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URGENT- ACT NOW 4 BIG MOUNTAIN INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES

by Black Mesa Indigenous Support Thursday, Feb. 16, 2006 at 7:59 PM
blackmesais@riseup.net

Stop S. 1003, "The Navajo Hopi Land Settlement Act Amendments of 2005"

URGENT- ACT NOW 4 BIG MOUNTAIN INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES
by Black Mesa Indigenous Support
blackmesais@riseup.net

STOP FORCED RELOCATION ON BIG MOUNTAIN, BLACK MESA, AZ. TARGETED NAVAJO COMMUNITIES SAY THAT NOW IS THE TIME TO TAKE ACTION!

Please take a moment to read and FAX this letter today.


Dear Friends of the Indigenous Peoples of Big Mountain, Black Mesa, AZ,

Something critical is about to happen concerning the traditional communities on Big
Mountain and surrounding areas on Black Mesa. Today, more than 30 years after the
passage of Public Law 93 - 531, the original Navajo-Hopi Relocation bill, a new bill
is before Congress that sets a new timetable for the forced relocation of a number
of Navajo families on Black Mesa. Senate bill S. 1003 "The Navajo Hopi Land
Settlement Act Amendments of 2005" is now on the Senate Calendar and may be passed
at anytime without debate or serious consideration unless the public acts now. The
last major relocation bill was approved by the Senate within a month after being
placed on the Senate Calendar and stayed in the House of Representatives less than a
week before becoming law. It's difficult to convey the serious nature of these new
developments. The passage of this bill would effectively devastate these traditional
communities of Navajo, or Dineh, stripping them of their identity and way of life
which is tied into the land itself.

Native people's lives and livelihoods are on the line!

This bill will permanently displace the indigenous families of Big Mountain and
surrounding communities on Black Mesa from their ancestral lands and will relieve
the federal government of any further responsibility for the relocated people. S.
1003, sponsored by Senator John McCain (R-AZ), comes as Peabody Coal, the world's
largest coal company, is planning to expand its strip mining of American Indian
lands, drawing down a high-quality residential aquifer in the process. Only one
thing stands in Peabody's way: indigenous people live on the land below which lies
billions of tons of low-sulfur coal. As with their ancestors, the land is the basis
for the Black Mesa people's traditions, spirituality, and livelihoods.

There is still time to act!

S 1003 may pass the Senate and the House of Representatives within the next few
weeks. Senate Bill 1003 may become law anytime now once again starting the machine
of forced relocation. But fortunately, a small window of opportunity exists to stop
it. It must first pass the Senate so the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and your
Senator must hear your voices today. The indigenous families from the Big Mountain
and Black Mesa communities have not been represented in this process.

It's up to us the public and the international community to demand that Congress
educate themselves before they vote. After passing the earlier relocation act, PL
93-531, in 1974, several Senators expressed misgivings about the law, but it was too
late. We cannot allow this to happen again. The people of Big Mountain are asking us
to jump in and shake up the political landscape. Our outcry may be their only hope.
We must tell those who would once again sell out the people and the land that there
will be a political price to pay. It's easy to make decisions from afar if you never
risk meeting the people who will be affected. Demand that Congress listen to the
people. Maybe it is possible to reach their hearts.

In an era of transnational corporate dominance, the methods of separating indigenous
peoples from their land and natural resources have outstripped the ability of any
agency or nongovernmental organization to monitor or regulate. The importance of
building alliances cannot be stressed enough. The elders of Big Mountain such as
Roberta Blackgoat have shown us the way to the survival of our planet and the danger
to us all if sacred lands are destroyed, warning us of what is now happening long
before global warming and gaia became common words. The people of Big Mountain can
not win this fight alone and need the support of all people who love justice, human
rights, and the earth.

Please join us, and ask your friends and family to do the same. Click on the
following link:
http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/organizationsORG/blackmesais/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=2552

Thank you and Peace,

Black Mesa Indigenous Support
www.blackmesais.org

 

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