||Return to Roberta Index|
Greetings, my relatives, friends, and supporters.
As an octogenarian, guardian-shepherd of my sacred homeland, my memory flashes back to the beginning of this century that my forebearers from many centuries before planted my ancestral roots with their blood, sweat, and tears that have endured and reclaimed by Mother Earth, which cannot be undone. With their very existence on this land prior to the coming of any whiteman or one day to chase me off it with his repressive laws to relocate elsewhere, I unequivocably claim this land by my birthright. I also firmly believe that my ancestors handed me the duty to keep rekindling the fire of their cultural teachings and sustain the wealth of their spirituality that are inextricably inseperable from the land. They are interfaced with the land and my life. Thus, the sanctity of their teachings through the consecration of their prayers and songs in countless ceremonies have made it inseperable! No whiteman-made laws can clearly define and justly limit the parameters of my inner feelings and love for my land through my ancestors have been my long standing assertion and commitment that have become my rightful landmarkers and stakes to the land to relentlessly cling to it. In essence, I want to remain and be left unintimidated and unharassed by all governmental entities, so that I may enjoy the simple rights to my life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, if it means anything to the U.S. Congress and the government or whomever.
The fact remains that my land was written off from under me with the American democratic processes of manipulation, manouevering, and tainted politics, without my input, whether I did accept or reject it? If this is the epitome of the American "equity and justice", I am just abhorrent of it that I will keep on rejecting the PL 93-531 (Relocation Act) and PL 104-301 (accommodation Agreement). With my introspection relevant to the land and my spirituality, I will not voluntarily go into exile or be banished into inhumane exodus by self-serving laws. This is despite the statutaory conveyance of the land to the Hopis, which I incurred without my signatory approval. With the passage of the laws, I have been tempted and intrigued, if not to be swindled, with the federal peddling of "a house" in a radioactive wasteland of New Lands by government and tribal officials, even private individuals, to grab my last offer!
The spiritual endowment from my grandparents and parents on the sacredness of my home on this land that it embraces with beautiful prayers and songs which are in the bounds of the sacred mountains in four cardinal directions. They designate the boundaries of the Dines homeland as would the foundation of a persons Hoghan. If the scared mountains were placed on a micro-scale, it will be a hogan, and if it were superimposed on the Navajoland, it will be akin to the superdome. They all face the east , too, as hogans do. Just the same with every plant or animal that we co-exist with, each has its own purpose and contributions, which we must not ajudge quickly to condemn as worthless and thereby to destruction. All living creatures as my livestock should not be decimated as has been done with the reduction of my sheep from a couple of hundreds to just ten. I cannot earn a living with that few while Peabody Coal Company instigating the dispute and desecrating the precious water by daily reducing the N-Aquifer by a slurry process. It is drying out the plateau that is already in a semi-arid state. With the corporate interests taunting me on one side, and the BIA with its hegemonic government and military forces on the other, I am facing Goliath, not as David, but as a timid shepherd.
With deepest humility, I want to thank the participants, dancers, and supporters of this sacred Sundance, especially for your prayers, songs, and good thoughts and words so that I too may endure many more years until all this madness of land ownership blows over. Whatever force and effect the American Indian religous Freedom Act can have, I want to invoke it.
I also want to thank Mr. Leonard Crow Dog, our Chief, to advise him to return to the original Sun Dance site where the first movement of resistance all began.
Thank you and all my relations.