Friday, September 7, 2012

Useless Politics Aside: Now, Its A Matter of the Future Generations! Pt.2

Big Mountain Dineh Country, Black Mesa, AZ - Of all the political activISM and some with lies about solidarity, love, peace, liberation, and elders especially in regards to the Big Mountain, the indigenous struggle that were based on sovereignty and wisdoms of the earth are not honored but instead are ignored. This being committed by both indigenous and non-Native volunteer "activists." What should be more alarming to the faith of indigenous sovereign survival is that the future generations and the innocent little ones are being left out of the whole picture of activISM! Every protest actions or outlining of politic strategies are normally designed for older teens, other categories of youths, urban Indians, and for American Indian minded registered voters.

There are no events of cultural empowerment and inspiration that I hear about that are geared toward the little children, our indigenous children. Sure I hear about school programs that are overseen by foreign governments and states. In terms of resistance and de-colonialization, adults and urban youths are all focused on or distracted by confronting the policies of injustice and racISM elsewhere but are not being carried out on the ancestral lands that we still occupy.

Today, a very few of us are putting together a two and half day gathering and celebration that is completely focused on the little children who are descendants of and/or related to the Big Mountain Dineh resistance to coal mining, global warming, genocide, and laws of relocation. On behalf of the few remaining elders in resistance and extended family members that value the continued occupation of our ancestral territories, I ask you to continue reading this very important information about supporting this celebration of: aboriginal status, treaty rights status and two days dedicated to the our little ones. Among the few activities provided for them they will be assisted to be creative and learn about who they are and where they come from. [Nbyk, Sheepdog Media]

August 2012

RE: October 6 – 7, 2012 Big Mountain Survival School Remembrance Gathering

Dear Friend,

You are receiving this letter because, in some way, we are connected through the Traditional Dine/ Hopi resistance to the desecration of Black Mesa.

Who am I? My name is Martha Bourke and I have been engaged in raising public awareness of the ongoing issues at Black Mesa and supporting the resistance for 25+ years. First, through the Big Mountain Support Group that included: publishing the “Big Mountain News,” twice bringing caravans to the Spring Survival Gathering (1982 – 1986), assisted as a coordinator for the Weaving for Freedom Project - “Women in Resistance” (1986 – 1996), core facilitator for the Sovereign Dineh Nation (SDN) Survival School 1989 – 92, and helper on two delegations to the Peabody shareholders meetings (London, 1999 & NYC, 2001). In 2007, I raised the funds to provide a kitchen at the 30 year anniversary for the Big Mountain Resistance.

Today, I am reaching out to you to help support this October’s SDN Survival School. This is an anniversary of sorts; it’s been 20 years since the last Survival School. But I am raising funds/supplies with the intention of this being a NEW beginning.

The SDN survival school was a traditional and contemporary arts and crafts day camp that was held for several weeks each summer 1989 – 1992, and which was hosted by the SDN-Big Mountain Survival Camp / Resistance Outpost. We served 50+ children (including providing shuttle, snacks etc.), creating a space where families from “both sides of the fence” could experience multi-generational recreation in a culturally supportive context which provided respite from the stresses and divisions created by relocation policies. As well as develop opportunities where families on the Land, visiting family members and supporters could experience positive outcomes in the face of what continues to be the slow grind of Genocide.

A young woman, a mom herself now who saw me at this year’s Big Mountain Sundance, was reminiscing and told me, “I’ve never tasted a cheese sandwich as good as the ones you made at Survival School.” I hugged her close and said, “Sweetheart, it WASN”T the sandwich…it was the GOOD feelings!” In the few weeks that I have been working on this, here are some comments from people who participated as children between 1989 and 1992….

“Awee, I remember those times.. fun crafts and pottery making... my all time favorite was making masks.. n decorating em... also candle making on the roof of the underground storage room....”

“I think this might have been my initial inspiration for community based youth programs and youth empowerment. FUN TIMES!”

Each time I have been to Big Mountain in the past decade, more grannies are speaking English and less children refer to themselves as Dineh. Also more recently, numerous requests from some resister, family members about activities of this sort has made me feel committed, again, to make the SDN Survival School happen again. Thus, I look forward to once again work together with these Dineh and other new faces.

Support we are looking for:

Funds - for foods, art supplies, to haul firewood & water, rent a generator, canvas shelter,
Materials - Art supplies in general and specifically, watercolors, brushes, ass’t paper, beads, bath towels and straw mats for felting,
Instructors / Helpers - Folks who have a traditional or contemporary art/ craft/ skill to share either half or full day projects geared towards elementary, middle school and youths.

I have a gifted elementary art instructor (who has a history on the land) interested in doing watercolors and printmaking; paper and t-shirts. I’ve spoken with a Dineh from the land re: herbal knowledge and another Dineh person spoke with me about felting and beading.

Audio/Visual Assistance -We want someone to manage and setup for an outdoor movie night, or either taking complete responsibility or working with me (so I can know what is needed and try to get equipment here in Taos).

So this year while most will be enjoying a three day weekend in “honor” of Columbus…let us come together to Reactivate, Revitalize, Rededicate the sovereign oriented efforts of Dine land-base learning.

Who Is Invited: Non-Native volunteer and instructors, Dineh kids and youth with their families who are affected by relocation and cultural displacement. It is emphasized that you provide your own camping supplies and transportation.

Agenda Overview - Saturday Oct 6th will be devoted to crafts, games and a movie night. Sunday October 7th we will be ecological, culture hike to the original Survival Camp site and have more activities.

Twenty years after the last Survival School…..Twenty years after the great swell of awareness re: indigenous struggle in the face of the celebrating Columbus…..Won’t you support / join in honoring the Dine spirit of resistance…..

Contact: Martha Bourke - 575-758-7045

1 comment:

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