Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

September 4, 2015

Bahe: Support Needed for Big Mountain Dineh Sept. 4, 2015

NaBahe Katenay Keediniihii
SheepDogNation Media   
September 4, 2015 – Late summer and early fall 2015, Big Mountain keep vigil for BIA – Hopi Law and Ranger threats, a resistance that is quite dynamic in terms of the hardships of accepting losses and the spirited-will to maintain defiance.
Elders Mary Lou and Clarence Blackrock are both 90 years old, along with their children and grandchildren, were all well prepared in fall 2014 for the threats of livestock confiscation. They maintained vigil throughout the nights for that predawn police raid, but their animals were saved. Just this past August and after the BIA – Hopi rangers’ assessment, the elder couple decided that rather than facing a greater loss, they chose to give away a major portion of the herd to their children and other relatives. Their grandson, Gerald, who has been the only herder was upset but he knew he cannot go against whatever decision his grandparents made.
As of this date, there has been no new reports about the threat of confiscation that was made to elder resister, Rena Lane. In any dealings with law enforcement during a time of siege or protest, police tend to set a mode of diversion and anxiety and by their own determined (perfect) time, they will initiate force actions. However, Rena and her family can still expect that invasion and not having any physical presence of witnesses or herders, the animals might be taken any moment. This will put things back as it were in fall of 2014, someone getting arrested and hoping funds can be raised to pay off the U.S. BIA and their agents.
Inspiring things did occurred and a sense of defiance remain, a herd of cattle were put into hiding and the late Pauline Whitesinger’s herds still defy the BIA’s monitoring. The bravery and magnitude of will that two local Big Mountain Dineh carried out were perhaps very small but in a universal aspect, it adds to that hope for peace and liberation.
One of the grandsons from the local communities rode his horse about 8 miles to another elders’ homestead, and with the approval of the two, widowed elder ladies, the cattle were driven into one of the nearby canyons. Despite the saturated grounds from the heavy rains, this one particular young man on horseback, left the cattle herd deep inside the canyon where there was plenty of “illegal” grazing and water. The young man returned a day later to check, and he noticed that the BIA Hopi rangers attempted to follow the cattle hoof tracks, but the impassable dirt roads made them turn around. However, these elder ladies’ cattle are still under threat.
The late Pauline Whitesinger’s small sheep herd remain “at large,” we the on-land resistance coordinators and supporters sometimes do not know where this grandson-herder has the sheep. We keep wishing that this determined grandson get more support even though he seems very self-sufficient. He does need some means of communication like a cell phone and remote solar charging equipment. He also needs a better bicycle like a sturdy mountain bike.
Need for continued support means to truly and spiritually put your thoughts into coming out to this remote place where a few of the last, tough and land-based indigenous elders still try to survive. Put yourself into that willingness to de-colonize and acquire some knowledge aboutsustainable practices instead of just chanting (such words) in a protest picket line. Prepare yourself, logistically even though your preference of foods may run out, accepting to drink the waters provided there, the wacky seasons of climate change, no cell phone reception, no electricity, but know that nature and the bright clear night sky will embrace you with godly admiration. Contact us, if you can provide any resources or logistics mentioned or that are needed in a struggle like this. I'll refer your inquiry to other network facilitators, too, since we function on a collective basis.  
The world just need to realize that even though this is a small group of Indians defying American colonialism in a remote place, there has to be a demand for justice and that the U.S. policy of uprooting culture and religion for fossil fuel extraction demonstrate a gross violation of international human rights. On behalf of the few remaining Dineh elders and youths, we urgently asked for your input, solidarity and volunteer time for on-land support.
Thank you for reading and your time. 
~(NaBahe Katenay Keediniihii) – SheepDogNation Media       

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