walkers extended an open invitation to all respectful peoples to join them on their journey. For more information, email or visit the Nihigaal Bee Iina Facebook page.
For more information please contact Nihigaal Bee Iina Organizers by email at or by phone at 949-536-0988. Photo Courtesy of Orlando Begay

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