Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Statement by Glenna Begay 02/01/05

February 1, 2005 by  
Filed under Voices from the Land

I’ve been living here all my life, I am over 70 years old. I was born
and raised here. The “land dispute” is only about a hundred years old and
we’ve been here longer. We’ve been born and raised here for a long time.

Since the time that my ancestor’s have been here, since the beginning of
Time, we did not bury our dead like they do today. They stayed in the
house and the family moved away and no one lived there. Or they were
put under a tree and covered them with sticks. And so, with that in
mind, today you’ll see around many old abandoned homes/structures. They
are not just abandoned homes, they are burial sites.

Not far from my house, an old lady passed away, and she was left in the
hogan and covered with sand. Resently, about two months ago or so, the
Hopi Rangers dismantled and hauled it away. I don’t know where they
took it.

My question is, why would they do such a thing, dismantle a burial site
and haul it away? What did they do with the bones? Did they haul them
away too? I want to know Why. They have no business here destroying
burial sites or taking bones if that’s what they did. I want them to
leave old structures, dwellings, burial sites alone. They have no
business being here, no right to come and destroy burial sites. It is
theft. It is steeling from us.

There was also another home, right up there on the top of the hill. The
roof was dismantled and hauled away without our permission. Since they
started doing that, we took the walls away because we didn’t want them
to take the whole thing.

And not far from that structure where the roof was taken away, there is
an area where we used to haul our garbage a long time ago. It is an
area where water does not run, where the garbage would not flow away.
It was a land fill. We have not used it for a very long time, for
about 15 years. The whole land fill is burnt to the ground. And since,
to my knowledge, only used old housing material has been discarded
there. We have not used the land fill since Peabody has put out public
disposal units, years ago.

Now recently, they apparently have been rummaging there and supposedly
found my daughter’s prescription medicine bottle, and a piece of paper
with my granddaughter’s name on it. Now I’m wondering how they could
have found something that had legible writing still on it after years of
harsh winters. I’m assuming they planted them and then took pictures.

As a respectful Dineh (Navajo) woman, I do not go to the Hopi Reservation and
dig around in their landfills. I mind my own business.

Why are they digging around my back yard for so called evidence? I am
not a criminal.

And the person who stopped here to show me what he had found, and show
me the pictures, I’m assuming he’s Navajo working for the Hopi, because
he spoke Navajo to me. And he told me that the things he had picked out
were being sent away to be tested. He told me that the sheep or any
animals that grazes here could eat it and die from it. I am suspicious
that he is sending them away for evidence, to make us look like
criminals on our own land. He had them in plastic bags. The bags were
so clean, there was no dirt in them. I asked him for them, but he refused.

I would appreciate it if all these harassments, threats,
steeling/thefts, lies and any suspicious acts around my homestead be put
to a stop.

I am just living/ surviving here the way I know how, on my land and none
of it is a criminal act, and therefore they need to stay on their land
where they belong.

This is my homeland.

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