Black Mesa/Big Mountain, Arizona

“On December 1974 Congress passed Public Law 93-531 ‘The Navajo-Hopi Land Settlement Act’. It authorized the partitioning of the Joint Use Area (JUA) and established the Navajo-Hopi Indian Relocation Commission (NHIRC) which moved Navajo people from the reservation lands. Countless of the most traditionally and culturally intact Dineh (Navajo) people were forced to re-locate to cities like Shiprock and Tuba City.
“This 1985 documentary traces the history of both tribes and the events that led to this devastating land grab by Peabody Coal and Bechtel Corporations, assisted by our own government(major players included Barry Goldwater,Morris Udall,John McCain, and President Ford). The goal: access to coal and uranium resources.”
People are still resisting relocation to this day.  I was recently able to spend a week on Black Mesa mostly herding sheep and goats, but I was also able to help with some shearing of the sheep.  Black Mesa Indigenous Support is the organization who I first found out about this through.  I think they are an excellent group, and their Cultural Sensitivity & Preparedness Guidebook is a model for principled coalition work between communities of color and/or people of color and whites.


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