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4/24/2012 Glenna Begay, Speaker: Land & Resources to Mr. James Anaya, Special Rapporteur, OHCHR for OFFICIAL RECORD

4/24/2012 Glenna Begay, Speaker: Land & Resources to Mr. James Anaya, Special Rapporteur, OHCHR for OFFICIAL RECORD

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Published by Marsha Monestersky
Glenna Begay presents at United Nations meeting with Mr. James Anaya, Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples at The University of Arizona Rogers College of Law, Tucson, Arizona 4/17/2012
Glenna Begay presents at United Nations meeting with Mr. James Anaya, Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples at The University of Arizona Rogers College of Law, Tucson, Arizona 4/17/2012

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Published by: Marsha Monestersky on Apr 30, 2012
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Glenna Begay, Forgotten People Land & Resources Consultation with The Honorable Mr. James Anaya,United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 4/24/2012
Glenna Begay, Member Forgotten People
P.O. Box 893Kayenta (Navajo Nation), AZ 86033www.forgottennavajopeople.orginfo@forgottennavajopeople.org (928) 675-8483
Consultation with The Honorable Mr. James Anaya, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rightsof Indigenous Peoples, Tucson, AZ, April 26-27, 2012Topic: Land and Resources.Ya’ah’teeh Honorable Special Rapporteur James Anaya. I am a traditional Diné (Navajo) elder bornin Black Mesa on the Navajo Nation. Glenna says, I do not speak read or write English and live asubsistence lifestyle herding sheep. My family has been living here for 8 or 9 generations since before the creation of the Navajo Nation and the Hopi Tribe and the Long Walk to Fort Sumner.I wish to address failures of the United States
 
