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[Protect Sacred Places] Saving Mount Taylor



Posted by: David V. Hill

Hello Friends,

We are getting information that the uranium industry has mounted a full out battle to stop the MT Taylor Traditional Cultural Property nomination.  They have hired a professional to work within the community of Grants to drive the wedge issues.   The Grants uranium people are sending letters that have far exceeded the numbers of letters received in favor of preserving MT Taylor.

We need every person to write a letter to the Cultural Properties Review Committee and tell them how they feel about Mt Taylor and why it is important to protect it, so that the Cultural Properties Review Committee can feel strong in approving the TCP due to strong public support.

If this nomination is not successful, the nominating tribes (Navajo Nation, the Pueblos of Hopi, Zuni, Acoma, and Laguna) will not be allowed to reapply again for five years.   This will mean that the mining operations can resume on the mountain with no controls or concern for native religious interests.   We cannot let this happen.  Please write your letter.  Please forward this email to anyone that you know who may be interested.

This is the address to send your letter.

State of New Mexico

Department of Cultural Affairs

Historic Preservation Division

Att: Cultural Properties Review Committee

Bataan Memorial Building,

407 Galisteo St., RM 236

Sante Fe, New Mexico 87501

The deadline for all written comments to the Cultural Properties Review Committee is May 20, 2009.

The following was sent to me by a friend who is familiar with the nomination proposal, so that you may read for yourself the important points being placed before the review committee.

Here are excerpts from the conclusion of the significance statement in the application.

In order to obtain permanent protection from the mountain, the Tribes assert that the Mt. Taylor TCP fulfills three of the four NRHP criteria:  Criterion (a) for its associations that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history; Criterion (b) association with the lives of persons significant in our past, and Criterion (d) history of yielding or potential to yield, information important in prehistory and history (Benedict and Hudson 2008:30-31).

With regard to Criterion (a), the Nominating Tribes’ significance statements show that the historical, cultural, and religious importance of the Mt. Taylor TCP is firmly established in each of the community’s history and traditions.  The period of significance, according to each of the Tribes, extends from time immemorial to the present.

Mt. Taylor occupies a pivotal place in the origins of each of the Nominating Tribes, either during the emergence of the first humans onto the face of this earth and/or during the people’s migrations in search of their promised homelands.  Considered the home of many Spiritual Beings and a source of water that sustains life throughout the natural world, Mt. Taylor is important in calendrical ceremonies and daily ritual observances that motivate, organize, and structure how people live their everyday lives as members of their communities.  The Mountain is a prominent element in the communities’ respective cosmologies.            As first noted in the introduction comments of this statement and illustrated through the Tribe’s substantive contributions, the Nominating Tribes’ people literally and figuratively “Look to the Mountain” for guidance (e.g., see discussion by Cajete1994, 1999). It is through these many-tiered relationships between the communities traditional cultural beliefs and practices and the Mt. Taylor Cultural Landscape that the TCP is eligible for listing in the National Register.

The importance of the Mountain in migrations of people over time is not limited to members of the Nominating Tribes. Until the invention of the car, it assured early settlers setting out across the desert from the Rio Grande valley that they could survive the trip, it was a beacon then, as it was in pre-historic times.

Regarding Criterion (b), National Register Bulletin 38 offers relevant insight for understanding and assessing the Mountain’s significance in terms of its association with the lives of persons significant in out past:

The word “persons” can be taken to refer both to persons whose tangible, human existence in the past can be inferred on the basis of historical, ethnographic, or other research, and to “persons” such as gods and demigods who feature in the traditions of a group.  [Parker and King 2008:13]

Mt. Taylor has been the home of many different Spiritual Beings dating back to the very beginning of time.  These Beings figure prominently in the tra ditional beliefs and histories that each of the Nominating Tribes hold dear concerning their origins, either at the time of emergence and/or through their prolonged migrations in search of their pledged homelands.  Moreover, the Mountain itself is traditionally understood to be a living, breathing Spiritual Being.  Clearly, the available documentation makes obvious that Mt. Taylor TCP fulfills this criterion.

Criterion (d), with its focus on the likely potential of a traditional cultural property to yield information important in history and prehistory, occupies a somewhat lesser status relative to Criteria (a) and (b).  Nonetheless, this criterion is relevant and it underscores the Mountain’s significance as a traditional cultural property to the Nominating Tribes, collectively and individually.

