Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Caravan of Support to Big Mountain, Black Mesa Nov. 19 -- 26, 2016


2016 Fall Caravan of Support to Big Mountain/ Black Mesa

November 19-26, 2016


BMIS is pleased to share the following invitation from Santa Cruz Indigenous Solidarity. With community leadership, SCIS is helping to organize this year's Fall Caravan of Support to Big Mountain/Black Mesa, an annual gathering in which many of you have participated over the years. We hope you will join again. Here is their invitation.

With Gratitude,
Liza, Berkley, Tree, and Derek of BMIS
2016 Fall Caravan of Support to Big Mountain/ Black Mesa
November 19-26, 2016
Juniper Grove Stronghold, Sovereign Dineh Nation
At the invitation of Dineh families, volunteer work crews will journey to Big Mountain/ Black Mesa, AZ in late November in support of continued Indigenous resistance to forced relocation policies and coal strip mining.

This is an invitation to participate, extended to all who are willing to work hard in a humble, solidarity-based manner under the direction of Dineh matriarchs. We are especially seeking the involvement of returning supporters who have stayed with families at Black Mesa previously.

As we issue this call for support, we recognize that there is simultaneously an urgent need for on-land support at Standing Rock, ND to fight the Dakota Access Pipeline. We are inspired by the many native and non-native people of our resistance communities who have answered that call or who will soon be enroute to the Standing Rock protector camps.

This message also reaches you at a time when on-land support at Big Mountain/Black Mesa has dwindled to the lowest point we’ve witnessed over the years. Many families’ requests for assistance remain unfulfilled, livestock-related harassment has continued, and winter is approaching. Meanwhile, Peabody is making headway on their latest effort to expand Black Mesa mining operations through the year 2044— the public comment period for this proposed Navajo Generating Station–Kayenta Mine Complex Project is currently open.

As we see it, showing up at the Big Mountain/Black Mesa front line at this time is itself another act of solidarity with Standing Rock and the Indigenous survival struggle it represents. There are many front lines— may all receive the support they are requesting.

This year’s week of work will involve firewood gathering/splitting/hauling, road repair, distribution of food/supplies, repair of structures/fences, and other on-land work projects. Some supporters will stay with host families as helpers and sheepherders, while others stay at base camp to take part in roving work crews. A community meal will take place on the final day of the work week.

Please email blackmesacaravan2016@riseup.net or contact one of the regional coordinators nearest you if you are interested in joining or contributing to this year’s Fall caravan of support. Help with gathering cash and supply donations is always needed.

We recommend that participants organize and travel collectively, and as always, be prepared to be entirely self-sufficient on the land. And remember that although this caravan of support lasts only a week, the request for sheepherding assistance from Black Mesa elders is year-round. We encourage those who can stay longer or arrive earlier to do so.

With sharpened axes,
—Santa Cruz Indigenous Solidarity

May the Dineh struggle for land and life at Big Mountain always be remembered, honored, and supported.

Caravan coordination: blackmesacaravan2016@riseup.net

2016 Fall Caravan Regional Coordinators:

Santa Cruz, CA— SC Indigenous Solidarity: sheepandsagebrush@gmail.com

Los Angeles, CA— Sabin: abigamigo@gmail.com

LA Guerilla FNB—(seeking camp kitchen support!) Tanya wemoonwitch@gmail.com

Santa Barbara, CA— Jake: goatalin@yahoo.com

Durango, CO—Nicholas able2sustain1990@gmail.com

Colorado— BMCC blackmesacoloradocaravan@gmail.com

Flagstaff, AZ— Bahe: haastin.hweyaanii@gmail.com

Winslow, AZ—Danny: dblackgoat@mac.com

Kayenta, AZ— Marquel: marquel012@gmail.com

2016 Caravan fundraising link— please share to help collect online donations:

Important resources:
  • Draft EIS for the Navajo Generating Station–Kayenta Mine Complex Project: (please write letters of opposition)
  • Black Mesa Cultural Sensitivity & Preparedness Guidebook from BMIS collective:
    https://goo.gl/Bx0w8N (required reading for first time supporters!)
Elders and their families in the Black Mesa region of Northeastern Arizona have been living in resistance to US Government forced relocation policies and the expansion of coal mining for four decades. Peabody Energy, the largest coal mining corporation in the world, has been strip mining Black Mesa coal since 1970s. and is currently seeking to expand their operations through the year 2044.
Since the passing of Public Law 93-531 in 1974, over 12,000 Dineh and hundreds of Hopi people have been relocated from Big Mountain/Black Mesa lands, beneath which lie a massive coal deposit. The so-called “Navajo-Hopi Land Dispute” that justified this relocation was fabricated by energy companies and corrupt politicians in order to gain access to the mineral resources of Black Mesa.
Peabody Energy’s mining operations have destroyed numerous sacred sites and burial grounds and irreparably depleted the region’s aquifer, causing springs and wells to go dry. Air pollution from mining and the burning of coal at the so-called Navajo Generating Station severely impacts the health of the region’s inhabitants.
Dineh people of Big Mountain declared independence from the US Government and the Navajo Nation Government in 1977 and continue to maintain their traditional way of life and protect their ancestral lands, as they demand an end to coal mining in the region. Elders have always maintained that their struggle for land and life is not only for their own future generations, but for the collective survival of all people the earth we belong to.
For further reading:
List of requested supplies:
  • Axes and mauls, axe and maul handles.
  • Building materials: Fencing, roofing materials, tar paper, boxes of nails or screws, levels, rolls of wire and barbed wire, fence posts, work gloves, etc.
  • Chainsaws. Chainsaw files, chains, and bar/chain oil.
  • Tools: Shovels, pickaxes, hoes, rakes, hammers, hand saws, hand shears, mattocks, wire cutters, drills, posthole diggers, and extra tool handles.
  • Vehicles to donate to families. Should be able to drive on rough terrain. Trucks are ideal.
  • Portable generators.
  • Giant tents, large tarps and canvas (for gatherings)
  • Portable stoves, propane tanks, large pots
  • Bulk food for dogs, cats, and livestock.
  • Non-perishable food: Oats, beans, cooking oil, cornmeal, flour, canned foods,. Hardy fruits & vegetables (winter squash, potatoes, onions, avocados, apples, oranges, etc).
  • Coffee and teas.
  • Blankets. Warm, nice clothing.
  • Solar panels, solar parts, batteries, wind turbines.
  • Supplies for rainwater catchment systems.
  • Medicinal herbs. (Teas, dried herbs, fresh extracts, liniments, and salves for stress, colds, flus, digestion, arthritis, diabetes, altitude sickness, back-aches.)
  • Recording equipment (digital cameras, video & audio recorders, etc) for documenting government harassment & mining-related damages.
  • Laptop computers.
  • Cash donations.


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