The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on January 17, 1986 · Page 22
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 22

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Friday, January 17, 1986
Page 22
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The Salina Journal Friday, January 17.1986 PageN4 Navajo, Hopi dispute Arizona land (EDITOR'S NOTE — Long before the white man came to northern Arizona, the Hopi and Navajo tribes existed side-by-side, often uneasily — the Hopis on the mesas, the Navajos everywhere else. In 1882, an ambiguously worded presidential order put boundaries on the Indian land. Today, the Hopis, the Navajos and the white man are still fighting over those boundaries. Caught in the balance are thousands of people and millions of dollars.) « HARD ROCKS, Ariz. (AP) - In the red clay soil of the mountain plateau, Lorraine Wesley bound her daughter's soul to the land as her mother, grandmother and great- grandmother had done before — she buried the child's umbilical cord, following sacred Navajo tradition. Generations were born and generations died on the same spot, but the land was always the same, always resilient, providing food and faith, sanctuary and security for hundreds of years. Until this year. Government officials came to Lorraine Wesley's wood-and-dirt hogan on the Navajo reservation and told her the land where her family had lived since before the days of frontiersman and Indian fighter Kit Carson was not hers. The land, federal courts and Congress had decided, belonged to the Hopi tribe, and the 12,000 Navajos living on Hopi land would have to be moved at government expense by July 7, 1986, to resolve the century- old dispute. What has resulted is a fight so disturbing that President Reagan dispatched a peacemaker and so bitter that the peacemaker failed, concluding that unless the feud is settled now, "fundamental tribal disputes may persist for still another century." Compounding problems is an 8- year-old underfunded government agency, the Navajo and Hopi Indian Relocation Commission, which acknowledges that past efforts to relocate people have stripped some of their lifestyles and livelihoods. Now some Navajos, mostly the elders, have armed themselves with rifles and captured public attention by allying themselves with legal activists and members of the American Indian Movement, vowing to stay and fight whoever comes to take the land next summer. Some are lobbying Congress for mercy before the deadline. "There is nothing left to negotiate. There have been 48 attempts at negotiation, and they have all failed," said Ivan Sidney, chairman of the 11,000-member Hopi tribe. "There is a law, and the law must be carried out. The time has passed for negotiation." For some, the time has come to show force. Katherine Smith, a 67-year-old great-grandmother who lives on Big Mountain, once fired her rifle at government workers building a fence on the line created to separate Navajo and Hopi land. The errant shot stopped construction and served as a warning that some Navajos intend to fight for their land. "Why should I leave a home?" she asked a reporter defiantly. "I'll stay here. This is the only place where hunger never exists.'' Other Navajos, like 53-year-old Lorraine Wesley, agreed to move, •hoping for a better life. But broken promises, she says, are all she has gotten from the largest relocation project since the World War II internment of Japanese- Americans. Today, nine months after they left their sacred homestead, Mrs. Wesley, her husband and five children live a mile away in a government-built tract house that has a heating system but no heat, electric lamps but no electricity, a hot water heater and washing machine but no water. High-tension power lines run just a few hundred yards from the Wesleys' new house, lighting up cities to the west like Las Vegas and Los Angeles, but she and her neighbors are not connected. Water must be trucked six miles to the house; in the winter, when the dirt roads are impassable, she boils snow. They still don't understand why their cornfield and livestock were taken away under outdated terms of an 11-year-old congressional order that was originally meant to protect against overgrazing in a period of drought. "When we were back over there, at this time of the season we would have plenty of crops stored away," Mrs. Wesley said in Navajo, the only language she speaks. "Our two main sources were sheep and corn. They were the two main securities we had. Warm up these cool evenings with a bowl of our HOMEMADE CHILI (Mild or hot flavors) Also try our: Chili Burgers Chili Burritos Chili Omelets 2445 S. 9th 827-5555 Right beside the Howard Johnson Motel "40 Matt ana Marlys Mattingiy We would like to invite all friends and relatives to share in the celebration of our parent's 40th Wedding Anniversary. Sunday, Jan. 19 2:00-5:00 pm Bethany Lutheran Church Lindsborg, Kansas Connie & Bill Betty & Bruce Jane & Larry ^ Joan & Jan Matt & Debra PRESCRIPTION BOUQUET SAYS "I A thoughtful PERFECT 248-B S. Santa Fc 827-0351 "Our flowers speak louder than words." "Things are just so much harder over here," she said, her eyes welling with tears. "There is no road that was promised. There is no school that was promised. There is no water that was promised. There are no utilities, no gas. There is no clinic and, more importantly, there is no land given us other than this one acre." Commission officials say that water and electricity for the Wesleys and the hundred other transplanted Navajo families at Hard Rocks are at least two years away because of engineering delays, and there is no money for roads or services such as schools and hospitals. Reagan sent his friend and former interior secretary, William P. Clark, into the fray last February, seeking a peaceful solution before next summer's deadline. But