I blogged before on the Dineh (Navajo) fight to stay on their ancestral lands…they unfortunately got in the way of Big Energy and the politicians they bought off. Every time the Native Americans were forced off their land, oil and minerals seem to follow.
One has to wonder at the San Juan river spill— whether it happened out of negligence or on purpose — because the Dineh have been tough old birds and would rather live in shacks on their ancestral land than to move to more modern housing with electricity, taxes, utility bills, water bills, etc.
…because to the Native Americans, the modern house is a prison by any other name. Their shacks and pueblos are simple structures that do not have all the extras that cost extra money to support — they live simple lives so they do not have to sell their souls and pollute the earth in order to live. Which is only a short term proposition, anyway, because once you pollute all the land, all the water, and cannot breathe clean air, you’re dead anyway.
So now they have their source of all life — water — poisoned with lead, mercury, and who knows what other toxins….due to mining.
Below is a very good documentary of the Dineh and Hopi struggles throughout the 70s. It is outrageous how they were forced off their ancestral land by crooked politicians and ones of their own tribe. I mean, Udall was so cavalier about it — like one piece of land was no different than another. Udall doesn’t get that they feel the land is a living breathing organism. They live there all their lives and know the seasons, know the plants — which ones grow well there; and which ones are good for medicinal purposes; and which ones to stay away from (poison).
And as they say, their ancestors are buried there.
It was the old divide-and-conquer routine where they tried to pit the Hopi and Dineh against one another. Only they didn’t count on the interconnectedness of the tribes. The traditional Hopi and traditional Dine would not engage in hostilities.
**edited to add: One of the fighters for the Dine has passed. Ida Mae Clinton.