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Caravan November 2010 Transcripts/Notes—translation from Dine by Danny Blackgoat

January 26, 2012 by  
Filed under Archives, Voices from the Land

Caravan November 2010 Transcripts/Notes—translation from Dineh by Danny Blackgoat

Katherine Smith

“This is a 40-year, ongoing struggle with the empire of the West that allows places to spread out because of the resources here like coal and water.  How do people understand the amount they consume in the desert—the golf courses, the swimming pools—it’s an illusion.  It’s like a fairy tale, but at the sacrifice of what?”

“People give up their land and their community.  They can’t improve their homes and have no access to power or water.”

Marie Gladue

*Water Settlement: “It’s a whacked out settlement; our hearts are broken by our leaders. You’re not supposed to say this in Navajo, but it feels like they’re putting us in a coffin. We see the decision about water as a way to continue the termination of our people.”

“There’s great satisfaction in learning that you are not the only one who exists in the world, to learn, for example, what the plants are telling you.  The five-fingered are not the only ones in this environment.”

“The people living high off the hog have to be made to think.  Use messaging—band together and buy a billboard in Phoenix.  Tell them what’s going on; tell your people.”

“We’re not given the value of coal—it’s pennies.  Same with water—they get $1,000 per acre/foot and only a few dollars come back here.”

“Phoenix is living off of our generosity, getting 34 acres of water a year for free.  I don’t understand that.  You know your own people.  You know how things work in your world.  You can support by making your own people conscious of the specific relationship between their lives and ours. “

“No one in their right mind would build a city in the desert with golf courses and swimming pools.  We think about that paradox out here.”

“We stay here for our people.”

“There is always this idea that there is justice and fairness in the courts.  It isn’t true.”

“The whole issue [relocation] has been such a can of worms that people want to just keep it closed.”

Suggestions:  Just Transition, Begin with shutting down the Mojave Generating Station, “revalue what knowledge was in terms of crops and livestock.”

Mary Lou Blackrock

“We don’t have leaders who can help us.  We hear a lot about leaders but we don’t see them until election time with their slogans.  I went to Window Rock and they told me to go to Hopi, that it was their jurisdiction.  The younger generation can’t establish homesites here on the HPL, so we’re left alone.  I met Ben Shelly before the elections, during his campaign.  I told him where I live, at the border of the HPL.  He didn’t know where I lived or my condition.  I told him to come and visit me in a blizzard.”

“Heard about the Navajo and Hopi joining forces….we are subjects.  We are suffering.”

Pauline Whitesinger

“We don’t intermingle like in the old days.  We’ve lost contact. I have forgotten some of the ladies here.  My vision is failing.  I make assumptions of who people are based on their voices. “

“I heard about the new Navajo president meeting with the Hopi president.  They are getting cozy and making an agreement to remove the rest of the Navajo from the HPL.  I am anguished by this news.  Can we go to Window Rock and put a document forth to them? They will take the proceeds from the mine together, I suspect.”

“I must be going crazy.  Things are in disharmony.”

Mae Tso

“Under Hopi we can only have a certain amount of sheep.  They enforce it and they are always looking over our shoulder.  They may extend this [impoundments] to twice a year, Spring and Fall.”

“The Navajo and Hopi leadership have come together to push more people off of the HPL…the final solution [that was Danny’s interpretation].”

“The Hopi Rangers have drained the aquifers.  We need to keep the water on the reservation.”

Evelyn Simonson

“They are confiscating animals because they have plans for the mine.”

“The people who finished their education off the land went on to manage the mine.  I might have too if I had finished my school, but I remembered Grandma’s teachings about the land.”

“Greed for money is affecting the climate.  It is affecting our lives here.  We want to live in harmony with the natural elements, but things are changing.  The snow is changing.  This winter I saw snow that was blue.  It wasn’t normal or natural.”

“As a young woman I was told to be a caretaker of the land and I try, but I see it disrupted right before my eyes.”

“I always wondered when the day would come when the wind would stop on the surface of the earth and take all of us at once.”

Louise Benally

Suggestions: Plug into National organizations, connect Black Mesa mining to the national impact of Fossil Fuel use, get a community  office (on HPL—rent from the mission), increase self-care efforts (like herbal clinics, etc.), more networking, more self-sufficiency, more education, get a radio stationed (licensed, not pirate).

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