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Office of Surface Mining (OSM) Comment Period Extended for Black Mesa Mine, N-aquifer Use 
OSM Web Site - 04 FEB 2005
   Two additional public meeting dates have been scheduled, and the deadline for submission of written comments concerning the fate of Peabody Coal's Black Mesa mine and the use of the N- aquifer slurry line has been extended.
   For Details, click the above link.
Hopis Face Uncertain Future
Chairman Taylor laments lack of water, jobs and mine closures
Gallup Independent - 04 FEB 2005
   FORT DEFIANCE — Loss of revenue from the closure of Mohave Generating Station and Black Mesa Mine would force the layoff of at least 150 of the Hopi Tribe's 500 employees. In addition, 13 percent of the Navajo Nation government's non-mine labor force would lose jobs along with 300 mine workers.
   Hopi Tribal Chairman Wayne Taylor Jr., at the invitation of the Arizona State Senate Natural Resources Committee, traveled to Phoenix Wednesday to brief the group on potential impacts to the tribes from the impending closures....
The Hopi Tribe Media Advisory: 
Chairman Wayne Taylor Addresses the Senate Natural Resource Committee - 31 JAN 2005
   Hopi tribal chairman Wayne Taylor, Jr. will address the Senate Natural Resource Committee on the threat to the survival of the Hopi Tribe pending a possible closure of the Mohave Generating Station in Laughlin, Nevada and the Black Mesa coal mine....
   The Hopi tribe is locked in a protracted legal battle to keep the Mohave Generating Station in Laughlin, Nevada open and operating.
   The massive, coal-fired plant provides electrical power to Southern California and potions of Arizona and Nevada. The plant is fueled by coal mined at Black Mesa, which is jointly owned by the Hopi Tribe and the Navajo Nation....
Use of Water for Coal Slurry Challenged in Flagstaff - Navajo Times, hardcopy - 20 JAN 2005
   FLAGSTAFF – Every seat in the Coconino County board room was occupied and people squeezed around doorways to raise questions about proposed changes in the operation of the Kayenta and Black Mesa coalmines, located 125 miles northeast of here.
   The Jan. 13 meeting was held by the federal Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation Enforcement, which must decide whether to issue a revised permit to Peabody Western Coal Company for the mines.
   Peabody’s proposed revisions include extending both mining operations to 2026, replacing 95 percent of the 273-miles Black Mesa coal slurry pipeline and switching to a different ground water source for the slurry.
   Currently, Black Mesa coal is pulverized and mixed with water from the Navajo aquifer to create slurry that is transported by pipeline to the Mohave Generating Station at Laughlin, Nev.
   Pressured by Native American and environmental groups to stop tapping the Navajo aquifer, Peabody is proposing to use the Coconino aquifer instead for most of its water needs.
   However, the city of Flagstaff voiced concerns...
Who Will Get the Grazing Permits for Joint-use Land? - Gallup Independent - 09 NOV 2004
   PIÑON — What will be the criteria for reissuing grazing permits to persons living on Navajo Partitioned Land? Presently, no one knows. But the Navajo Nation has a 180-day timeline to figure it out once the Bureau of Indian Affairs publishes the final rule in the Federal Register.
   "This is basically an ongoing discussion that addresses the issue of who would be eligible to engage in grazing activities within Navajo Partitioned Land (NPL) which presently does not have any provision to have livestock," said George Arthur, Resources Committee chairman, following a meeting on NPL grazing, held last week at Pinon Community School....
Update from Big Mountain
- Bahe - Big Mountain - 01 NOV 2004
   Big Mountain, AZ—Supporters for the traditional Dineh resisting forced relocation have reported that BIA Hopi Agency Law Enforcement Rangers have been monitoring the resistance area intensely. On Sunday, October 31st, an elder woman was forced not to collect vegetation for ceremonial use. These supporters reported that it was unusual to see law enforcement personnel very active on a weekend. It is assumed that this is a campaign to stop "unpermitted wood cutting" in the areas but it goes further than that by keeping up the pressure of harassments and intimidations to remind the Dineh resisters to: "Give up. They lost the battle to keep their lands!"
   The supporters monitored the area to see why there was an active surveillance and perhaps an impoundment of animals might be taking place....
 URGENT: Support Needed for Dineh Resister
- Bahe Y. Katenay - 27 OCT 2004
   A Dineh resister is facing numerous charges against him for trying to live and care for his livestock. The Rena B. Lane family has lived on the western margin of the Black Mesa geography (and within what is known today as the "HPL") for many generations. Because they have a strong tie to their ancestral lands, they have never signed up for relocation benefits, or the Accommodation Lease Agreement. Jerry Lane, a traditionally inspired son of Rena, has had run-ins with the BIA laws before regarding trespassing and "illegal activites" which means using your lands normally.
