by Bahe Y. Katenay
Published 17 March 2004

BIG MOUNTAIN (UAP*)—During the week of March 8th, the BIA-Hopi Agency Police and Range Technician arrested Dan Herder who tried to intervene while his cattle were being impounded. Though Dan Herder resides on the "NPL" side of the boundary, his cattle had wondered into the many openings along the Partition Fence line. Another "NPL" resident's cattle were impounded as well. Kii Shey (or Kee Shay), whose cattle had also been entering the fence line in the same manner, were spotted by the Range Technicians and eventually got impounded. 

Reports from elder resisters did not provide the number of cattle that were hauled off, nor do they know what the charges are against Dan Herder. However, Dan Herder has been an active member of the community, mainly in supporting the the former Weaving for Freedom group and helping with setting up the Dinetah Sun Dances. His original homeland at Howell Mesa has all been partitioned off also, and his community has all been completely uprooted throughout the 1970 and 80s. He is married into the Big Mountain community. 

This recent impoundment incident has the Dineh resister concerned, and they [the resistance] are seeing this as a continued process of intimidation and harassment. The Federal government and its tribal law enforcement agencies don't care about how the recent five year drought has affected the animal life. Livestock are intelligent enough to know that there are abundant amounts of vegetation inside the forbidden and partitioned ranges where the livestock have been completely reduced or eliminated. The animals' sense of smell drives them to enter barbwire fences by any means just to cure their starvation. 

On the outside of the partitioned lands, the "NPL" (Navajo Partitioned Lands) families are crowded into small grazing areas, which often creates much local internal disputes; and these areas have been severely stricken by the drought. Many areas of vegetation are not able to recover, and the Navajo Tribal Grazing authorities know about the bad grazing and water conditions; but they are not willing to do anything. Again the poor Indians are left to fend for themselves, and this has created much family feuds. 

Yes, the injustices continue; but we are still determined to maintain some sense of a sane reality of resistance against "Columbus's descendents" and will refuse to acknowledge the "American patriotism."

* Unpopular Activist Page


Reprinted as an historical reference document under the Fair Use doctrine of international copyright law.