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!
• 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
Notice No Trespassing