   Today, he faces more charges and he is due to appear in court at the BIA-Hopi Agency court near Keams Canyon on the Hopi Indian reservation....
Dineh Resisters Face Continued Threats/Harassment - Bahe Y. Katenay - 23 OCT 2004
   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....
   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 ask for your support on behalf of these resisters...
Words from the Land and Replies to Questions about Unity
- Bahe Y. Katenay - 08 AUG 2004
   [Share with appropriate Big Mtn. update outlets and friends. Author's Note: I have tried to make a couple of visits into the Heart of the Resistance Territories to get a sense of what is going on and what the resisters are saying. This is my info gathering in the last three weeks. I do my best to convey and translate the words and events to the best of my ability. Thanks for your understanding. BYK, (UAP/August2004)]
   Kee Watchman: The herds are healthy despite the drought and there has been a good lambing season. Unfortunately, the BIA-Hopi Rangers and Police are planning on conducting a livestock count and they are obviously going to issue out orders to reduce all the herds. This only applies to those residents who have the Accommodation Lease Agreement but for those who never signed that Agreement are still "illegally" grazing and they have no permit....
Groundbreaking Marks End of 30-year Wait: 82 Homes in Tuba City portion of Bennett Freeze Receiving ElectricityThe Navajo Times - 23 JULY 2004
   TUBA CITY–For Victoria Ben, 26, the recent groundbreaking for an electric power line in the Bennett Freeze Area means she and her two little boys can finally live next to her grandmother.
   Ben lives in Chinle but she often visits her grandmother, Ruth Tohonnie, who lives in the Bennett Freeze, west of Tuba City.
   Tohonnie's traditional Navajo shade house was the site for the groundbreaking festivities July 12....
Concerned for Navajo Aquifer - Natasha Grail, Ft. Defiance, AZ - 10 JUNE 2004
   My concern for the Black Mesa Coalition has brought me to writing this imperative letter. I have been reading about that area for sometime now and I have heard about how the U.S. government has tried to move our people off of their own lands, in order to get the coal which lies beneath them.
   I am also concerned about the U.S. government pumping water out of the Navajo Aquifer. They are pumping an estimated 300 gallons every 10 seconds. This means over a billion gallons are being pumped every year. Most of us don't know it, but we are losing our only reliable source of water very rapidly. If this continues it could be gone in 10 years....
Black Mesa Residents Concerned About Health, Lack of Electricity, Relocation of Burial Sites 
LA Times - 08 JUNE 2004
   The Intergovernmental Relations Committee met May 26 at Forest Lake Chapter to hear concerns of citizens regarding the upcoming possible closure of the Mohave Generating Station, according to a press release from the speaker's office.
   Most of those testifying spoke in Navajo before the committee.
   Ruth Gilmore said that the mining companies make a lot of money, but it doesn't benefit people at the local level. She said lack of running water continues to be a problem in the area.
   Many residents pointed out that there are Navajos living without electricity while the energy from the mine goes to people in California and Nevada....
Gathering Clouds: Arizona's Navajo and Hopi Tribes Have Won a Water-Rights Battle Against the Coal Company That Has Sustained Their Fragile Economies. But on the Threshold of Victory, a Sobering Question: Now What?LA Times - 06 JUNE 2004
   "Somewhere far away from us, people have no understanding that their demand for cheap electricity, air conditioning and lights 24 hours a day have contributed to the imbalance of this very delicate place." — Nicole Horseherder, Navajo, Black Mesa
   For years upon years beneath star-heavy skies, the Navajo awakened before the sun rose over northeastern Arizona's Black Mesa to guide their sheep to the natural waters of desert washes and springs to beat the overwhelming heat of day. For those who kept cattle in more modern times, they dug wells powered by windmills to pump groundwater into drinking troughs. The Hopi, farmers whose reservation borders Black Mesa's fringe, channeled these same waters onto hillside terraces where they planted their sacred and sustaining crops of corn.
   But that was when there was water on Black Mesa....
Navajos Harassed at Spring Gathering - Indian Country Today - 01 JUNE 2004
   BIG MOUNTAIN, Ariz. - In a climate of increased militarization on American Indian lands by federal agents, an FBI agent interrogated Navajos at the home of the late Roberta Blackgoat on Big Mountain, during a spring gathering honoring the late matriarch who fought forced relocation of Navajos.