the Clark initiative failed, and now, officials say, Interior Secretary Donald Hodel plans to try to mediate. The tribes remain entrenched. The Navajo tribe says it is unjust to evict people from land their families have held for decades. The smaller Hopi tribe says relocation is the only way to regain lands lost generations ago. Hopi ruins can be found in some of the Navajo areas, Sidney said, proving that the Hopis used the land before the Navajos. Few people, he said, were around to see Navajo encroachment on Hopi land over centuries. ' 'Who are the people who really lost their land?" he said. "The Hopis were always saying, 'When is this movement of Navajos onto our lands going to cease?'" On top of the bitter feuding are the problems of the three-member relocation commission, the agency established to relocate the 12,000 Navajos and 100 Hopis to "safe, sanitary and decent" conditions by next July. In eight years, the commission has relocated 890 families, including all the Hopis, and spent $85 million to build or buy houses and move the Indians. About 325 Navajo families remain on Hopi partitioned land, 70 to 100 of them refusing to move. An additional 1,575 Navajo families have moved independently but are still waiting for free housing and the $2,000 cash bonus paid each family. To complete the job, the commission says, it will need at least $190 million more. The commission's history is filled with cases of shoddy construction and failure to help non-English- speaking Indians settle in cities like Flagstaff and Winslow. A report to Congress found a "cloud of questionable circum stances," and Arizona officials have investigated developers and lenders accused in lawsuits of cheating relocated Indians by charging up to 90 percent interest rates. Kee Chee Begay, for instance, a Navajo who moved to Flagstaff with his wife and 11 children, used his government house to secure a loan for a $16,000 van. But the loan required repayment of $60,000 over two years, and when he defaulted, he lost his house. He sued and won the house back. Already, nearly one-third of the Indians given commission homes have lost them in similar schemes or sold them, according to a commission study. Indian Health Services, a government agency, studied Navajos awaiting relocation and found about 60 percent suffered from some form of depression — about two to three times the rate found on the rest of the reservation, said Dr. Martin Topper, a mental health expert with the agency. "I find that those people very frequently complain about depression, frequently complain about being unable to adapt to new environments, and frequently have trouble dealing with the maze of laws and responsibilities in a new culture," Topper said. "What's happening to these people is genocide," said Daniel Fourwinds, an attorney working with transplants and residents of Big Mountain, where most of the elderly Navajos determined to stay have gathered. "They wilt and die. How much of a broken heart can you have before you die ?" "We're building modern-day ghettos out there," said Sandra Massetto, a commission member but also an outspoken critic of the relocation project. "Ours is a people program, and the emphasis should be on people." Massetto, a Phoenix attorney, said elderly Navajos disoriented in their new homes have been found running "Hello! Mary, why don't we get together tonight & dine at the beautiful Brunswick Restaurant. Atmosphere! Atmosphere! And I hear the best fried chicken in Kansas. What do you say?!?" Make Your Reservations And Take A Night Off From The Kitchen. Fried Chicken Dinner Offer Good Tuesday-Saturday 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. January, February, March (See Indians, Page N5) Jamas Weaver 412 E. Mulberry 827-6244 Welcome this professional when he calls on you concerning high interest IRA's. First Kansas Life Home Office - Newton, Ks. "Farming can be complicated these days. Same goes for ,, income taxes. So I go to H&R Block." "With farming, one wrong step and it could cost you down the road. The same is true with tax preparation, and that's why I always go to H&R Block. My preparer is trained to know all the special problems that farmers face. And that saves me money. So I'll do the farm work while Block does the tax work." People who know their business go to mm Hours: 9 to 9 Monday* rlday 9 to 5 Saturday H&R BLOCK Sunset Plaza 827-5817 Also In SEAMS 254 S. Santa Fe 827-4253 51 OS. Santa Fe mimmifmmmnmmnmmTirmmmimfmfT WURLITZER PIANOS With Lifetime Warranty $ 1000 Reduced As Much As Pre-Owned PIANOS Starting At 595 ZILDJIAN CYMBALS 30% Off GUITAR STRINGS Sets For Price Of All Year Around LUDWIG 5-Piece Pro DRUM SET S 595 Save $200 Includes hardware & sticks 1986 Spring Semester Evening College i\\ LSI mm mum ELECTRIC GUITARS Large Selection KRAMERStriker&Focus $170 Starting As Low As Alt/ ELECTRA Guitars.. l /2 Price ALL ACOUSTIC GUITARS 25% Off GUITAR'AMPS Starting At Ot) CRATE BASS AMP 50% Off Sunn 212 GUITAR AMP 50% OH GUITAR EFFECTS 25% Off •Princ. Accounting II •General Psychology •Crime & Delinquency •Princ. of Management •Intermediate BASIC •Office Automation •Intro. Computer Science •Computer Science II KANSAS WESLEYAN Double Rotor Holton Bass Trombone FREE BUNDY FLUGLE HORN Selmer Alto Saxophone^. $itm Selmer Tenor Saxophone Keg. $isn ........... 14DU With Purchase Of Bach Strad Used Selmer 10G Clarinet All Other Professional Model Band Instruments. BANK FINANCING AVAILABLE •Choosing Wellness •Adolescent Literature •The Film •Continuing Spanish •Guitar Class II •Intermediate Microeconomics •Statistics •Intermediate English Comp. •Laboratory Safety & Maintenance •Discriptive Astronomy Classes begin: Tuesday, February 4, Registration is: January 30, 5:00 pm-7 Making Quality Education A vallable To Everyone

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