Dineh Resisters Face Continued Threats/Harassment

Big Mountain Incident

[Please, share with your contacts or post. Thanks, BYK]

Greetings Relatives,

I would like for you to take a moment and remember that the traditional indigeneous resistance still continues on Black Mesa. This resistance has obviously, in previous decades, been an extreme expression of a fight for liberation. It is of course not your typical subtle expression of a politically, opinionated protest that involves basic environment or heritage issues. This traditional resistance has been a continuation of the very core of a land-based, indigenous society's struggle for survival. A society that has up to recent times lived off-the-land: growing crops, hunted and gathered, raised livestock, maintained their own natural springs, practiced the complete essence of religious rituals, and maintained a unique language and clan system of deep ancestral origin. Today, the world's largest coal mining company, Peabody Western, continues to encroach as they are backed by the U.S. government's forcible-relocation policies. At the forefront of this encroachment is the B.I.A.'s Indian policies which initiate tribal government activities that undermines these traditional entities of sovereignty.

Your prayers and support is very much needed! I have been approached by individuals who are concerned for the welfare of these resisters. And because of the lack of a stable network and volunteer/support personnel, we are unable to make a complete assessments of the situation in the regions of resistance. It is assumed that other elder and younger residents are experiencing hardship at this time. Currently, there are two critical hardships taking place.

Lawrence Altsisi needs support (though, details are not specific yet). He is a Dineh resident whose parents and relatives have abandoned the ancestral lands for relocation benefits and now, he is still defying orders from the BIA Hopi Agency Law Enforcement to either relocate or sign the Accommodation Agreement. His only means of transportation has been impounded by the BIA Indian agency, and he is unable to haul firewood or water to this residence. He resides about 6 miles SE of the Rocky Ridge General Store. We will try to update you more pending available time and resources to get out there to visit with him.

Rena B. Lane and her son have also been threatened and harassed. They reside in one of the most remote region of Black Mesa. Due to the intense drought, the Lane family had moved their sheep herd to a more suitable grazing area within their ancestral ranging area. The BIA Hopi Agency discovered the family's sheep camp and began to threatened them with livestock impoundment but they remained with the sheep camp until the herd gained back its health. More recently, Rena's son was preparing for the winter when the Agency law enforcement personnel charged him again (for about the third time now) with "illegally" cutting firewood. All his tools were confiscated and with that he has lost his second chainsaw to the BIA. Shortly after that their only functioning vehicle has broken down and they are now coping with transportation problems.

I wish to asked for your support on behalf of these resisters --resisters who have never acknowledged the federal policies of genocide. Thus, they have enforced their sovereign rights based on aboriginal and treaty statuses and have never chosen to sign any government documents. First of all, as supporters we should re-established a network strategy and began sending letters to these Indian agencies and the Dept. of Justice. These indigenous residents do not deserve to be subjected to such hardship and humiliation just because they have honored their ancestral ties to the Earth. Finally, I am certain that these resisters are hoping for helpers and other means of logistical support. Due to their claims to sovereignty and being "lawfully" affected by a Congressional Act, we are NOT pursuing lawsuits or any sort of injunctions. Your support is needed in the form of offering prayers and giving direct support so that they can continue to remain on their lands.

If you are interested, notify myself and I can furnish you with direct contact information.

Thank you for you time and continued support.


Bahe Y. Katenay
Dineh from Big Mountain

REPLY TO: iindon49@hotmail.com & CC: byk@dana.ucc.nau.edu

[Written also on behalf of UAP (Unpopular Activist Page) October 2004]


Note important contact information below.

Please contact:
Chapter President: Percy Deal
Council Delegate: Lorenzo Bedonie
Hardrock Chapter
Chinle Agency
P.O. Box 20
Kykotsmovi, AZ 86039
Phone: (928) 725-3730
Fax: (928) 725-3731
Website: http://hardrock.nndes.org
Email: hardrockchapter@hotmail.com

BIA Western Office
Wayne Nordwall, Regional Director
Western Regional Office
Bureau of Indian Affairs
P.O. Box 10
Phoenix, Arizona 85001
Phone: (602) 379-6600
Fax: (602) 379-4413

Hopi Agency
Wendell Honanie, Superintendent
Bureau of Indian Affairs
P.O. Box 158
Keams Canyon, AZ 86034
Phone No: (928) 738-2228
Fax No: (928)738-5522

P.O. Box 156
Keams Canyon, Arizona 86034
Phone: (928) 738-5171
Fax: (928) 738-5561
Gary Thomas, Chief Judge
Delfred Leslie, Associate Judge
Fax: (928) 738-5589

More contact information to come.

the wolf is my messenger

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"We will be known by the tracks
we leave behind."
Dakota Proverb


posted 24 october 2004
revised 23 November 2004


pictures courtesy of the resisters