Monday, June 24, 2024

Statement by Bahe Y. Katenay

October 21, 2004 by  
Filed under Voices from the Land

Greetings Relatives,

I would like for you to take a moment and remember that the
traditional indigeneous resistance still continues on Black Mesa. This
resistance has obviously, in previous decades, been an extreme
expression of a fight for liberation. It is of course not your typical
subtle expression of a politically, opinionated protest that involves
basic environment or heritage issues. This traditional resistance has
been a continuation of the very core of a land-based, indigenous
society’s struggle for survival. A society that has up to recent times
lived off-the-land: growing crops, hunted and gathered, raised
livestock, maintained their own natural springs, practiced the complete
essence of religious rituals, and maintained a unique language and clan
system of deep ancestral origin. Today, the world’s largest coal mining
company, Peabody Western, continues to encroach as they are backed by
the U.S. government’s forcible-relocation policies. At the forefront of
this encroachment is the B.I.A.’s Indian policies which initiate tribal
government activities that undermines these traditional entities of
sovereignty. Your prayers and support is very much needed! I have been
approached by individuals who are concerned for the welfare of these
resisters. And because of the lack of a stable network and
volunteer/support personnel, we are unable to make a complete
assessments of the situation in the regions of resistance. It is assumed
that other elder and younger residents are experiencing hardship at this
time. Currently, there are two critical hardships taking place.
Lawrence Altsisi needs support (though, details are not specific yet).
He is a Dineh resident whose parents and relatives have abandoned the
ancestral lands for relocation benefits and now, he is still defying
orders from the BIA Hopi Agency Law Enforcement to either relocate or
sign the Accommodation Agreement. His only means of transportation has
been impounded by the BIA Indian agency, and he is unable to haul
firewood or water to this residence. He resides about 6 miles SE of the
Rocky Ridge General Store. We will try to update you more pending
available time and resources to get out there to visit with him. Rena
B. Lane and her son have also been threatened and harassed. They reside
in one of the most remote region of Black Mesa. Due to the intense
drought, the Lane family had moved their sheep herd to a more suitable
grazing area within their ancestral ranging area. The BIA Hopi Agency
discovered the family’s sheep camp and began to threatened them with
livestock impoundment but they remained with the sheep camp until the
herd gained back its health. More recently, Rena’s son was preparing for
the winter when the Agency law enforcement personnel charged him again
(for about the third time now) with “illegally” cutting firewood. All
his tools were confiscated and with that he has lost his second chainsaw
to the BIA. Shortly after that their only functioning vehicle has broken
down and they are now coping with transportation problems. I wish to
asked for your support on behalf of these resisters –resisters who have
never acknowledged the federal policies of genocide. Thus, they have
enforced their sovereign rights based on aboriginal and treaty statuses
and have never chosen to sign any government documents. First of all, as
supporters we should re-established a network strategy and began sending
letters to these Indian agencies and the Dept. of Justice. These
indigenous residents do not deserve to be subjected to such hardship and
humiliation just because they have honored their ancestral ties to the
Earth. Finally, I am certain that these resisters are hoping for helpers
and other means of logistical support. Due to their claims to
sovereignty and being “lawfully” affected by a Congressional Act, we are
NOT pursuing lawsuits or any sort of injunctions. Your support is needed
in the form of offering prayers and giving direct support so that they
can continue to remain on their lands. If you are interested, notify
myself and I can furnish you with direct contact information.

Thank you for you time and continued support.

Bahe Y. Katenay Dineh
from Big Mountain


Written also on behalf of UAP (Unpopular
Activist Page) October 2004]

Comments are closed.