Requesting immediate Support for Dineh Resistance Communities whose livestock are being impounded by Hopi Rangers and Federal Agents.
Below is the letter that the community members impacted by impoundments delivered today at the Navajo Nation Council Chambers in Window Rock:
Requesting immediate Support for so-called “Hopi Partition Land ( HPL)” residents whose livestock are being impounded by Hopi Rangers and Federal Agents.
The Hopi rangers and Federal agents used military tactic operation to conduct livestock impoundment.
We [the undersigned] Dine’ families who have resided for generations on the area now known as Hopi Partition Land (HPL) are asking for the full protection of the Navajo Nation Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches, based on the ongoing threat of the pre-dawn raids from heavily armed federal authorities. Currently Hopi Rangers, Federal Special Weapons and Tactics Teams (SWAT) are using paramilitary tactics against unarmed elders and Dine’ citizens. Community members live in fear due to S.W.A.T. teams fully dressed in paramilitary gear including flack jackets and assault rifles. There are also drones and helicopters hovering over their homesteads, it is like a war zone.
We believe this is a direct violation of constitutional and internationally recognized human rights. Based on our fundamental right of free prior and informed consent of the United Nation Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous people. (UNDRIP). There was no fair notification and no due process. Families have experienced forced false imprisonment, being held at gun point, illegal entrance of homes and illegal searches without warrants or permission, and extreme intimidation tactics. Road blocks have been put up by Hopi Rangers & BIA police which disrupted healing ceremonies not allowing family members to conclude ceremonies, which is a violation of our freedom of religion. These egregious actions has caused severe damage to the elders’ health and wellbeing and may very well injure them irreparably.
We, [the undersigned] Dine’ of Big Mountain demand the Navajo Nation government and its departments and appropriate entities to commit to the protection and representation of the families affected by the livestock round ups. The Navajo Nation must provide legal representation for all families impacted by round-ups, inspections, and detentions. Also critical is the need to provide proper interpreters for non english speakers. We also demand the Navajo Nation elected officials, president, Speaker of the council, and council delegates to immediately convene a special session on the impacted lands of Big Mountain, Cactus Valley, Tseyatoh, Mosquito Springs, Wide Ruins, Red lake, Jadeite, Low Mountain, White Cone and Teesto, to sponsor and support a meeting with the Hopi government representation, Chairman, Hopi Rangers and Hopi Law enforcement and impacted families to meet with HPL community members to create a more positive non- threatening relationship [for inspections and tally counts]. Lastly to assist ALL impacted families with appropriate legal representation for violation of their rights, illegal detention of their livestock and families. We demand a Navajo lawyer that can talk without translation to ensure integrity of representation.
We believe this assault on our lives and theft of our only sustenance and livelihood is being funded and instigated by the federal government through the Department of Interior and Bureau of Indian Affairs, through their continued campaign to gain access to the resources on our ancestral homelands by forcing us off the land. Our sovereignty is under threat and our human rights have been and continue to be violated through these well know colonialist tactics. Dine’ people along with all Indigenous people have suffered for too many generations. But, we have always resisted and continue to this day. This is an opportunity to stand with us as we uphold our responsibilities to the land, our way of life and our ancestors.