Friday, December 05, 2008

Big Mountain Matriarch Risks Life To Defend Traditional Dwelling

Tamarack and his white customers at the Teaching Drum like to make a fetish out of earth lodge building. Here, however, is a story about what happens when real Natives try to build traditional dwellings on their own land in the midst of an illegal Occupation by marauding foreigners.

Can you imagine Tamarack and his half-starved, cult-minded groupies putting up a fight like Grandma Pauline does when they come to bulldoze her hogan?

Scathing in her rebuke of our materialistic society, she spares neither Non-Indian environmentalists nor Indian activist-poseurs nor Obama voters.

“Where is that activism? Especially, indigenous activisms like AIM or other urban Indian bands of activist? Is activism only a fashion or an expression trend?”

$8000 for the Wilderness Guide program while Elder Pauline, an Indigenous woman of color, faces Vichy tribal police and the white man's bulldozers. No need to go all the way to Palestine for apartheid atrocities; we have plenty right here in America.

Navajo Big Mountain matriarch Pauline Whitesinger stands next to her earth lodge that began collapsing in late 2007. Photo copyright Bahe Katenay.

Bahe Katenay: On Big Mountain, building the earth lodge
By Bahe Katenay
Sheep Dog Nation Rocks

BIG MOUNTAIN, Black Mesa (Arizona), November 18, 2008 – A nice peaceful morning in the Dineh resistance stronghold known as Sweet Water was again disrupted by a uniformed officer from the Office of Hopi Lands. This officer who had a badge that indicated he was with the Hopi tribal police claimed he was not serving a “noticed” on behalf of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, nor the U.S. government. The small 82 year old matriarch, Pauline Whitesinger, was trying to speak in the Dineh language to the thick and tall Indian officer that cannot understand Dineh and who was ‘assigned’ to meet with (grandma) Pauline about her “unauthorized” reconstruction of a traditional earth lodge.

He had photo-copies of Pauline’s earth lodge with some additional documents that he referred to as ‘complaints’ from a recent officer that discovered this construction in May 2008. As another Dineh gentleman showed up at the scene, the officer immediately walked over to seek a translator –something he should have seek within his own law enforcement department. The officer only wanted two questions answered:

‘Why is she building this hogan without Permission?’

‘What is she going to do with this hogan or why does she need it?’


“Why she does this without permission is because she does not recognized the authority of the U.S. government or (your) alien and foreign authority,” the Dineh man clarifies.

“Grandma, here, still recognizes the supreme authorities of the local deities and she also honors her ancestors’ legacies. She truly and deeply believes that is where she receives the ‘official’ authorization to rebuild this traditional lodge.”

The translator adds, “The hogan is part of her ancient culture and it is necessary to her being. Not only is it for ceremonial purposes but it is her home where she will be warmer in the winter as opposed to that cinderblock and un-insulated house. There, you have heard the same repeated answers to your same concerns!”
Read the rest...

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Black Mesa Indigenous Support

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