[HPN] Fw: Please Help the Dine'h, send a letter to Gore

Housing 2000 icanamerica@email.msn.com
Tue, 4 Apr 2000 09:46:29 -0500

----- Original Message -----
From: "Thomas Taaffe" <redorman@theofficenet.com>
Sent: Monday, April 03, 2000 12:09 PM
Subject: [BIGMTLIST] Please Help the Dine'h, send a letter to Gore

Dear Friends,

As most of you know we are conducting a letter writing campaign in support
of the Dine'h (Navaho) Elders who are resisting forced relocation on Black
Mesa.  This week we are targeting VP Gore, since he has the (effective)
Democratic party's nomination for president. He also has investments in
Occidental, who are drilling on U'wa land against their wishes. Please let
him know that this is unacceptable!

Use the letter we have provided below or write one of your own.  His e-mail
address is also below.  Please cc a copy of your letter to
bambam@anthro.umass.edu so that we can track our success.  If you can,
please forward this letter to friends, family and relevant listserves.

If you do not wish to recieve these not-more-than-weekly letters, please
indicate so in a note to this address.  Thank you for supporting the Dine'h!

Thomas Taaffe
Listserve Manager
The Friends of Big Mountain

Vice President Gore's E-mail: vice.president@whitehouse.gov

Vice President Gore
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC  20500

April 2, 2000

Dear Mr. Vice President,

I am writing to you to express my deep concern for the fate of the Dine’h
(Navajo) Elders and other Dine’h who are resisting forced relocation from
their ancestral lands in Black Mesa, Arizona, a concern shared by thousands
around the world, and even most recently by the European Parliament.  Please
urge President Clinton to issue an Executive Order forbidding any
forced evictions of Dine’h resistors from the Hopi Partitioned Lands (HPL).

On February 1, 2000, land title for the lands in question passed into the
hands of the Hopi Tribal Council; as did the responsibility for the
relocation of the Dine’h resistors.  The Hopi Tribal Council is an entity of
questionable origin whose existence has served to be that of a signer of
strip-mining leases for Peabody Coal Company.  These are leases that
continue to be vigorously
opposed by the traditional people of both the Hopi and Dine’h Nations, and
always have been. Both the traditional Hopi, and traditional Dine’h have
said for decades that their respective Tribal Councils do not represent them
at all.

The so-called “Hopi-Navajo Land Dispute” was nothing but a fiction devised
by a PR firm and John Boyden, a lawyer for the Peabody Coal Company and the
Hopi Tribal Council, and was subsequently used to pressure Congress and
various courts to transfer land title to the Hopi Tribal Council.

The Hopi Tribal Council has a history of using it’s Tribal Police (with the
full cooperation and direction of Bureau of Indian Affairs officials) to
harass, intimidate, and physically harm the Dine’h and their livestock as a
method to drive these people off their ancestral lands.  The subsistence
lifestyle of these people has already been made difficult enough by
excessive livestock impoundments and the “Bennett Freeze”, (PL 93-531) which
will not allow the Dine’h to repair their homes or outhouses in any way, nor
allow them to gather firewood to heat their homes in the freezing winters,
nor even gather medicinal herbs and plants.  The Dine’h are being denied not
only their right to live, but their right to practice their religious and
cultural path.

The Accommodation Agreement and land lease “solutions” to these problems are
completely inadequate and irrelevant.  Essentially, the ability of the Dine’
h for self-determination will be at the whim of the Hopi Tribal Council and
BIA officials, not only insofar as how they live on their land, but also how
they practice their religion.

The most horrifying aspect of this relocation, is the fact that the lands
that the Dine’h are being relocated to are completely poisoned with
radiation from the worst nuclear disaster this country has ever experienced.
People who have already been relocated to these “New Lands” have begun
showing high cancer and birth defect rates.  Yes, even the children are

Is this relocation process a new form of legalized genocide, which is
being supported by the U.S. government, and funded by the American
taxpayers?  To date this relocation effort has cost the American taxpayers
500 million dollars.  I must ask you, do you support this kind of treatment
of indigenous peoples in this country, this legalized genocide?  I am sure
that the citizens of this country would be outraged to know what kind of
projects their tax dollars really go into supporting, as am I. Mr. Vice
President, you are in a unique position to end this suffering, and the
suffering of indigenous people around the world at the hands of corporate
greed, for several reasons.

First of all, as the Vice President you are a person with great
responsibility and influence.

Secondly, as a publicly stated defender of the environment, (and author of a
book during your time as a Senator on these issues, Earth in the Balance)
you have for many years expressed your disapproval of both the degradation
of  the environment, and the treatment  of indigenous peoples by First World

Thirdly, since your family is heavily invested in Occidental Petroleum, you
must be aware of the opposition of the U’wa indigenous people of Columbia to
the proposed oil drilling on their sacred lands, and the similarities of
their case to the Dine’h case.

Given your publicly stated opinions about both environmental and indigenous
issues, I am sure you are as deeply concerned as I that the Dine’h and U’wa
peoples, their religions, cultures, languages, arts, wisdom, and their lands
are kept from harm.  The people of the Earth have volumes to learn from the
wisdom of its guardians, the indigenous people, because any destruction of
the Earth or its inhabitants will affect us all.

Mr. Vice President, you are currently pursuing election as this
country’s President, and soon your responsibility to it’s public will
increase exponentially.  I urge you  to begin to heal the wounds caused by
centuries of misguided government policy and relations withits indigenous
people.  I urge you to adhere to your responsibility as a leader of this
country, and your responsibility to safeguard the well-being of it’s
peoples.  I urge you to take immediate action to stop the relocation of the
Dine’h, and end oppression of indigenous peoples everywhere.

 When others are oppressed, no one is truly free.

I wish to thank you in advance for your immediate attention to this matter,
and look forward to hearing your reply.


H. C. Covington, Executive Director
I CAN! America,  LLC
Management & Resource Consultants
Homeless & Housing Resource Center
1.800.678.5774   Fax 1.505.209.2619