Tuesday, May 28, 2024


July 18, 2002 by  
Filed under Archives, Voices from the Land

This was sent from long-time supporter Michael Gerrel:
Folks, Last night i recieved a phone call from Leonard Benally. He said he was calling from Hard Rock Chapter. For those who might not know, Leonard is one of the Dineh (Navajo) people resisting forced relocation from their ancestral homelands on Black Mesa/Big Mountain in NE Arizona.

Aparently the BIA and their stooges in the Hopi Tribal Council have stepped up the harrassment of Dine residents on the HPL. In addition to fencing off the sacred Sundance grounds at Anna Mae Camp (with no gate in the fence so of what use could the thing be but to keep people off a singluar spot of ground) and fencing off (again with no gate) the sweat lodge area of a traditional elder, the Rangers have what seems to be a standing observation post on the ridge to the North of the Sundance grounds manned at least during daylight hours. Recently a Sundance brother came to the Anna Mae Sundance grounds to pray and to heal the wounded earth there. When he found the fence with no gate he just climbed the thing and proceded to smudge himself and the area and then to pray. With in a few minutes there were four armed cops standing at the fence yelling at him to explain himself. The brother calmly explained that he was there to pray and that this area has been made sacred by the suffering of the people and the sundance that has taken place there for the last two decades. After harrassing the brother for some time the cops finaly withdrew to their observation post. I quote this event as told to me by Leonard to illustrate the closeness with which the BIA and the HTC are in the face of the People in Resistance on Big Mountain. This level of harrassment hasn’t been equaled since the bad old days of the 1980’s when wells were poisoned and direct threats were made by Hopi cops on people who refused to sign away their rights to their lands and life way. These armed thugs are intentionaly raising the level of stress and anxiety on the People. Many of the Resisters are elderly and it may be the intention of these “Law Enforcement Agencies” to see if they can’t kill off a few more. At least the intention is to drive these traditional elders off their lands once and for all.

Leonard asked me to send out this plea for support in this time of rising tensions. At the moment there are very few supporters on the land to witness and report on this harrassment. He also asked that people out here remind Eugene Kay, Ed Chavez and all their thugs that they are still being watched by us and that they should remove themselves from the land and stop terrorizing the People of Black Mesa/Big Mountain. Tell them they have no right to curtail the spiritual practises of any one including the Dine people of the HPL.

You can send your letters to the following folks:
Black Mesa Indigenous Support P.O. Box 23501 Flagstaff, AZ 86002,

Diocesan Office of Phoenix (Bishop Thomas O’Brien) 400 East Monroe
Phoenix AZ 85004, email tbow@cathdioc.org,

Navajo-Hopi Observer 2600 N. Steves Blvd. Flagstaff, AZ 86004 520 526 3115
527 0217fax

Leiutenant William Vicente Hopi Tribe Ranger Enforcement Services Pob 123
Kykotomovi Az 86039 520 734 3707

Hopi BIA Area Agency, Wendell Honannie, Acting Superintendent, U.S.
Department of the Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs Hopi Agency Phone:
738-2249 P.O. Box 158 Keams Canyon, AZ 86034

Gail Gorton, Secretary of Interior (202) 208-7351
1849 C St. NW exsec@ios.doi.gov (202) 208-6956 Fax
Washington DC 20240

Eugene Kay, Chairman Hopi Tribal Council
Keams Canyon, Az 86034
Walk in Beauty


Michael Gerell

Like Che, let us “strive every day so that (our) love of living humanity will be transformed into actual deeds, into acts that serve as examples, as a moving force.”

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