Tuesday, April 16, 2024

More Livestock Impoundments On from Big Mountain, AZ

March 14, 2004 by  
Filed under Archives, Voices from the Land

AN ELDER’S DREAM: “My dream spoke to me when I took a nap one day in late Fall. I normally forget my dream but this one could not be forgotten. It said: ‘Coal from Black Mesa is being extracted to fuel electricity that now breeds millions of white people and other humans in the West. Because of this, the sacred Black Mesa is being murdered and the Sun, our Holy Father, is angry!’ –When I woke up I was frighten and the strangest light was all around. The Sun had a pinkish-red color to it and the sky was completely overcastted with smoke from the Southern California ‘wild fires.'”

Since Columbus came to Turtle Island carrying only a piece of cow hide, the Indigenous peoples provided him a great feast of the bounties of the Earth. After Columbus had his fill from this wonderful feast and indigenous hospitality, he took out his sword and rifle and begin killing everyone in the village. Columbus’s program of conquering continued for a long time and it eventually came to us, here, in the north.

What happened to us here? Well, just take a look at the American Flag. Columbus’s descendents continued to exterminate and pillage across our aboriginal territories. Every white star on that (American Flag) represents how many of our aboriginal territories that they (think) they conquered. The Red Strips represents the Indian peoples’ blood that was spilled and the White strip means that the Whiteman committed these atrocities. To me, that is the meaning of the American Flag as I continue to resist relocation and live Inside this “HPL.”

“That is why I have not put an American Flag sticker on my truck, –yet.”

“–Yet?! Why don’t you just wear it as your clothing. (Elder laughs loudly.) Just like some people do nowadays….”


Big Mountain (UAP) During the week of March 8th, the BIA-Hopi Agency Police and Range Technician arrested Dan Herder who tried to intervene while his cattle were being impounded. Though, Dan Herder resides on the “NPL” side of the boundary his cattle had wondered into the many openings along the Partition Fence line. Another “NPL” resident’s cattle were impounded as well. Kii Shey (or Kee Shay) whose cattle had also been entering the fence line in the same matter were spotted by the Range Technicians and eventually got impounded.

Reports from elder resistors did not provide the number of cattle that were hauled off and nor do they know what the charges are against Dan Herder. However, Dan Herder has been an active member of the community mainly in supporting the the former, Weaving for Freedom group, and helping with setting up the Dinetah Sun Dances. His original homeland at Howell Mesa has all been partitioned off also and his community has all been completely uprooted throughout the 1970 and 80s. He is married into the Big Mountain community.

This recent impoundment incident has the Dineh resistor concerned and they are seeing this as a continued process of intimidation and harassment. The Federal government and its tribal law enforcement agencies don’t care about how the recent five-year drought has affected the animal life. Livestock are intelligent enough to know that there are abundant amounts of vegetation inside the forbidden and partitioned ranges where the livestock have been completely reduced or eliminated. The animals’ sense of smell drives them to enter bard wired fences by any means just to cure their starvation.

On the outside of the partitioned lands, the “NPL” (Navajo Partitioned Lands) families are crowded into small grazing areas, which often creates much local/internal disputes, and these areas have been severely strickened by the drought. Many areas of vegetation are not able to recover and the Navajo Tribal Grazing authorities know about the bad grazing and water conditions but they are not willing to do anything. Again, the poor Indians are left to fend for themselves and this has created much family feuds.

Yes, the injustices continue but we are still determined to maintain some sense of a sane reality of resistance against “Columbus’s descendents” and will refuse to acknowledge the “American patriotism.”

Written by Bahe Y. Katenay, (UAP) Unpopular Activist Page 2004

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