The unprecedented wealth of cultural and historical information that the Nominating Tribes have shared in this nomination effort provide important perspectives and data with which to more fully understand, and respect, the cultural traditions that these communities maintain through their continuing associations with Mt. Taylor (after Benedict and Hudson 2008:31).  Continuing ethnographic study, scholarly research, and literary work can be expected to continue to enhance our collective understanding of the beliefs and practices that the Nominating Tribes associate with the Mountain.

The Nominating Tribes view the locations of many of the contributing cultural properties through which they maintain their relationships with Mt. Taylor, as well as the specific beliefs and practices that are associated with these landscape features, as privileged information.  Nonetheless, the Tribes have identified hundreds of cultural properties, including traditional plant and mineral gathering locations, boundary markers, springs, lakes, shrines, blessing places, and archaeological properties, as material evidence in support of their significance statements.   This rich assemblage of contributing cultural properties suggests that there exists the very high potential that study of these known landscape features will result in the documentation of much more quantitative information about the Tribe’s physical occupation and use of the Mountain.  Additionally, the large number of known archaeological properties (n=1056) with which at least one of the Tribes has stated its affiliation relative to the small sample of area inventoried by professional archaeologists suggests that a very great many significant contributing archaeological properties exist with this landscape awaiting rediscovery and evaluation.

Concluding Statement

The Mount Taylor Cultural Landscape is the intersection of so many different community landscapes, and the Mountain does so many different things—economically, socially, and ideationally—for so many different people from culturally diverse backgrounds.  These factors make Mt. Taylor one of New Mexico’s truly exceptional landscapes.  Although there is no consensus on what Mt. Taylor is, what the Mountain does for people, and what this landscape should become, all stakeholders intrinsically know that Mt. Taylor not only is a place to talk about (after Ortiz 1992: 321–324), but warrants an emotional response even when there exists only a perception that one community’s interests might somehow supersede another’s.  The often rancorous debate whether the Mt. Taylor TCP should be listed on the SRCP, h owever, speaks volumes of the significance of the Mountain among New Mexico’s communities.  Listing of the Mount Taylor Cultural Landscape protects the Mountain and each of the communities in turn by ensuring that no one community’s interests will automatically take precedence over the others as humans shape the future of the Mountain.

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O’odham Executed by Border Patrol: Statement by Raymond Mattia Family




Raymond Mattia of the Tohono O’odham Nation was executed by US border patrol agents on May 18th at his home. He was reportedly shot 38 times.

A peaceful gathering to support all victims of the
unmonitored violent actions of the Border Patrol and other agencies will be held at The Border
Patrol Station in Why, Az, and Tucson on Golf Links Road this Saturday, May 27th, from

For more information please visit:

Statement by Mattia Raymond’s family:

We have been trying to find the strength to write this statement. This tragedy is so
grievous because it is apparent what had happened. Raymond called for help and, in turn, was
shot down at his doorstep. Raymond’s rights were violated by the authorities whom we trust to
protect our Nation. Improper and unprofessional actions of the agencies involved were witnessed
by family members present near the crime scene. Loved ones sat in agony, not knowing of
Raymond’s condition until they were told that he had passed hours later. Raymond lay in front of
his home for seven hours before a coroner from Tucson arrived.
In our eyes and hearts, we believe that Raymond was approached with excessive and
deadly force that took his life. He was a father, brother, uncle, friend, and an involved
community member. Raymond always fought for what was right, and he will continue to fight
even after his death. This is not an isolated incident, but it should bring awareness of the
oppression our people live through.
We want to thank so many of you for your condolences and support. A GoFundMe for
defense funds will be available soon. A peaceful gathering to support all victims of the
unmonitored violent actions of the Border Patrol and other agencies will be held at The Border Patrol Station in Why, Az, and Tucson on Golf Links Road this Saturday, May 27th, from 10:00am-Noon.

Contact for support:

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Xenophobic Title 42 Ends, Biden’s Immigration Reform Nowhere to Be Found




Indigenous Action recently supported @abolition.yumacounty (on Instagram) at the “US-Mexico” border. They are a crew of radical femme and queer folks who provide essential supplies to Indigenous people and other asylum seekers who are kept in holding with nothing but what they walked up to thousands of miles with. They also offer confidential pregnancy release support. Please $$$upport and volunteer if you’re in the “Yuma” area. Venmo: @ycabolition, Cash App: @YumaCountyAbolition

With Title 42 ending on May 11th, (a xenophobic policy that gave the government power to rapidly expel any migrant, without giving them a chance to make a case for crossing legally, including to seek asylum), Biden has made no attempt at immigration reform as he promised on the campaign trail, “I can only imagine what it’s like to see someone in your family deported. To me it’s all about family. Beginning, middle and end. That’s not going to happen in my administration. The idea you can’t even seek asylum on American soil. When did that happen? Trump. It’s wrong.”

