9th May 2012.

The Submission to Mr. James Anaya, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples FOR THE OFFICIAL RECORD Topic: US Government Siege on the Dineh/Navajo People. Attention Mr. James Anaya for the OFFICIAL RECORD PLEASE READ THIS. EMERGENCY INTERVENTION AND INVESTIGATION NEEDED BY YOU. Ya’ah’teeh! Honorable Special Rapporteur James Anaya. My name is Sara Saunders I am a British citizen living in the UK where I run a Native American Jewellery/Artefact store with my partner. I am also a healer and have had the honour of attending and giving ceremonies. We visit the U.S a couple of times a year on buying trips and have spent time with different tribes across the U.S and Canada. I have seen beauty and devastation etched in many indigenous people’s faces, throughout many nations, but it wasn’t until I visited with the Dineh, January/February this year that I witnessed firsthand the daily suffering endured by the people living in the Black Mesa region. My first introduction to this was at the house of Pauline Whitesinger’s in Big Mountain where her family have lived for 10 generations. I went there with her daughter; we picked up some meat and water from the supermarket on the way. When we arrived I was appalled to see a grandmother sitting in what is essentially a shack, without any access or means to get water that isn’t contaminated. Pauline was very distressed that day, her cows had been confiscated by the Hopi BIA, this happened the day before while she had been attending a friend’s funeral, she had received no notification of the impending impoundment. I managed to raise some funds and friends supported Pauline in getting the cows released, (funds had to be paid even though it was an illegal impoundment). I went with Pauline and a group of friends to the BIA offices on Hopi to get the cows released. Upon arrival we were interrogated and intimidated by a Hopi ranger who wanted to know every detail as to who we were and why we were there, he stipulated that we had no choice but to comply by law to his interrogation. His treatment towards Pauline was crass, he was constantly spitting around her and refused to listen to or acknowledge that according to federal law as stated in the code of federal regulations, if no 5 day notice is issued and confiscation takes place, then the BIA will return any livestock promptly and no charge will be made. Our day started at 3am, by the time Pauline and another grandmother both in their 90’s had ran around being sent from office to office to comply with yet more procedure/red tape it was around 9pm before she got home to Big Mountain. A few days later both Pauline Whitesinger and Rena Babbit-Lane were told by Hopi rangers that they were not allowed to have visitors or supporters stay with them without getting written permission from the BIA. The Grandmothers say that if they want to do their ceremonies which are an essential part of their ancestral traditions, if they want to get firewood to cook and keep warm or pick certain herbs and foods they have to get written permission from Hopi BIA which many can’t get easily to due to lack

of transportation. Even if they did have transportation the roads are so lethal that journeys can be dangerous and treacherous, especially in bad weather. Livestock are regularly being confiscated, the reason being in many cases that the animals are simply trying to find water to drink, so they are wondering into Hopi partitioned land where the Windmills are. It is an impossible situation for people in every way, every day. Everyone I met had some form of illness; breathing problems are common place often caused by dust from blasts at Peabody Coal mine. One elder who I gave healing was suffering from severe black lung; he had worked in mine at Peabody for years, the impact of which was most alarming to his health and wellbeing. To make matters worse he had been told by his doctor not to see his family as he was contaminated. Whilst in Black Mesa I met with a few Dineh who worked for Peabody Co. They had seen their land destroyed, sacred ceremonial sites bulldozed, ancient ancestral ruins unearthed for the purpose of Peabody trying to find more resources in their quest to make yet more monetary riches, such acts are a complete violation on religious rights and human rights. Families have been broken due to relocation to make way for more extensive strip mining. Water, precious water is being used to slurry coal when the people who have lived in this region for up to 19 generations do not have a drop to drink. Another man of courage and endurance I was privileged to meet was Jerry Lane, he has to drive 50 miles (each way) up and down mountainous roads on Black Mesa about 4 times a day, why?- to get water for his family and sheep from the water station, as there is none available where he and his 92 year old mother and sister live. It’s either contaminated with Uranium and arsenic, or any potentially good water is capped off. He is an extraordinary man and a truly humble gentle being. Jerry’s truck often breaks down, and on average repair work costs $150-$200 a month. The US department of interior, bureau of Indian affairs is using federal money to destroy water sources; they will not release the data informing the public of water contamination. The Dineh are caught in a system with unjust laws bias to feeding western society’s sickness and preoccupation with financial gain, at the expense of peoples basic human rights, these western concepts have contaminated tribal consciousness and have caused division and misery. I urge you to please visit Black Mesa and see for yourself as I have. Urgent investigation is needed. Respectfully Sara Saunders. saratwofeathers@yahoo.co.uk Two feathers 11 Kensington Gardens North Laines Brighton E Sussex UK BN1 4AL. Telephone; 044 1273 692929.