to remediate conditions in the Hopi Partition Land andthe former Bennett Freeze – given the focus in the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peopleson remedies for violations of human rights. Our community’s land and water rights are essential toour physical, cultural and spiritual survival as a distinct people.My people are suffering many effects from Peabody Coal Company’s mining operations in Black Mesa. Diné religion forbids strip mining which violates basic teachings in which the Earth is a livingentity that is being harmed. When we wake up in the morning the horizon is thick with dust fromovernight operation of drag lines that remove the top layers of earth to expose the coal. Blasting isfrequent and frightening. Surface water sources have been poisoned or destroyed. Sites that were thesole source of sacred and medicinal plants have been destroyed by the mine.I live 5 miles from Peabody’s Black Mesa mine complex. I do not have electricity and running water,my roads are not graded. Until recently, I suspected I was among the families that will be relocated if Peabody’s Kayenta mine permit is renewed but I have never been told and I have not beeninterviewed. Relocation and the threat of relocation have a huge impact on me and my family.Relocation threatens my life and culture.
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Glenna Begay, Forgotten People Land & Resources Consultation with The Honorable Mr. James Anaya,United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 4/24/2012
I cannot even describe how huge an impact relocation has on my life as a resister against forcedrelocation by the US government. There is no place to move that we can continue our traditional wayof life. My family has been here for many generations. My grandparents are buried around the area.I was born here and my roots are here where I live and make my offerings, prayers and conductceremonials. If we move elsewhere there are people living there and a lot of harassment. Relocationfor me, on HPL means moving to Sanders. I am not moving there. Most of the people that relocatedthere died, became alcoholics or just moved away, abandoning their homes.In 1997, I hosted a historic meeting with the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. Black Mesa was the focus of the investigation. At this meeting, Thayer Scudder, California Institute of Technology anthropologist who has testified before Congress and is recognized by leadinginternational anthropological organizations said, “Forced relocation in our case is among the worstcases of involuntary community resettlement he has ever seen in the world.” He also said, “Becauseof the destructive impact of involuntary relocation on people who have strong religious and culturalties to the land, this is a case of ethnic cleansing.” Upon resignation, Federal RelocationCommissioners called relocation Genocide, comparing what happened to us to what Hitler did to theJewish people.Peabody has no respect for the dead. Peabody has destroyed thousands of ancient Anasazi cliff houses, burial and sacred sites, Diné cemeteries, sacred sites that continues to this day. They dug upAnasazi burials in my customary use area. I saw it with David Brugge, a famous anthropologist.Many of the Anasazi burials sites were not even covered up after removal of the remains. Their locations were marked by archeologists’ stakes in violation of our religion. Mounds of dirt remainadjacent to the graves sifted for ceremonial objects that were taken to unknown locations.A Kiva containing 28 Anasazi burials was destroyed and is now under tons of dirt. Many humanremains were taken from the site and others were left scattered on the surface of the ground. Wedon’t even know what happens to the remains they removed. Next to the bulldozed area is a sitewhere we make offerings, have held many ceremonies, including fire dances.Residents in the mining area have been jailed or threatened with jail for trying to protect their burialand sacred sites. Other residents have watched the unearthing of graves, given only the choicewhether to watch or not to watch. Roy and Alice Tso eldest son’s remains were taken to someunknown location. They wanted to know where their son’s remains were taken to. Roy Tso was adedicated employee that retired from Peabody Coal Company. He died of Silicosis. His last wishwas to protect his burial and sacred sites from Peabody destruction, including a site where you canhear thunder through the hill. This is a sacred shrine used by many of my people that was destroyed.
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Glenna Begay, Forgotten People Land & Resources Consultation with The Honorable Mr. James Anaya,United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 4/24/2012
The US government Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) confiscates our livestock to conduct rangemanagement. Several times they confiscated my sheep, goats and they burned off my horses fleshwith a hot poker while they were in the BIA impoundment yard. The BIA installed the windmill near me before Peabody then they dismantled it. Recently the BIA issued a press release to tell us they dismantled our well to protect public health because the water is contaminated with uranium and arsenic. We are denied our major water source.We were never told when or how it got contaminated and we are refused access to the data. We don’tknow if it was dismantled because of contamination or harassment.Our corn does not grow like it used to because there is no water beneath the ground. We do not getany rain or snow. When it snows, it is not wet and there is no moisture in it. The snow just blowsaround like sand. The communication between mother earth and father sky has been disrupted. Dueto excessive pumping of our groundwater by Peabody to slurry coal, a Turkey rock at MonumentValley is crumbling, a portion of mountain on the south side of Kayenta shattered and fell, we havesinkholes in Red Lake and Black Mesa, massive rock subsidence in the canyon in Black Mesa and atother locations.It is harder now. I feel like we are still on the Long Walk. My people are having a hard time withuranium exposure and uranium workers are dying. Now, coal miners are all dying off. Almost all theretirees are getting diagnosed with Black Lung and Silicosis. I am opposed to mining, relocation andPeabody’s destruction of our Sacred land, female Black Mesa.To protect endangered sacred, historic and cultural sites in and adjacent to Peabody’s mining area myfamily created an interactive GIS map using ARC software entitled ‘Nihikeyah/Our Land’ atwww.saveblackmesa.orgOur land is significant due to the particular sacred sites each family isconnected to. Every square inch of our land is sacred. That is why relocation has such a huge impact.Why we cannot relocate. Why we cannot allow it to be desecrated.This map shows a small portion of our communities to support a petition to UNESCO to have BigMountain, Black Mesa declared a World Heritage site and the Grandmother Matriarchs declaredLiving Human Treasures.I pray for your intervention, protection and support of the UN Commission of Human Rights for our  petition to UNESCO.
Recommendations:
President Obama should fulfill his pledge made on December 16, 2010 and sign a bindingdeclaration to show his commitment to indigenous people.
UN Commission on Human Rights support of our Petition to UNESCO to have Black Mesadeclared a UNESCO World Heritage site and the Matriarchs declaredquintessential
 
LivingHuman Treasures.
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