Big Mountain, Black Mesa Residents Under Siege Once Again, Livestock Confiscated

Posted: June 9, 2016 by earthfirstdurango in coal, environmental racism, indigenous solidarity, mining, repression, resistance, sacred sites, water
Tags: ,
 Walee Crittendon stands with her family's livestock after the initial theft by armed rangers. (Photo Credit: Censored News)

Walee Crittendon stands with her family’s livestock after the initial theft by armed rangers. (Photo Credit: Censored News)

Click here for coverage from our friends at Censored News

From Emergency on HPL – BIA war against Navajo Grandmothers:

URGENT-PLEASE HELP-PLEASE SHARE-SIEGE IN BIG MOUNTAIN: When John Benally’s cows were confiscated on April 5, 2016, he filed a case before the Interior Board of Indian Appeals (IBIA) to request a Stay (Moratorium) on all livestock confiscations. While this suit was pending, the Hopi Tribe using BIA money funded by US taxpayers invaded John Benally homesite in Big Mountain on what is known as Hopi Partition Land.

Today, 6/7/2016, Hopi police and Hopi Rangers invaded John’s home. They came in police cars, trucks, panel trucks and trailers. They rounded up John’s cows and horses used 4-tracks to round up his livestock while they placed John Benally, his companion Tracy, his niece and nephew under house arrest to keep them from interfering with the impoundment. They also served John’s companion with a Notice of No Trespassing requesting she vacate Hopi lands immediately in spite of the fact she has lived with John in Big Mountain for the past 25 years.

John is appealing to you to make phone calls to the Secretary of the Interior and the Hopi Tribe to protect his rights to his property. John has a lawsuit pending and is supposed to be protected by the Bureau of Indian Affairs if the Hopi Tribe is violating his rights. The BIA has the power to issue John a grazing permit but has refused to.

The Hopi Tribe must respect the Stay John filed which requires as a matter of law stop all livestock confiscations as automatic. The Hopi Tribe must respect the great efforts John has taken in collaboration with the Navajo Nation – Leonard Chee from the Office of the Navajo Nation President and Vice-President and the Navajo Nation Department of Agriculture. These agencies helped John put ear tags on the cows. A Vet has come on several occasions to John’s to give the cows shots. At their advice, John purchased loading chutes for cows so they could more easily load them up.

The Navajo Nation Department of Justice was supposed to be working with John. They helped bring some of his cows to market last week. They were supposed to help John bring some more cows to market tomorrow. Then on Friday, they were supposed to help John transport most of the cows to a Tribal ranch the Navajo Nation and John were talking with.

Instead of helping John, the Navajo Nation Department of Agriculture and Leonard Chee did not answer their phones and when contacted the Department of Agriculture said they were just following orders and were told not to interfere with the livestock impoundment.

John calls these people economic terrorists and is concerned that the Navajo Nation is working in collusion to help the Hopi Tribe sell cows at public auction and keep 100% of the proceeds because cows with ear tags and shots are worth a lot of money.

The BIA must step in and stop the Hopi Tribe’s abuse against John Benally, rescind the trespassing notice against John’s companion, return his cows and horses, and Stop the Genocide in Big Mountain!
Please call:
• Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior (202) 208-6416
• Priscilla Pavatea, Director, Hopi Tribe Office of Range Management (928) 734-3701
• Navajo Nation Department of Agriculture (928) 871-6605
• Leonard Chee, Office of Navajo President & Vice President (928) 871-6352

——————————————————————————————

TEXT OF Notice given to John Benally’s companion: No Trespassing

Be advised that the Hopi reservation including the Hopi Partition Land (Hopi reservation) is closed pursuant to Hopi Ordinance # 46 and access is restricted to members of the Hopi tribe and those persons authorized by the Hopi Tribe to be on Hopi reservation lands in accordance with Hopi and federal law and regulations. If you are present on Hopi reservation without a valid permit or permission you are hereby advised and ordered to immediately leave the reservation.

Any individual who is not a member of the Hopi Tribe and who is not authorized under provisions of Hopi law to be present within the Hopi reservation is in violation of tribal law and is subject to a civil and criminal penalty.