   "The FBI agent terrorized me for sure, all I could think of was Ruby Ridge and Waco," said Danny Blackgoat, son of Roberta Blackgoat, who follows his mother ’s path of non-violent resistance.
   "We don’t need any more harassment from the Hopi Rangers or FBI. I would appeal to the indigenous people throughout the country and throughout the world to give us spiritual support. This land should be given back to the people of Big Mountain. People are living under a lot of anguish.....

The Navajo-Hopi Land Dispute: 
Hopi Tribe Threatens to Demolish Living and Historic Navajo Home Site
   Monday, May 10, during the 2004 Spring Survival Gathering, Hopi Tribal Officials approached guests of the family at the Blackgoat home, a Navajo home site located on the disputed Hopi Partition Land (HPL). Officials told the guests that they should remove personal belongings from the structures there, because the Hopi Tribe intends to level the home and the Hogan (traditional round structure, used for living quarters as well as for ceremonies). They also instructed the guests to move the family’s livestock, as a herd of sheep still roams the hills as they have for generations.
   This home site was lived in by the late Roberta Blackgoat, an internationally known Matriarch and great grandmother who traveled the world educating the masses about the Dineh (Navajo) people’s plight to remain on their land in order to practice their religion. Blackgoat passed on April 23, 2002. Her children Danny, Sheilah, Harry, and Vici still consider this place to be their home, and they visit on weekends with their children, while friends care for the site during the week....

A Letter From Dineh Bahe Katenay
Roberta Blackgoat's Home Place Threatened 
   Fighting in a true revolution is difficult. That is why a few of us continue to rekindle a struggle on Big Mountain. A struggle that compose of much reality like making a stand upon actual ancestral land. It is not like making a stand on city property where the police has given a permit to protest. It is not making a stand where we claim a basic right of government privileges such as Freedom of Religion or U.S. Constitution.
   We are a few because we stand for the Right of the Core of Indigenous Beliefs. At Thin Rock Mesa in west central Big Mountain, the late Roberta Blackgoat's home site still sits with the life and all the glory of the belief systems associated to the Sacred Mountain Soil Bundle of the Dineh. This is true sovereignty. That is why the U.S. Justice systems is coercing the Hopi tribal rangers to be the point in this aggression to eliminate the continuous, flickering flame of aboriginal sovereignty....
SENAA West Report
Big Mountain Spring Survival Gathering 2004
by Sara Hayes, Director, SENAA West
   Big Mountain Spring Survival Gathering 2004, held to honor the memory of Grandmother Roberta Blackgoat, brought together supporters of Diné People still residing on the HPL who continue to resist relocation. As a result of this gathering a sense of renewal of this support emerged; it also allowed all who attended to interact with one another, thus building the support network, as well as giving them the opportunity to interact with some of the residents and family members who also attended. The numbers of those present varied as there were comings and goings all the days of this gathering....
NEWS FROM BLACK MESA: MARCH 2004 - by Bahe Y. Katenay - 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 matter were spotted by the Range Technicians and eventually got impounded....
Farmington Hosts Navajo Rights Movement - Brenda Norrell, Independent journalist - 18 JAN 2004
   FARMINGTON, N.M. – Lyrics flowed like water, beneath the Turquoise Sky, as the once-most racist town in America opened its arms to the Navajo rights movement, ushered in with the electro-beat of Irene Bedard and folk-rogue Keith Secola.
   Center stage at the Farmington Civic Center, Navajo Vincent Craig sang of the “yellow sand” which took the lives of Dine’ grandfathers, uncles and brothers; sheepherders and miners never told of the dangers of uranium mining during the Cold War....
"C" Aquifer Memo Gains Panel's OK - Gallup Independent - 12 January 2004
   WINDOW ROCK — The most important of eight bills which Speaker Lawrence Morgan will sponsor later this month concerns water use aimed at preventing a $35 million hit to the tribal treasury.
   With 11 of 12 members present, the Inter-government Relations Committee, which Morgan chairs, blessed the memo of understanding contract sponsored by Stanley Pollack, water rights attorney in the tribal justice division.
   But Morgan had to break a 5-5 tie...
A Symbol of Duty and Love - The Navajo Times - 09 JAN 2004
   TUBA CITY - She became a symbol and hero to thousands of people around the world. People who remember her recall a smile and a contagious laugh.
   And to many more the story of the late Spc. Lori Piestewa remains one of hope, courage and ultimately inspiration....
Groups feel left out in water accord process - Part 2 - Gallup Independent - 08 JAN 2004
   FORT DEFIANCE — Though they might not agree on every point, the Navajo grassroots and non-Navajo groups have found common ground when it comes to a proposed settlement agreement regarding use of the waters in the San Juan River Basin. What they have in common, they say, is that neither voice is being heard.
