Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

October 30, 2015

Nihigaal bee Iina Dine' walkers at Sisnaajini, San Luis Valley

By Nihigaal bee Iina
Censored News
Oct. 30, 2015: We made it to the base of Sisnaajini! The mountain is beautiful and we can definitely feel the strength of dził'adzaan. Here in the San Luis Valley, we can also feel the impacts of colonization - the presence of our people has been removed from this area for generations, starting with the Spanish land grab settlement of Nuevo Mexico back in the 1600's. As indigenous people, we are in the minority here, to the point where many people are confused by our presence here.
This valley, which once was hunting grounds we shared with Ute, Apache, and People of the Plains, is now dominated by industrial agriculture. Cattle, genetically engineered potatoes and alfalfa have taken the place of the Buffalo. Pesticides, which cause birth defects, organ failure, brain damage, and death, are heavily used here in the valley, and are certainly contaminating the Rio Grande, flowing all the way into Mexico.
As we crossed the Rio Grande, however, we were reminded that we also share prayers, like we share water, we our relatives to the South. We have also encountered generosity and blessings from people that now live in this valley, from meeting indigenous Mayan from Guatemala who come here as migrant farm workers to Tewa Meshika healers who are sending their prayers for Nihimá, our mother earth, up the mountain with us.
The mountain misses the presence of our people, songs and prayers. We were told that when reclaim this mountain and our relationship with the land here, our people will come back together. Because of all of this we are praying and calling on our people to come join us to take our prayers up the mountain on Sunday, November 1st. As we complete our journey here, we know that this is just the beginning.

Oct. 27: We are about 30 miles from the base of Sisnaajini in the San Luis Valley, camped along the Rio Grande. We have been largely without access to technology or phone service on this final leg of our journey, but even though we haven't been able to update our page in weeks, we are there out walking, carrying our prayers for nihikeyah doo nihidine'e to the East.
We don't have the capacity right now to post photos or media, but please know we are still out there and keep us in your prayers. These journeys to our mountains have taught us so much about the value of moving beyond the digital realm and taking our thought and words and making them actions in our spiritual, mental, physical, and emotional realities - in this spirit, we hope that our absence from social media over the past month does not negate the momentum our steps have contributed to since January.
Since our last post we have walked over 170 miles, through the largest gas extraction field in the so-called United States, through Jicarilla Apache territory, on old railroad paths to see abandoned silver and gold mines contaminating rivers, over snowy mountain passes, and faced freezing temperatures (the low tonight is 15 degrees) to reach the beginning of the great plains and the end of Dine Bikeyah.
Today we are talking a break from walking and are presenting at Adams State University on the 2nd floor of the library at 7pm in Alamaso, Colorado.
We anticipate completing our journey by Sunday, November 1. If you would like to contact us or join us in this last week, please call 928.675.5880 or 856.689.6571 or 505.553.4113 (our phones are often without signal or power, so it's best to try multiple numbers if you cannot get a hold of us).
Axh'ee'hee for your support, love, and prayers.


Unknown said...

Keep walking the good path...spreadin' the truth as you go.

Unknown said...

Are you ever coming back to sisnaajini? I'd like to meet you i along with my family are diné but have been colonized for many years so our connection is lost but I'm trying to regain it