Any individual who fails to abide by this notice will be subject to arrest and/or a civil fines under tribe’s civil and criminal law

By Herman G. Honanie, Chairman, Hopi tribe
6/3/16

Notice No Trespassing

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Comments
  1. URGENT! PLEASE SHARE AND HELP US MAKE THIS EMAIL GO VIRAL
    STOP THE WAR IN BIG MOUNTAIN! Call:
    • Sally Jewell, the Secretary of the Interior at (202) 208-6416.
    • Karen Pennington, General Counsel, Office of the Hopi Tribe (928) 734-3142
    • Leonard Chee, Office of Navajo President & Vice President (928) 871-6352

    John Benally, a Big Mountain resister against forced relocation by the US government is being targeted by the Hopi Tribe. Hopi Police and Rangers. On 6/7 armed Hopi police and rangers with guns and tasers placed John Benally and his family were placed under house arrest and served John’s wife a Notice of NO TRESPASSING to vacate Hopi lands while they used 4 tracks to round up his cattle.

    Leonard Chee,Office of the President and Vice President was the point person to help John get his animals to a tribal ranch. On 7/8 he told Karen Pennington, General Counsel, Office of the Hopi Tribe that he forgot to tell the Hopi Tribe the Nation needed an extension of time from June 4 to June 10 to transport these animals to a tribal ranch. And without telling the family, the Hopi Tribe went ahead and sold the cattle at Sun Valley Auction House.

    John Benally and his family were working closely with the Navajo Nation – Leonard Chee and Leo Watchman,Jr., Director, Navajo Nation Department of Agriculture. John spent thousands of dollars to prepare the cattle for transport to a tribal ranch–castrating, de-horning, working with a Vet to give them 2 series of shots and ear tags so they could be transported to a tribal ranch. The Hopi Rangers were monitoring John Benally and conducting surveillance.

    John Benally, the Navajo Nation, and the Hopi Tribe all had an understanding that these animals would be transported to a tribal ranch off of Hopi Partition Land (HPL). They knew he was working with the Navajo Nation and was planning to transport these animals to a tribal ranch on Friday, 6/10 when they decided to confiscate them on 6/7 and sell them at public auction on 6/8 without informing the family.

    The Secretary of the Interior, the Hopi Tribe and the Navajo Nation must respect that this matter is currently before the Interior Board of Indian Appeals (IBIA) Court under which there is an automatic stay to stop all livestock confiscations and sale of animals pending resolution of the matter. According to a IBIA Court Order, any “BIA decisions are automatically stayed pending appeal to the Board.” Tell them to take action to help John Benally and the people of Hopi Partition Land and as a matter of law protect the rights and property of “resisters awaiting relocation” when the Hopi Tribe abuses and issue BIA grazing permits so the people can protect their animals.

    Please call Sally Jewell, The Secretary of Interior, at at (202) 208-6416. Please tell her that the Department of Interior as a matter of law has jurisdiction over “nonsigners awaiting relocation,” must issue BIA grazing permits, and respect the case before the Interior Board of Indian Appeals that automatically imposes a moratorium on all livestock confiscations and the sale of animals and intervene on their behalf if and when the Hopi Tribe abuses their rights.

    Please call Karen Pennington, General Counsel, Office of the Hopi Tribe at (928) 734-3142. Tell her to release these cattle at no cost and transport them back to Big Mountain and pay John directly 100% of the proceeds they earned from the sale of the Benally family cows at public auction, withdraw all threats made against John and his wife, and issue a formal apology. The Hopi Tribe must return the few cattle not sold at auction to John Benally, not charge him $516 to pay for the release of 2 heifers with calves, 1 steer and 5 bulls. The Hopi Tribe, called the people of peace must stop waging war against John Benally, his wife, his family and the people living on what is known as Hopi Partition Land (HPL).

    Please call Leonard Chee, Office of the Navajo Nation President and Vice President at (928) 871-6352. The Navajo Nation must request the Hopi Tribe stop targeting John Benally, transport the cattle in the impoundment yard back to his home, pay him 100% of the proceeds they received from the illegal sale of these animals and withdraw all threats against John Benally, his wife and the “nonsigners awaiting relocation” living on Hopi Partition Land.

    Ahéhee’ Thank you for your support!

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