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A Question of Motives For Moving the Navajo

May 24, 1986

I am writing to bring to your attention the scheduled removal of thousands of Navajo Indians from lands that have belonged to them for many hundreds of years.

The so-called Big Mountain dispute between the Hopi and the Navajo tribes is believed by many to be a government-sponsored scam,, and not without good reason.

The Hopi and the Navajo, among the two most peaceful tribes of North America, claim themselves that there is no land dispute, and that the U.S. government, through the Bureau of Indian Affairs, has used the so-called land dispute as an excuse to separate the Hopi and the Navajo.

This action, if implemented, will leave the "disputed" land open to strip mining by the Peabody Coal Co. with approval and support from certain agreeable members of the Hopi Tribal Council and the U.S. Congress.

Already, 90% of the Navajo livestock has been destroyed to help facilitate the forced removal. This is nothing less than slick, three-piece suit genocide, and we are barely more than decade away from the 21st century. When will we learn?

There has been much in the news lately regarding a growing consciousness about genocide; much of the this news has focused on the Jewish Holocaust and the Armenian genocide by the Ottoman Turks around the time of the First World War.

The genocide of Native Americans has been glaringly omitted. One reason for this, I gather, is because the Jewish Holocaust and the Armenian genocide happened in other parts of the world; they are distant, from another time, and therefore "safe."

On the other hand, the genocide of Native Americans not only happened here, in the freest country of the world, but is still going on. It forces us to look at our twisted priorities.

Coal and uranium--the tool of the nuclear arms race--have become more important than human dignity.


Culver City

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