Thursday, November 13, 2014

Hopi: Techqua Ikachi Pt2 ENGLISH

SheepDogNationMedia / Chief Loner says further:

(Here is a letter that the "Navajo Times" rejected for publishing so, I share it along with videos of some great elders with whom, I had an immeasurable honor to have heard about and met.) 

Yaa'at'eeh Sh'K'éé dóh' Sh'Díńe'eh'. I was raised in Big Mountain by loving and caring traditional parents who both did not speak English. Perhaps many of you may see and hopefully relate to how I grew up helping with herding sheep, dirt floor hogans, and growing vegetables in the fields. My childhood and teen age times were way different than how youths are, today. More and more, I have come to realize now that those times of the past are to be considered forgotten, and that it was a mistake to be Indian and to live off the land. And that living America is the right thing because of many reasons like it gives us pride in military services and having conveniences.

However, Americanization is not all that right for example, listening to its standard news about the Dineh at Big Mountain is always distorted. The first paragraph of a news report will say "the Navajo and Hopi land dispute is a century old" when finally the U.S. government made laws "of equal divisions." For the Navajos or Dineh, a narrow mindedness like that degrades our culture because it says, we simply do not know how to co-exist with other humans. Furthermore, this also supports that we Dineh stumbled into this region in the 1500s and that all other tribes in "North America" were already settled when we "late comers" were unwelcome squatters. This western, American history paints an infant history of us as stupid and disorganized group of wanderers who copied rituals from the Pueblos, learned (or stole) agricultural and textile skills from others. Then if we, Dineh, did not get enough of what we were greedy for, we had fits so we raided and plundered. Thus, the 1974 law made for the "land dispute" paints that same picture about the Dineh in my country as "intruders into Big Mountain area.

The ill-informed citizens of the Navajo Nation now only see this issue through the Euro-American court settlements. "It's been settled, and why should it be my problem. Big Mountain Navajos are nothing but militants anyway." What I have witnessed throughout my volunteer work for Big Mountain is a true traditionally-based movement to protect their endangered language and culture. So then, there were non-English speaking herders and weavers who organized with merit and validity as their voices had relevance to cultural and ecological survival, and this winter marks the 40th year of their resistance to relocation. Today's news blurb might be about sheep being impounded in the name of range management and certain elders being charge as trespassers in the name of America's law of the land, but sheep culture goes deeper than just it being food.

What is being forgotten is that livestock are part of the rituals, sheep corral sites are sacred places, sitting and sleeping on a sheep skin once represented identity, rubbing mutton grease on your legs in prayer, and the wool for fiber works. Growing up, I have noticed how families and herders managed the lands, the movement of herds based on weekly or seasonal pastures and even constant use of trails were avoided. Now civilized laws dictate another way and along with that pastoral culture is disappearing, our existence are force to sedentary lifestyles, and in the future and if we Indians still own a space, it will be nothing but lots. We Dineh or Navajos should be paying close attention to this last stand at Big Mountain, and what happens there might happen to your community unless you already chose to embrace Americana. 

No, there was never any 'land dispute' among Hopi and the Dineh. We never had governments or Indian corporate politicians who had the magic of lobbying to influence the U.S. Congress to make an Executive Order called, the Navajo-Hopi Land Settlement Act. I know my Hopi neighbors and they are like us, they have nothing to give to Uncle Sam or to some big shot, corporate attorneys. Our votes do not even count, nationally or state wide. In the end, we will both be victims of this land partitioning law. We will never have control over the so-called natural resources in question and that is the underlying issue here, coal to fuel the growing cities and industries. It is common sense knowledge. Do you as natives truly believe that the government makes laws on the Indian peoples' behalf?!

Have you been out to Big Mountain or other impacted areas recently designated as Hopi lands? There are no single new Hopi settlements and there are only cattle but the wildlife is still the same. The only grand plan pending in Washington and St. Louis is coal mining expansion which will mean immediate building of coal-transport infrastructures, boom-towns and lots of short term jobs. Big Mountain Dineh will be history and forgotten just like that genuine, indigenous Dineh spirit of belonging to earth and the environment.

What do I recommend? Well, I'm not a registered voter but honor Big Mountain resisters and all other elder resisters from other impacted areas. And let us not forget our citizenship to: a nation that can still think of and care for one another, a nation that withstood European invasions and signed treaties, a nation full of prehistoric beginnings, and that the Dineh nation played equal roles, among tribal nations, of co-existence in the southwest.

NaBaahii (Bahe) Keediniihii (Katenay)

Dzil Ntsaa (Big Mountain), Arizona     

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