Tuesday, April 16, 2024

A wind is blowing across Black Mesa

July 15, 2001 by  
Filed under Voices from the Land

Navajo-Hopi Observer- Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor


We are not surprised at the Supreme Court’s decision to deny us our religious freedom and to deny us the right to live on our ancestral homeland. They continue to deny us water, they have continued to contaminate our land and water, and they are denying us food by livestock impoundments. This is another way to justify their starvation tactics that they use on us out here.

They want to eliminate us, humiliate us, slander us, criticize us and deny us our basic fundamental human rights. But we know who we are, indigenous to this continent. We know we are the indigenous people by our birthrights, to our motherland Big Mountain.

And we have been here 510 years, living and struggling through the four invasions. We see them as the Spanish invasion, the European invasion, the Kit Carson invasion and relocation/holocaust.

So brothers and sisters, this is our inheritance from our ancestors to all the people who are in resistance to the oppression at Big Mountain. Yes, we are the little people out here on Big Mountain, but we are indigenous to this territory, we know our own history, and no court, no man-made or corporate laws, will break our spirit.

We shall remain and we shall resist.

The government and the corporations are using the media and newspapers to attack us over and over again to scare and frighten the old and the young people out here.

Yes, psychologically they are trying to wipe us out and exterminate us because we are in the way. But as indigenous people, the whole of Black Mesa is our soul and altar. The land is part of us and we are a part of the land and we have been like that for thousands of years here at Big Mountain.

The Almighty government and their accomplices are rejoicing to their decision but we do not believe that any Hopi traditional people are rejoicing about religious freedom violations on our land.

It is very disturbing for the Independent thinkers that are still living on the land, but not everybody has jumped onto the bandwagon of despair yet. We will plant our corn and we will harvest our corn, and as long as the wind still blows and the water still flows, then we will still walk this land four seasons forever and for generations to come for all mankind, especially for indigenous peoples who struggle for their land and culture. We will continue to walk the path that our ancestors left us, praying our ceremonial ways, on our ancestral homeland for the indigenous people, for all humanity. We will protect the indigenous land from mineral and water extraction and exploitation.

In solidarity with all indigenous resistance throughout the western hemisphere, justice, freedom, liberty and honor.

Respectfully, from the southeast foothills of Big Mountain,
Leonard Benally

Comments are closed.