LB - Terry Marxen Chevrolet-Cadillac

Home | Classifieds | Place an Ad | Public Notices | Galleries | Milestones | Contact Us | Subscribe | e-newsletter | RSS | GrandCanyonTourGuide.com
Navajo-Hopi Observer | Flagstaff, Arizona

home : features : features August 25, 2016


12/14/2011 11:15:00 AM
Indigenous elders and supporters occupy America Legislative Summit at Salt River Project's headquarters
Submitted photo
A lot of people showed up at the Salt River Project headquarters last week to voice their concerns about the effect the project may have on the surrounding area.
Submitted photo
A lot of people showed up at the Salt River Project headquarters last week to voice their concerns about the effect the project may have on the surrounding area.
Navajo-Hopi Observer


TEMPE, Ariz. - Indigenous Dine' (Navajo) and O'odham elders and supporters took direct action by occupying Salt River Project (SRP) headquarters last week. This action occurred while the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) holds their "States and Nation Policy Summit" in Scottsdale, Ariz. SRP is on ALEC's corporate board.

Louise Benally, a resident of Black Mesa impacted by SRP's operations, delivered a letter to SRP that outlines critical concerns of her community. She said, "My community is heavily impacted by Salt River Project's coal and water extraction activities. SRP has extensive ties to Peabody Energy's massive mining operations and the Navajo Generating Station, which they co-own. Coal mining has destroyed thousands of archeological sites and our only water source has been seriously compromised. Their operations are causing widespread respiratory problems, lung diseases, and other health impacts on humans, the environment, and all living things."

"...We demand that SRP and Peabody meaningfully involve the indigenous communities they are impacting, and that they convert to non-fossil fuel based energy sources and address the health impacts on our communities.

"...ALEC, acting in the corporate interests of SRP and Peabody Energy, continues policies and operations that are not only devastating whole communities and ecosystems, but greatly de-stabilizing our planet's climate for the profit of a few, the so-called 1 percent," stated Benally.

Ofelia Rivas, an elder and activist of the O'odham, Indigenous Peoples on the border of Arizona and Mexico, said, "As indigenous people we understand that the balance of the land is actually the balance of our people and any disturbance of that is very devastating not only to our spiritual health but our overall physical health, as well as all living things. As indigenous people we are not separated from our environment. We're deeply connected to everything in the universe: the land, the mountains, water, air, and all plant and animal life.

"...The proposed loop 202 freeway extension that threatens South Mountain and the continuing construction of the US and Mexico border and its militarization. Trade policies such as NAFTA and CANAMEX alter our way of life and threatens our Him'dag. We will no longer accept the violence the state attempts to enforce on us along their border. Especially the aggressive legislation of ALEC. We demand you recognize the declaration of universal indigenous rights as well as the rights of our mother earth. Enough is enough, it ends now."

The massive canals constructed before colonial invasion of O'odham lands are now being utilized by Salt River Project. O'odham culture is deeply rooted throughout this area, which is as far north as the Phoenix Valley, as far west as the coast of Mexico in what is now Rocky Point, east as the San Pedro river and as far south as Hermosillo and the Sierra Madres Mountains.

Ray Aguilar stated that "the air conditioning and power we enjoy and water we drink comes at the suffering caused by SRP and Peabody's exploitation of the land and people. When will we realize that our privileges our based on this? We must take further action. I just spent one week doing direct, on-land support with Black Mesa residents assisting with basic essential human needs. That's why I'm here today. This critical situation would not exist if not for these greedy corporations."

Peabody Energy, also an ALEC member, is the world's largest private-sector coal company. With 2010 sales of 246 million tons and nearly $7 billion in revenues, Peabody creates 10 percent of U.S. power and 2 percent of worldwide electricity.

Since 1974 more than 14,000 Dine' families have been forcibly removed from their ancestral homelands.





Related Stories:
• Hopi Council holds special session on Peabody lease re-opener approval


    Recently Commented     Most Viewed
Mapmaker continues quest to document indigenous cultures
New documentary focuses on Native American veterans on Navajo Nation
Letter to the editor: Where do children learn to speak fluent Navajo?
Delegate Edmund Yazzie continues work for Thoreau, N.M. clinic
Pirates of the Navajo Nation under attack




Article Comment Submission Form
Comments are not posted immediately. Submissions must adhere to our Use of Service Terms of Use agreement. The email and phone info you provide will not be visible to the public. Rambling or nonsensical comments may not be posted. Comments are limited to 1300 characters or less. In order for us to reasonably manage this feature we may limit your comment entries to five(5) per day.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   


Advanced Search

HSE - We want to hear from you
Find more about Weather in Flagstaff, AZ
Click for weather forecast





Submission links
 •  Submit site feedback or questions

Find It Opinions Features Submit Extras Other Publications
Home | Classifieds | Place an Ad | Public Notices | Galleries | Milestones | Contact Us | Subscribe | e-newsletter | RSS | Site Map
LB - Northland Motorsports

© Copyright 2016 Western News&Info, Inc.® The Navajo-Hopi Observer is the information source for the Navajo and Hopi Nations and Winslow area communities in Northern Arizona. Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Western News&Info, Inc.® Navajo-Hopi Observer Online is a service of WNI. By using the Site, nhonews.com ®, you agree to abide and be bound by the site's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, which prohibit commercial use of any information on the site. Click here to submit your questions, comments or suggestions. Navajo-Hopi Observer Online is a proud publication of Western News&Info Inc.® All Rights Reserved.

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved