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alt.native response to human rts. post
In reply to my posting to alt.native newsgroup of my 4-page announcement
concerning the Dineh situation, the following thread developed.
Greywolf Hunting wrote:
> I am aware of the situation of which you write.
> It first came to my attention when Diane Darling, the co-
> editor of _Green Egg_ magazine began complaining
> about it in her column.
> Curious, I contacted the Hopi and exchanged
> correspondence with their tribe's Cultural Exchange
> The results of my investigations were photocopied and
> sent to _Green Egg_.
> The situation at Big Mountain is routinely misrepresented.
> As pointed out by the Hopi I had contact with, the Sun Dance
> is a _Plains Indian_ ceremony that has no relation with the
> ceremonial procedures practiced by any of the tribes local
> to the area (Hopi, Dineh, etc.). Big Mountain is a part of a
> disputed area that has been contested at length in the courts
> by both the Hopi and the Dineh. Both sides are tired of the
> lengthy and expensive legal battles and have agreed to a
> settlement which requires the relocation of those who are
> residing on Big Mountain.
> A national news magazine (_Insight on the News_) carried an
> article on this situation about two or three years ago.
> I would encourage you to contact the Hopi or Dineh (Navaho) Tribal
> Officers at the respective reservations if you have any serious
> questions about the events surrounding the disputed area. I am
> confident that you will be able to find someone in their respective
> tribal governments or cultural attaches' who can and will provide
> you with the "straight skinny" on this.
> Greywolf Hunting
The problem here, I guess, is that we have different viewpoints. The
viewpoint you express is the one carried by the establishment media,
court documents, and Navajo and Hopi "indian" governments. I put indian
in quotes because to be it seems vary doubtful, by their actions, that
they care for our earth mother. I have spoken with Dineh friends who
live in the "disputed" area and are resistors to the relocation. My
friend from the next town has lived with them and helped with their
sheep herding for many months. From my viewpoint, I see a big sell-out
by the tribal governments. I see tribal governments that don't want to
listen to their people, and want to sweep the grandmothers out of the
way. With people suffering from the effects of radiation, I see not a
care about moving more women and children onto radioactive land. With
all that coal being mined down there, there sure isn't much money
filtering down to the common folk who live(ed) off the land.
email@example.com (William McLaughlin)
alt.native, alt.news-media, alt.pagan
Re: Human Rights Violations
Wed, 26 Feb 97 21:22:50 GMT
All USENET -- http://www.SuperNews.com
News Xpress 2.0
news.dsource.com alt.native:27007 alt.news-media:44291
In article <01bc23be$782e7440$19dac2d0@positron>, "Greywolf Hunting"
>I am aware of the situation of which you write.
>It first came to my attention when Diane Darling, the co-
>editor of _Green Egg_ magazine began complaining
>about it in her column.
>Curious, I contacted the Hopi and exchanged
>correspondence with their tribe's Cultural Exchange
>The results of my investigations were photocopied and
>sent to _Green Egg_.
Your mistake--if I may presume--is in assuming that
Hopi or Dine "governments" genuinely represent the best interests of
For the record, let's look at the history of the
of these two Nations:
In 1920, denied permission by the traditional Dine
elders to exploit the mineral riches of Dine land, a group of powerful
companies lobbied the U.S. government. Not surprisingly, the government
obliged in 1923 and replaced the council of elders with a "Grand
its own choosing.
Also not surprisingly, the "Grand Council" promptly gave
permission to the mining companies to begin operations (sigh).
This scheme worked so well that it was later copied in
Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 (IRA), which imposed similarly
governments upon most other First Nations.
This includes, Alas! the Hopis. When the
the Hopi government was put to a vote, over 90% of those eligible to
abstained--boycott being their traditional method of expressing
Then-Indian Commissioner John Collier overcame this
deeming each abstention an "aye" vote! The result? A landslide "in
"reorganization." See what you can accomplish when you have the biggest
and aren't hampered by nagging concerns of morality, honesty and
No. If you want the =real= skinny on the situation,
some of the web sites mentioned in the article (reprinted below from Mr.
Dorman's fine article for the benefit of those who missed it).
Believing that the IRA governments of the Hopi and Dine
represent the interests of their citizens is like believing a Vichy
bureaucrat's opinion of French Jews. The opinion of someone who has an
to grind" carries little merit.
P.S. Copy sent via email.
thomas kavanagh <firstname.lastname@example.org>
alt.native, alt.news-media, alt.pagan
Re: Human Rights Violations
Wed, 26 Feb 1997 17:04:04 -0500
William McLaughlin wrote:
> Your mistake--if I may presume--is in assuming that either the
> Hopi or Dine "governments" genuinely represent the best interests of their
> For the record, let's look at the history of the "governments"
> of these two Nations:
<historical stuff snipped>
And your "mistake" is in assuming that the political situation at both
Navajo and Hopi was fixed at some point in the historical past, whether
it be in the "traditional" past, or ca 1920 with the alleged fixing of
the IRA constitutional elections, such that no change since then is
I cannot speak for Navajo. My knowledge of Hopi is now 15 years old -- I
was at Hopi 1980-81 as director of the Tri-centennial/Hopi Cultural
Center Museum (a private, non-Kykotsmovi governmental agency) --
although I have tried to keep up with developments. My landlord was
Oswald (White Bear) Fredericks [The Book of the Hopi]. My board of
directors included Wuwuchim priests of Shongopavi, Kachina priests of
Shongopavi and Hotevilla, the Lalkont priest of Shipaulovi, and the
Crier Chief of Kykotsmovi. The superintendent of the BIA agency at Keams
Canyon actively participated in Kiva activities, and often personated
The situation at Hopi (particular Third Mesa, but also in part in the
other villages) is much more complex than a simple dichotomy between
good "Traditionalists" and evil "Progressives" (the latter firmly in the
grip of Mormon lawyers and coal industrialists). Rather there are both
internal and external politics. There are political rivalries between
clans which antedate the arrival of Europeans.
