“You have historic enemies like the Lakota Sioux and Crow camping together, eating together and praying together, that’s really significant,”

Navajo and Northern Arizona tribal members cross the Country to Join Pipeline Protests

– Arizona Daily Sun

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“Before Sacred Stone Camp on the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation became a village of tents, campers and teepees, before it became the center of what many are calling a history-making merging of tribal nations, the gathering of people standing against the Dakota Access Pipeline numbered just a handful, said Cody Fetty.

The 21-year-old Flagstaff resident, who is Navajo, first traveled to the camp near the confluence of the Cannonball and Missouri rivers in July. He said at that time the group’s numbers were so small they were afraid they would be invaded or infiltrated, their message silenced by just a few officials.

“My friend had told me with these 12 people we have to start taking action, we have to start planning something, we can’t stand around thinking this is just camp,” Fetty said. “This pipeline is going to be put down but we can do tiny actions, we can do large actions.”

Now, those actions have grown to capture national attention and Fetty, who is a leader of the local group Indigenous Youth 4 Cultural Survival, is part of an expanding stream of representatives and members of northern Arizona tribes that have organized to support ongoing protests against the construction of the 1,172-mile-long, $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline.
Solidarity and unity

Brandon Benallie, who is from Black Mesa, made the 1,300-mile drive to North Dakota with a group of eight people at the end of August, stuffing a 15-passenger van, a truck and flatbed trailer with donations, camping gear and firewood.

A member of Red Nation, A group dedicated to the liberation of native people, Benallie said he and others made the journey to show solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux in their struggle to protect their clean water. The tribe is concerned because the oil pipeline is proposed to cross the Missouri River upstream of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation.

Benallie, who is Navajo and Hopi, said the experience of unity among hundreds of tribes was beautiful.

“You have historic enemies like the Lakota Sioux and Crow camping together, eating together and praying together — that’s really significant,” he said.

While protesters didn’t clash with law enforcement during his time at the camp, Benallie said there appeared to be a more subtle form of deterrence. Law enforcement officials had positioned themselves along the road from Bismarck to the Standing Rock reservation and were screening cars, stopping those headed for the Sacred Stone Camp and rerouting them along a gravel road that made the half-hour drive into a two-hour trip, Benallie said.

But instead of frustration or anger, after a week staying at Sacred Stone, Benallie said he came away with a sense of empowerment.

“This to me is another reinvigoration of that compassionate spirit of native people in defense of the land,” he said.”

…Continue reading @AZDailysun.com

Navajo Nation stands with North Dakota tribe in pipeline protest

– KOB4 Albuquerque

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“SHIPROCK — The Navajo Nation is lending their support for a battle taking place more than a thousand miles away. They are backing the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North Dakota protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline.

They say the oil pipeline endangers water and construction has already destroyed cultural heritage sites.

“We have been outright annihilated, we have been exploited and there needs to be a point that we take a stand and say no more, this may be that time,” said Duane “Chili” Yazzie, the Shiprock chapter president.

North Dakota is a world away from the Navajo Nation, but nonetheless the Navajo Nation is showing their support for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in their fight against DAPL.

“Standing Rock Sioux tribe is 19 hours away from us and that is a long drive,” Yazzie said. “As much as we want to provide more meaningful support, oftentimes we are limited to providing words of support.”

The Shiprock chapter has issued two resolutions in support of the protesters. Both passed unanimously.

One resolution opposes the construction of the pipeline and the other calls for President Barack Obama to intervene in the wake of violent clashes reported over the weekend. The president of the Navajo Nation issued a similar letter in opposition and visited the protestor’s camp to raise a Navajo Nation flag.

“My pride is in the people that go up there, even with limited resources and stay up there to help with what they can,” Yazzie said.

This week, Navajo Nation members are also sending supplies for protestors camped there, reportedly numbering in the thousands.

“We have great concern for the livability of the planet for future generations,” Yazzie said.”

…See more @ KOB.com

 

Escalade Project at Grand Canyon Confluence to go before Navajo Council again

– Navajo-Hopi Observer

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“WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – A proposed 420-acre development along the eastern rim of the Grand Canyon, which would include a gondola tramway delivering visitors to the canyon floor has seen new life in the form of Navajo Nation legislation introduced Aug. 29.

The resolution sponsored by Council Delegate Benjamin Bennett (Fort Defiance, Sawmill), if passed, would approve a master agreement for the Grand Canyon Escalade Project in the Bodaway/Gap, approve a funding application of $65,000,000 by the Navajo Nation to develop off-site infrastructure, authorize the Navajo Nation Hospitality Enterprise to enter into a development and operating agreement, allow for the land withdrawal from the Bodaway/Gap Chapter and approve a non-compete agreement in the project area.

Confluence Partners LLC, from Scottsdale, Arizona, hopes to build a gondola tramway delivering visitors to the canyon floor in about 10 minutes, a river walk in the canyon with an elevated walkway and a food pavilion. The area is located about 100 miles by road from Interstate 40 and Flagstaff, Arizona.

Opponents say a corridor along the road leading to the rim will be impacted and may benefit the people of the Navajo Nation the least. However, those who favor the development argue that the Navajo Nation people in the Bennett Freeze area need economic development – that the people need jobs.

The Navajo Nation would pay for the road to the development, the power lines, the wells and the roads that the developers have promised to people’s houses. The Navajo Nation would be required to build a community for the workers. But, ultimately, the developers, not the Nation, would control a 15-mile radius around the project, which opponents say adds up to about 576,000 acres. The developers would have the final say about all economic development within that acreage, and have control over the roads, power lines and everything else.

Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye has repeatedly said the Escalade project is not in the best interests of the Nation since he and Vice President Jonathan Nez were elected in April 2015.”

….Continue reading @ Navajo-Hopi Observer