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an impoundment fund.
28 Oct. 2014 -
Hopi Rangers arrested two individuals and impounded 120 sheep
this morning at the homesite of Tom and Etta Begay in Red Willow
Springs. Heavily armed rangers guarded and blocked nearby dirt
road entrances as well.
“The Hopi Rangers came for our homestead early this morning.
They tried to arrest my Aunt Etta who is almost 70 years old and
my dad Bahe. They had barricades set up at the top of the hill
with two police units. When we tried to get around the
barricade, they chased us for two miles trying to hit us with
their trucks; and they drew their guns at us. When we got to the
house they brought four more units and tried to block us in by
the north Hogan. They grabbed us out of our vehicles. A male
officer was grabbing me around my waist.
I told them they
were violating our rights and violating our elders. They were
trying to arrest Etta who didn’t even know what they were saying
[she doesn’t speak English]. She wasn’t doing anything. They
arrested my younger brother Lance and me, because we were a
threat to them for voicing our rights and defending our family.
It took three officers to detain me and another three to detain
my brother. We didn’t go down without a fight. We were let go
after six hours of detainment. I told them they are threatening
our family who is all alone and elderly and they come out with
guns and threaten and scare them.
Who would have
defended our family if we didn’t come? We didn’t come with guns
and knives; we are not violent. We just came to protect our
family. Who knows what they would have done if we weren’t there.
We said, we are not scared. We are protecting our elders, if you
are going to take us to jail for that, do it. They took 120
sheep from our homestead.”--Milayia Yoe, arrestee.
The U.S. government has always used “scorched earth policies”
against Indigenous people--attempts to cut them off from their
food supplies, decimate economies, or destroy infrastructure--as
a precursor to forced relocations including the Long Walk of the
Dineh. Livestock impoundments come under this category. There is
increased surveillance on the families and livestock of the
so-called “HPL” including the use of drones.
“We are in a battleground, the endless battleground of the
Partitioned Lands. This is the front of the line and when it
comes your family there is no yes or no, you have to stand up
for your family and your relatives. This is what I was taught.
The past was never really forgotten of the way the U.S.
Government treated my people. It is still going on, it is still
alive. We will fight--not with violence or armor, but with the
old ways. This is a stand for people to know who we are and how
we live as Dineh.”--Gerald Blackrock 10/23/14
“The U.S. government is using the Hopi Tribe. We are Native
People, we don’t work like this.”
--Beulah Blackrock 10/ 28/14
Caroline Tohannie, the elder who had her herd impounded last
week, has a court date coming up where she will be facing
trespassing charges for being at her homestead.
These impoundments are stressful for the entire community,
particularly the elderly:
“Our life is connected to the life of the sheep. We are alive
and strong because of them, and being close to them, being with
them everyday, keeps us strong. Especially now in our old age
the sheep are important to us. If we are too far from our sheep,
we can become frail. “ --Clarence and Mary Lou Blackrock, Cactus
“I disapprove of the impoundments. They really affect the
elderly. Ever since I was a baby I was carried on a horse to
herd sheep. I have herded all my life and I am in my eighties.
You have the livestock in your heart, and they want to take that
away.”--Jack Woody, Black Mesa Elder 10/25/14
“They way that the rangers are treating the people goes against
the Dineh way; it is very taboo to point a gun at somebody. They
are traumatizing an already traumatized community. If
overgrazing was actually the issue they could just educate
people. But it’s not. This is uncalled for.”--Marie Gladue Big
Mountain Resident 10/28/14
Calls to Action:
*Lawyers needed! If you are a lawyer or have connections to
lawyers, residents are requesting legal assistance.
*Call protests at your local Department of Interior or Bureau of
Indian Affairs offices, donate funds here, come to the land as a
human rights observer (email
for more information),
*“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 and ask that they stop the unjust
The BIA superintendent Wendel Honanie at (928-738-2228),
Hopi Chairman Herman G. Honanie, Email:
Phone: (928) 734-3102
The Hopi Rangers Clayton Honyumptewa at (928-734-3601),
The Department of Interior at (602-379-6600)
***Please forward this request far and wide by re-posting or
sending this to ten people***