More importantly, many of these political disputes are now played out in
an arena in which *we* are the primary audience, and they are played
using symbols meant to impress *us* rather than necessarily reflecting
native meanings. For instance, consider the word "traditional" and how
it is used by the various parties. Notice that often very little effort
is given to expanding upon it with historical or cultural references.
Rather it is used as a free-standing argument. [In contrast, the recent
posting from some of the religious 'mongwi' (loosely translated as
'chief') of Hotevilla re unauthorized visitors. They clearly stated
their positions within a 'traditional' system [although the validity of
*that* system is itself historically questionable (see "Deliberate Acts"
by Peter Whiteley)].
Politics makes strange bedfellows.
Curator of Collections
W.H. Mathers Museum
Comanche Political History: An Historical Perspective, 1706-1875
U Nebraska Press.
Re: Human Rights Violations
> In article <email@example.com>,
> firstname.lastname@example.org (William McLaughlin) wrote:
> > Greywolf:
> > Your mistake--if I may presume--is in assuming that either the
> > Hopi or Dine "governments" genuinely represent the best interests of their
> > people.
> You're presuming a bit much here. Personally, I never presume that my own
> government is looking out for my best interests...much less anyone else's.
> There was, about the time of my interest, a widely circulated rumor going
> through Oklahoma, and being picked up/circulated by some pagan
> publications. The gist of which was that a whole bunch of NA in general
> and the Dineh at Big Mountain in particular, were being mistreated by an
> "evil mining company" and in the process of being "run off" their sacred
> Diane D. was publishing an address for relief supplies to be sent to...and
> repeatedly requesting aid be sent there.
> Not sure how to go about investigating all this...I sent a letter to the
> Chief's Office at Kykotsmotve (sic?) on the reservation requesting that
> it be forwarded to a Public Information Office (if it existed).
> I was shocked to receive a LARGE packet of information about the entire
> history of the Disputed Area from the Chief's secretary, with a cover
> letter stating that while that office didn't normally handle information
> requests and any/all future requests of that nature should go to the
> Cultural Exchange Offices, she was taking the time to provide me with the
> information I'd requested because this wasn't the first time they were
> having trouble with people being deceived by this rumor and that within
> the last year or so there were even two or more _semitrailer trucks_ full
> of everything from sheep's' wool to food and clothing going up to Big
****[you may note the comments interspersed are my responses-BobD.]
They were not deceived by a rumor. These trucks were bringing aid to
Dineh. What's wrong with that? No-one's money or goods was being
or you wouldn't have had those trucks.
> It was further elaborated that the majority of those folks, while NA,
> were not of Hopi, Dineh, or Zuni bloodlines, and it was explained to me
> that the Sun Dance, used by those on Big Mountain as a key or "pivotal"
> ceremony in their belief system...was a _Plains Indian_ ceremony that was
> never and is not used by those on the Mesas.
You are correct about the sundance not being "their" ceremony. Lakotas
came (and still come) to the Big Mt. area to do the sundance as a show
of solidarity with the Dineh.
> Nor was Big Mountain
> considered a particularly or singularly sacred location to anyone except
> to those living there.
If you think about what you just said, ... does that make it NOT sacred?
Because Joe Blow in New Jersey doesn't have any special reverence for Big
I suppose that makes it just another hill! Who else but those living
for generations; doing ceremony there for generations; burying their
parents' bones there for generations, would KNOW that place to be
> In summary, the people on Big Mountain were portrayed (sic?) as a bunch of
> "squatters" with an eclectic religious system of very recent manufacture.
Yes, portrayed by the tribal governments that want them kicked out so
they can get the remaining royalties from Peabody Coal to line their pockets.
> Two or three years later, _Insight on the News Magazine_ (a subsidiary of
> the TIME conglomerate) ran an article on the Big Mountain situation...and
> it was essentially the same facts as that I had received from my
> inquiries of the Hopi ...but with the update that the two tribes had
> grown weary of the protracted legal battles and had agreed to a
> settlement...which involved the relocation of the people on Big Mountain
> (who had been "fussing" with both sides for decades).
> The address for the editor's offices is:
> Editorial Offices
> Insight on the News Magazine
> 3600 New York Ave. N.E.
> Washington, D.C. 20002
> Telephone: (202) 636-8800 Internet: email@example.com
> They used to have a Research Editor, but I don't see that title on the
> current issue's lists of staff.
> Greywolf Hunting
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