Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Big Mtn. Struggle Impacts You Daily: Support the Dineh

[Top] Peabody and BTU (white) draglines eating up acres of Mother Earth
[Above] 250 to 300 feet (100 M) deep cut made by the BTU dragline


Big Mountain, Black Mesa August 2009 – On the dusty and dry plateau lands of Big Mountain where the monsoon is absent almost as a prophetic gesture, there exist a calmness even though BIA Indian Police and Rangers continue their low-key surveillances of scattered pockets of traditional Dineh families. They are the left-over families from the hundreds of other families who have been (forcibly) relocated in the last 40 years under another harsh U.S. government Indian policy. Also, they are families still left to resist BIA Indian policing and the encroachment of Peabody Energy’s coal mines. This traditional-led resistance is widely known to many but its importance and how it impacts our daily lives are not understood.

Among all the peace-loving, environmentally sensible and green minded societies, there is a broader awareness about the US’s treaty violations through its corporate and military occupation of foreign lands. It seems that folks in ‘the states’ cannot comprehend that the low-scale militarism at Big Mountain, sponsored by the U.S. Justice Department and British TU’s Peabody Energy, does affect all of us more than the Afghanistan or the Iraq occupation. This federal, subversive form of occupation is happening, here, in northern Arizona, and it is happening to the last aboriginal tribal community on Turtle Island (North America).

How does it impact you, us?

This is a repeat: At Big Mountain, the 34 traditional Dineh elders that are still refusing to leave their ancestral lands are actually putting a stop to the Peabody mining expansions and the construction of a half dozen more coal-fired power plants in the western United States.

While the well-financially-fed, special interest groups like the Sierra Club of Grand Canyon and the Black Mesa Water Coalition are attempting to adjust government languages about the environment, the traditional Hopi and Dineh elders of Black Mesa have merely prayed with their corn meals and pollen. They have, for over forty years now, prayed in this way to asked the Deities of the earth and sky to preserve the homelands and that mother earth continue to nurture us despite the butchering of her body. Things are more crucial now. We as the newer generation failed to learn these ways of spiritual communication, and we fail to make the sacred white corn meals or gather the sacred pollen.

The ancient ways of these types of ritual prayers encompassed more than individuality. It encompassed reverence for community, foods, health, prosperity, clan unity, eco-system, and the future generations.

It is crucial also in that we are all part of this atmosphere of environmental and cultural devastation. So, only a few Dineh elders at Big Mountain have kept earth’s atmosphere clean so far, and you can imagine what it would have been like if half of the Black Mesa coal fields was being mined, today, and if more power plants were emitting extra tons of pollutants. Before it becomes an emergency with loss of the human connection to nature and to the spiritual realm, give a prayer of forgiveness and thanks, and start supporting the Big Mountain resistance.

Up-coming Big Mountain support agendas for Fall and Winter 2009 & 2010:

The elders still need help to maintain their cultural lifestyles of sheepherding, processing the vegetable harvests, improvements of area remote roads and most important, wood fuel gathering and hauling. These projects can only be initiated through good and humble spirited volunteering and commitments. Also this requires not only raising awareness but by providing the resources to make all this happen. Currently, the Black Mesa Indigenous Support’s volunteer collective are organizing activities and logistics to make these projects happen for November 09. We hope you will be interested, bring physical support and be inspired by resiliency of these traditional indigenous elders.

Visit or leave a detail voice message at 928-773-8086.

Thank you for your time.

In the spirit Chief Barboncito,