Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Statement by grassroots Dine’ residents and the their supporters

April 18, 2005 by  
Filed under Voices from the Land

April 18, 2005
About 25 grassroots Dine activists showed up on very short notice at the Windowrock council chambers today to oppose the Peabody mine on Black Mesa. As I understand it, in order for an issue to be discussed and voted on by the Navajo council it needs to be brought to their attention on the first day of the seasons session, and voted on as to whether it gets scheduled for further discussion.

A petition to close the mine was introduced by Forest Lake chapter president Amos Johnson it was seconded by Glenna Begay, a resident of Black Mesa who lives in close proximity of the mine on HPL (Hopi Partitioned Land), another grandma, also Marshall Johnson of to Nizhoni Ani. Several council members spoke in favor of listening to the “grassroots”.   As one pointed out it came down to “either money or the environment and the people…it’s about time action has to be taken, so action has to be taken.   We’ve heard the speakers from the mine. We’ve heard the different people. What are we going to do? We have to make a decision, either to support the people or take the money.”

The tribal council voted 85 to 3 to accept the resolution which proposed that there will be a further discussion by the grassroots people and further presentation   the as to the closure of the Peabody mine   at this time and rejection of their life of mine proposal which has been submitted to the OSM.

They will be voting on it in the spring session at some time . Opponents of the mine considered the acceptance a positive step forward. The tribal council appears to be listening and willing to take some kind of action.

This is a critical time. Residents of Black Mesa who reside near the mine have spent the last week picketing the Black Mesa Mine. After the success of the councils decision, plans were laid out to protest with signs the mine outside the council chambers this Friday the last day of the session   in order to remind them that the the people are serious further plans to picket the mine every Tuesday and Thursday through spring and summer to bring the Navajo governments attention to the needs of the people were also laid out people are gathering across Black Mesa and beyond to get their stories heard and actively participate in stopping peabody’s “life of mine” proposal and have Mojave generating station shut down. The life of mine proposal indicates that the coal production will be increased and further increase the pumping of the N aquifer.

All support is greatly needed.

Anna Claire, a volunteer with Black Mesa Indigenous Support

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