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From Thin Rock Mesa,
Roberta Blackgoat on February 9th 2001:
There is much talk among the Tribal Governments, from both the Hopi and the Navajo Nation, which is about them trying to tell us that non-Indians or white people shouldn't be living with us. (Their) reasons seem to be that these white supporters are interfering with the federal laws that try to keep "tribal authority" involved out here. A couple of tribal officials have stated that it is a disgrace to see 'white people' living among the traditional Dineh.
I say to them, "No, you people in the Window Rock are a disgrace because you did not do what we have ask of you! So, we turned to regular, white people in this country to help us and also, to help us protect our livelihood: the sheep, the horses and our cornfields. If You (tribal officials) would have listened to us back when we started this resistance, maybe there would not be any kind of 'disgrace.'"
I asked them to justify to me why the 'great' white laws of the land prohibits certain whites to not live with traditional Dineh. "Well, it is a 'white' Law and then, this law is made for white people. So, as Indians you cannot tell us that, 'the white American law does not want these non-Indian supporters staying with me and others,'" I said this to them.
Then just recently the BIA came to tell me, "You can only have 20 sheep units."
I responded, "How come only twenty? How do you all expect me to feed all my grandchildren and share some with my relatives during our ceremonies?" I also told them, "You people are not telling us about your new laws, but You are just telling me to, 'Go ahead and starve!' That is the only thing that I have heard from you, today!" They just said, 'Okay,' and then they left.
However despite all this, it is good to know that people still come out to show their support, or that they continue to write letters to me. Even though I spent my days alone or just myself and the (non-Indian) sheepherder, there are many who want us to continue with our stay, here, on the Mountain Mother. It is good that more people out there have heard us say: 'Our Mother is crying out to us and trying to tell us that She is, now, in tremendous pain from giant machines which are cutting into her flesh to take out Her liver and Her lungs.' A few old ones have had dreams of the Mother Earth talking to them, and the Earth said it was suffering. People must really begin to understand that Earth is not all about 'money-money,' but we must realize that She is a Being, and that, the coal is Her liver and the uranium is Her lungs and heart.
A fellow resistor from Teestoh came out to visit me not long, ago. She said she had longed for others in this resistance movement and that, she has felt so abandoned out where she lives. She basically told me that she has not forgotten about all of us out here at Big Mountain. She has been filled with anxiety and depression, and the only thing that reminds her to keep her strength up is knowing that, there are still relatives here in Big Mountain holding on to the lands. When she had to leave she grabbed me with a big hug and we cried together. I told her, "Yeah, times are sad, and the stress and the loneliness is too great...I live the same way."
I am still out here, and I am grateful that Creator still allows me to do that. I keep up with my weavings even though my eyes sees double at times. I, also, try to make it comfortable for my (non-Indian) helper, but he says, "No, Grandma I'll do it.....I have plenty of time."
Well, thank you for visiting me.....coming out all the way from New York City and from Minnesota. I know that you guys have to go and see if Pauline needs someone to stay with her. And I'm just keeping you while I talk your ears off.