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HomeCalls to ActionAlert: Diné Face Arrest & Livestock Theft on Black Mesa

Alert: Diné Face Arrest & Livestock Theft on Black Mesa

Alert: Diné Face Arrest & Livestock Theft on Black Mesa

UPDATE: Due to public concern the Navajo-Hopi Land Commission Office (NHLCO) issued a statement on Oct 24, 2014: “To avoid creating a situation that will harm both tribes and the HPL residents, (NHLCO) requests that the Hopi Tribe cease and desist from further impoundment activities and allow NHLCO an opportunity to confer with the residents to request they remove their livestock in excess of permitted from the HPL.”

Hopi Rangers Taking Diné Sheep

Hopi Rangers Taking Diné Sheep

October 23, 2014 – UPDATE from HPL (Hopi Partition Land) residents:  Shirley Tohannie and elder Caroline Tohannie had their entire herd of 65 sheep impounded by the Hopi Rangers (US federal government) Tuesday, October 22, 2014.If the fines aren’t paid the sheep will go to auction, and the family is being told that the sheep will not be able to return to the family’s rangeland.  The cost to release the livestock is nearly $1,000.

Jerry Babbit Lane, the Tohannie’s neighbor on the HPL, was arrested by Hopi rangers when he attempted to check on his neighbors and was charged with disorderly conduct. He was released this evening, 10/23. Rangers told Shirley they plan to take Rena’s (Jerry’s mother) sheep too and that they’re going to start impounding across the HPL.

 As we’re writing, another family on Big Mountain has had nearly their entire herd impounded.

PLEASE DONATE HERE for an impoundment fund.

Residents are requesting human rights observers and sheepherders during this time of escalated harassment.  If you or anyone you know can come be a human rights observer to support the Dineh resistance on Black Mesa, now is the time. Doing human rights observation work can help stop or slow down the impoundment process. Families who will be potentially impacted by impoundments are requesting solidarity. Email if you can come out.

“Call the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Hopi Rangers, and the Department of Interior. Ask they stop impounding sheep on the HPL. This is current day colonialism, our food sovereignty is being attacked. Call the BIA superintendent Wendel Honanie (at 928-738-2228), the Hopi Rangers Clayton Honyumptewa at (928-734-3601), and the Department of Interior at  (202 208-3100) and ask that they stop the unjust impoundments.”–Louise Benally

Although these orders are coming from current Hopi policy, ultimately the relocation laws and livestock impoundments result from the federal government and Peabody Energy’s divide and conquer strategy used to open up the land for massive coal mining. “In the 1970s, Hopi elders encouraged the Diné elders to remain on their homelands, saying if they did relocate, the coal mine would expand. The Hopi elders said it wasn’t them who wanted the land.”–NaBahii Keediniihii

A July 2012 report by the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission classifies the relocation as a massive human rights violation and demands the immediate repeal of PL 93-531 and an end to relocation efforts and harassment in the form of surveillance, livestock impoundments, and disruption of gatherings and ceremonies that the resistance community experiences.

The sheep sustain the vitality of the people and the land, and traditional grazing practices need to be supported not severed. Impoundments are nothing less than harassment and human  rights violations.

For background information on the resistance of the HPL communities, click here.

***Please forward this request far and wide by re-posting or sending this to ten people***

Editors note: This action is occurring as winter approaches and sheep and other livestock are the livelihood for many Diné facing oppressive conditions imposed by PL93-531. The update below uses the controversial term “HPL (Hopi Partitioned Lands),” some Diné resisters recognize this area as Sovereign Diné Nation and not HPL.

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  • Traduction française:

    October 24, 2014
  • Yet Cliven Bundy is still allowed to keep his cattle on public lands without paying his fees, and pulling guns on federal agents????

    October 24, 2014
  • navajos have so much land already, what’s the problem with hopis trying to reclaim some of what was ours to begin with?? the navajos came traveling through when it was our hopi people who seen others starving and exhausted, and weren’t hesitant to lend a hand by feeding you and letting you observe our traditional ways. in exchange for our kindness we got in return, war over our homelands, false claims that we learned all our traditional ways from navajos, and still to this day we cannot go to gather yucca and eagles from the areas where our ancestors once did because navajos have taken complete control over the lands making our ceremonies more difficult to prepare for and practice. how long did you think this unfair treatment towards our people (hopis) would last?? we are people of peace but we will not stand by silently when we see something that just isn’t right.

    October 24, 2014
    • I agree with the comment made by Sikyatalmana…it s a shame that our tribe is not hesitant to use the media to show what they feel is “injustice”…but I’ve learned the media only reports half the story..and as Navajos, I know that we are greedy, and always lay claim to something that doesn’t belong to us..I’ve loaned out tools and stuff to relatives an friends…and when I need it back they say..”No, that’s mine..” Or ” I thought you gave it to me.. “… That’s what ” loan” means to them…don’t give an inch…cuz they take a mile an then some…I know cuz I’m a Navajo..

      October 25, 2014
    • If history is correct we protected and saved your people from other raiding tribes. If we didn’t you would have been just another Anasazi’. Dine’ been here to begin with.

      October 25, 2014
  • What is wrong is that the Federal Government (working through Hopi) is seizing personal property and destroying peoples livelihoods with intimidation and without compensation or due recourse. This is not just about a few unimportant Navajo people – it is about each and every US Citizen. Is this how you want to be treated? Is this what people want to be like in the US – to live in conflict, in fear of oppression and to inflict suffering on each other? So much for living in peace, so much for democracy….

    October 25, 2014
    • Democraty has always been a farce.
      If the old life is a crime, what about the new : “CHANGE ” ? ? ?
      Just to compare the dutch vieuw on these matters.
      Waist of juditional energy and power .
      Smells like corruption is involved.

      October 28, 2014

    October 28, 2014
    • Both tribes get real, do you really walk in eachothers way ? ? ?

      October 28, 2014

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