These policies are well within Biden’s power to remedy, and yet, HE HASN’T. He’s had 2 years to prepare for the ending of Title 42 to introduce new policies that he claimed “offer hope and a safe haven to refugees.”

What we’re seeing now at the border is heinous. Shelters and detention centers at and near capacity. Hundreds of people turned away every day. Just last month, a fire at a detention center killed 40 people.

In 2022, more than 890 migrants died in border crossings, and that is only of the deaths that have been reported. To paint an even broader picture, since 2021, there have been 13,480 reports of murder, torture, kidnapping, rape and other violent attacks on migrants and asylum seekers blocked or expelled to Mexico under Title 42. 

The time is now to stand up against xenophobia. Let us be free to roam and free to rage wherever we please!

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The Intercept and Grist begin release of 50,000 TigerSwan spy documents




Article by Brenda Norrell, Censored News
Reprinted with permission.

April 14, 2023


The Intercept and Grist began releasing new TigerSwan spy documents in new coverage of the mercenaries hired by the Dakota Access Pipeline. They now have 50,000 TigerSwan spy documents, and another 9,000 are held up in the court battle for now. The documents reveal TigerSwan spying on Water Protectors at Standing Rock in North Dakota, Bold Iowa, and at other locations.

Reporters Alleen Brown and Naveena Sadasivam expose the new spy documents in their article, After Spying on Standing Rock, TigerSwan Shopped Anti-Protest ‘Countinsurgency’ to Other Oil Companies.

The article follows an expensive court battle by The Intercept seeking the release of the documents. The North Dakota Supreme Court ordered the release after TigerSwan was found operating without a license in North Dakota.

“The released documents provide startling new details about how TigerSwan used social media monitoring, aerial surveillance, radio eavesdropping, undercover personnel, and subscription-based records databases to build watchlists and dossiers on Indigenous activists and environmental organizations,” The Intercept writes. Read the article at The Intercept:

Paiute journalist, drone activist and filmmaker Myron Dewey was among those that TigerSwan spied on and stalked at Standing Rock 2016-2017, as revealed in the new documents that were ordered released by the court.

On Tuesday, the driver that killed Myron Dewey on an isolated road near his family’s home in Yomba, Nevada, entered a surprise plea bargain deal that was cut with a new prosecutor assigned to the case in Nye County, Nevada.  John Walsh pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of vehicular manslaughter.

This TigerSwan spy document, showing TigerSwan stalking Myron Dewey and Prolific the Rapper at Standing Rock on Dec. 17, 2016, is from the new documents at The Intercept. Document link:

Below: From the TigerSwan spy files just released: The power of the global movement, with its heart in Standing Rock.

Below: The first flood of documents show how rattled DAPL was over the involvement of celebrities, the Standing Rock Chairman at the United Nations, Bernie Sanders, the Palestinian flag flying, and big orgs. The doc is from a pitch that TigerSwan made for more work, hustling another pipeline to spy on resistance.

Above: TigerSwan surveillance used drones and helicopters.

Above: TigerSwan spy file at Bold Iowa. The mercenaries hired by the Dakota Access Pipeline called Bold Iowa Water Protectors “belligerents.” Document link:

TigerSwan spied on, and stalked the media, including Paiute journalist Myron Dewey, Amy Goodman at Democracy Now, and myself, publisher of Censored News, as revealed in the newly released documents by The Intercept and Grist. TigerSwan used its surveillance on the media in its pitches for more spy work to other oil and pipeline companies.

TigerSwan turned its surveillance at Standing Rock into a potential money maker, using it for powerpoints in its pitches to other oil and pipeline companies for spy work.


TigerSwan even stalked the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, in its high-stakes spying for dollars.

TigerSwan’s Opposition Model, shown below, was used as a potential maker in PowerPoints to other oil and pipeline companies.

The Intercept described the battle for these documents.

“A discovery request filed as part of the case forced thousands of new internal TigerSwan documents into the public record. Energy Transfer’s lawyers fought for nearly two years to keep the documents secret, until North Dakota’s Supreme Court ruled in 2022 that the material falls under the state’s open records statute,” The Intercept said.

“Because an arrangement between North Dakota and Energy Transfer allows the fossil fuel company to weigh in on which documents should be redacted, the state has yet to release over 9,000 disputed pages containing material that Energy Transfer is, for now at least, fighting to keep out of the public eye.”

TigerSwan spy documents on Water Protectors

Note: The documents show that TigerSwan spied on Censored News, as shown in today’s article at The Intercept.

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