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Statement of Navajo elder and relocation resister Pauline Whitesinger- May 2011

September 16, 2011 by  
Filed under Voices from the Land

Hello, my name is Pauline Whitesinger. I am an Edgewater Clan, born for Apache clan. I am Navajo or “Din4”. I am up in the years, i don’t know how old exactly.

The place where I am standing has been subject to a “Land dispute”. So they drew a line around us. I was told to move out by the government. I do not wish to leave so I am staying here. They also have been mining coal around here and they want to do it right here where i live but i will not get out of their way. I do not support the mining. That is what I have been dealing with.

These days I am hearing that they have more money available for Relocation. New funds are available for people who will sign away their ancestoral birthrights. I am so tired of hearing it. I have been to the Capter meeting last week and told them to quit saying it. We have no strong leaders  for us as relocation resistors in the Tribal Government. There must be something wrong with this thing they call “elections”. The only people who ever seem to win are the ones who say “I will eat the earth. I will have the earth dug up and ripped to shreds.”

We have our own meetings from time to time as a community of relocation resisters. They seem to draw a lot of attention from the BIA, FBI, and “homeland security”. But I still believe that we deserve to have such meetings and we will continue to organize them.

There are impoundments going on right now out here. The “Rangers” are hauling off a lot of Navajo horses and cows. Whatever reason they come up with, it costs us a lot of time and $ and harms the livestock. I am fed up with it. And then the other day a bunch of trucks and trailers came out and stole a lot of scerap metal from my family. Maybe it was the rangers. In either case we are in need of lookouts and security to defend our livelihood. We don’t get any help from the BIA. They are the ones who are doing it to us.

Even among those of us with the line drawn around us there is inequality now. Those of us who did not sign the “Accomodation Agreement in 1997 are having a hard time while signers drive around in a fancy truck with a big water barrel and suck up all the water out of the well. Why not herd your sheep down to drink instead of hauling water to them?

I live in the way that my mother and father lived. Caring for the herds, the garden and the sheep. Who will help me with the work it entails? The Rangers?

I heard on the news recently of the assassination of one of our leaders overseas. Let’s have all of our native youth that are fighting over there return home immediately.

I live by myself for the most part. And there is a lot of work here with no running water or electricity, herds of sheep, goats, cows and horses. Two cornfields. My children have relocated, mostly because they are ill with diabetes and have to go to dialysis in the cities. They live several hours drive from me in different directions. My grandkids, some of them are very capable helpers, but they have been harrassed and chased off by the rangers. So they don’t stay very long.

So I havε sheepherders and other types of helpers come and stay with me sometimes. Some of them work very hard to learn the life out here and some stay with me all winter long. Right now i am looking at another summer alone and I wish it were not so. I am inviting you supporters to come and help me with the work here and to keep in the way of the BIA that wants us Navajos off of Black Mesa. Bring whatever strange foods you eat and I will sample it for you. Some of it I even like. And you are welcome to eat Navajo food at my table. A lot of people have said a lot of stuff about Big Mountain over the years and i think most of it is lies. Come out and see for yourself.

And a big THANK YOU to all supporters for the work that you do. Ahehee!!!

All mail correspondence to:
Pauline Whitesinger,
P.o.Box 973
Hotevilla, AZ, 86030

Translated and transcribed by Owen Johnson

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