Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dineh's Narrow Attitude, Its Growing Dishonor to Tradition, Uncertain Future

U. S. In High Tech Era But Culture Still Rely On Old English Militarism & Dominance Whereas, Indigenous “America” Defy Its Ancient Culture Instead Rely Soley On Foreign Materialistic-Social Attitude

By Bahe Naabaahii Y. Katenay Keediniihii, July 2012
Big Mountain Dineh Territory, Black Mesa / Northern Arizona – These times of the early 21st Century show more of how we indigenous Dineh (Navajos) are completely defying the old disciplines of social norms and the strict religious intelligence. The current political world which is a state that are basically artificial influences derived from the U.S. Constitution and its Bill Rights or the “white men’s patriarchal laws” are the controlling mechanism for modern Indian perception. This influence are shouted out loud in Indian country, today, and in places where the U.S. federal policies are aggressively executing attacks upon indigenous identity of religion and indigenous natural resource withholdings. But the Indian do not want to hear reminders about what their ancestors and elders have warn them of about the coming futures. No more do we hear of Chief Seattle, Chief Sitting Bull and Chief Black Hawk’s warnings or words of wisdom. Nor does the modern activist Indians mention existence of their current, traditional elders or even try to think of reverting back to the teachings of recent elders like Hopi Mana Lansa, Hopi Dan Katchongova, Dineh Violet Ashke, and my mother, Dineh Zhonnie Chii Katenay.

Those modern indigenous Dineh activists, as I observe, are following that false road of the colonial method of citizenship where they are provided a narrow avenue to voice and express their grievances. That is certainly fine to try and turn the table back on the “white men’s foreign” laws, but does modern “Navajo” activism need to despise their true roots of Native Resistance like: Big Mountain Sovereign Dineh Nation, Coalition for Navajo Liberation, former AIM – Dineh Chapter, Navajo-Hopi Unity Committee, and the 70s National Indian Youth Council?

What is wrong with the Creator’s Path, The Red Road – The Road of Good? Or does that sound too militant or uncivilized, barbaric?!

Our past or my past was these histories and inspiration that still drives my hopes and compassion to save our identities and ancestral territories. However, us humans face another aspect of an uncertain future which is our natural environment. Not only thinking horizontally but omni-presently: beneath us (Ke’yah), deep-center beneath us (Ni’aal’nii’) and above-universe (Yaa’al’nii’).

Deep in my heart and within my recorded memory I can still see my late mother in mid-1980 standing before an audience at Red Butte near the Grand Canyon speaking at an anti-uranium mine gathering:

“Yaa’at’eeh Aa’anoli’t’so, Sh’ Dine’eh do’h Sh’ K’ee’h (Good Greetings Everyone, My Peoples and My Relations…) Why is it that we, indigenous peoples, are the subjects of another great destructive plan like this attempt to mine the dangerous uranium? It is just like the great destructive plans that we face where I come from where (they) wish to yank the lands from underneath our feet so that (they) can get our waters and cut out the fleshes of our Mother Earth. One thing that we indigenous must remember is that greater Laws watch. This wind that we feel in our face today can become very mighty if these destructive plans don’t stop. This great power of the wind watches us, too, and if we human beings forget our prayers and begin to dishonor our ancient ways, The Great Wind will decide to take away that comfortable world that we once knew. It will make our lands dry up, our waters will disappear and the moisture will be no more. The climate will change. Our foods will become less. These were prophecies that were told to us when I was growing up.

“’Someday, might be that time of Transition-Into-Another-Era, it was called. If we decide to lose our prayers to the morning and evening dawn, if we transform our ceremonies to our own pleasing, if our language become no more, that is when strange diseases and famine will come. The wind and the Great Hail are upmost dangerous,’ it was told. Just remember that, My Peoples. Thank you for listening to me.”

The Great Winds and Moisture, I believe, are listening and watching us as we make our faltering more obvious. As a result, perhaps, we are noticing that corn and squash have become harder to grow. Pests are more intense as the rains are much less. We miss the natural foods that we once gathered and grown ourselves. There is now too much petro fuel exhaust raining down on us from the sky and too much synthetic rubber blowing across our lands from the heavy use of automobiles. What do we tell our children now?

The new generation of “activism” has chosen their own pleasing to shut the door on us, older resister and revolutionaries, former youthful warriors of the 1970s and 80s. Yes, we former youths did struggle along with our traditional elders as we heard the ancestral language and songs and yes, we faltered because of tribal and corporate lawyers undermined our solidarity. But there was that pure and genuine history of Dineh tradition in resistance that should not be labeled as militant but should still be honored and respected as Creator’s Road, the Good Road, that Sacred Corn Pollen Path. The past Dineh struggle for liberation should be remembered and not disposed of like being told by current younger activist, “We don’t owe you anything!”

In contrary, America has parades and holidays to honor their past ‘destructive military’ culture and leaders even though they are occupied daily with the latest trends and celebrities. They have even printed the images of their past war mongers on currencies which are in our pockets right now. America has named mountain peaks after their lost pioneers like Fremont, Doyle, Agassiz, and Humphrey. Or military points like Fort Carson, Fort Garland, Fort Wingate, and Fort Sumner.

So why can us indigenous Dineh try to do the same within the territories that we still have true sovereign control of like at Big Mountain, renamed Big Mountain to Asdzan’ Dzil N’lt’saa’ after my great grandmother. But first let us honor our past great, traditional leaders. Celebrate the victories of the Big Mountain Sovereign Dineh Nation (SDN). Then unite and retake control of our own destiny with our proper ancient ways and divine-given natural resources. And if we wish to not unite, today, with trust, let us all, as diverse colored human beings of diverse Ancient Cultures, reinstate that ancient ways of prayer to the original Makers. Hope will be for our children of today and the coming generations.

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