   At Monday evening's public meeting in Shiprock, several persons expressed their displeasure at being left out of the process. Among those were Norman Patrick Brown, a leader of the Navajo grassroots group Diné Bidziil, and Steve Cone, a non-Navajo and board member of Citizens Progressive Alliance and "electors Concerned about Animas Water" (CAW). Though Cone did not address the audience, he did get his point across to a long list of recipients, including state and Navajo officials, via e-mail prior to the meeting....
Dineh Doubt Fairness of San Juan River Water Rights Accord - Part 1
Gallup Independent
- 07 JAN 2004
   SHIPROCK — Is the proposed water rights settlement for the use of waters in the San Juan River Basin the best deal for the Navajo people? That's what folks who attended Monday night's public meeting in Shiprock wanted to know.
   And despite the eleventh-hour whirlwind courtship of the people by officials in the Office of the New Mexico State Engineer and the Navajo Nation Water Rights Commission, not everyone was convinced the people's best interests were at the heart of the deal, including Shiprock Chapter President Duane "Chili" Yazzie....
Criticism of Navajo Water Rights Agreement Mounts - The Daily Times - 17 DEC 2003
   FARMINGTON — Critics accused the New Mexico state water engineer and the Navajo Nation Monday of “railroading” a proposed Navajo water rights settlement. The entities hoped to have the agreement for the San Juan Basin to Congress by March 2004 — without enough time for water basin users to adequately review it.
   The state, which released the agreement Dec. 5, has stipulated a Jan. 15 deadline for public comment....
Stroke of Diversity - Arizona Daily Sun - 17 DEC 2003
   If a picture is worth a thousand words, about 20 students at Coconino High School -- many of whom are learning English -- painted a novel.
   The students painted a mural with images representing their cultures, northern Arizona, and the United States in the common area of the school's main entrance.
   "It was a really good idea because it represents different cultures, and not just the state of Arizona, but our country," said Jose Vargas, a CHS graduate and student mentor....
Hopis Could Reverse Course, OK Gaming - The Arizona Republic - 17 DEC 2003
   The Hopi Tribe of northern Arizona, facing a major economic hit with the likely 2006 shutdown of the Mohave Generating Station, could reverse years of gambling opposition and try to cover its losses with a casino.
   But that would be up to the Hopi people to decide....
Bill to Light up 18,000 Rez Homes - Gallup Independent - 16 DEC 2003
   FORT DEFIANCE — The $27.3 billion federal energy-water appropriations bill signed the first of December by President George W. Bush includes funds to help bring electricity to more Navajos, while a bill approved last week by the House of Representatives, which has yet to come before the Senate for a vote, contains funding for other projects affecting the Navajo Nation....
New Water Source Found for Peabody - Gallup Independent - 12 DEC 2003
   WINDOW ROCK — A potential water source for Peabody's Black Mesa coal mine and slurry line and the Hopi villages and Navajo chapters in the area was revealed Thursday.
   A group represented by lobbyist Jeff Groscost, former speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives, visited Navajo officials Thursday to offer a potential water source which would allow Peabody Energy to keep its reservation coal mines open as well as solve Southern California Edison's problem with the water-dependent fuel supply for its beleaguered Mohave Generating Station at Laughlin, Nev....
President Bush to Meet With Navajo Leaders? - Gallup Independent - 12 DEC 2003
   WASHINGTON, D.C. — A meeting with President Bush?
   Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley, Jr., Vice President Frank Dayish, Jr., and the executive branch cabinet members gathered with more than 40 U.S. representatives on Monday to begin discussions of the 2006 Federal Budget Process. At the historic meeting, Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.)vowed to arrange a meeting with the Navajo leadership and President George W. Bush....
Statement from the Sovereign Dineh Communities -
Received 22 NOV 2003
"Dineh Gathering Gives Navajo Leader More Than An Ear Full"
Big Mountain, Black Mesa, AZ. The Sovereign Dineh communities of Red Willow and Cactus Valley hosted a meeting, where tribal officials were invited. Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley was able to attend this meeting with "HPL" resisters and residents. Numerous tribal council members were in attendance, as well as independent attorneys for Dineh resistors. A good number of traditional elders from local and regional areas were present, and this showed an adequate representation of remaining resistors from throughout the 900,000 acres partitioned by the U.S. government back in 1977....
SENAA Special Report
Matt Davison: Veteran and Veterans' Advocate
SENAA Special Report
A Voice in the Wilderness for Indigenous Americans






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