Friday, December 22, 2006

Navajo Dissidents Take Action to Stop Tribe-Backed Power Plant

As energy corporations closed in on Navajo territory, a cluster of elderly women and other locals rushed to greet them – planting themselves in defiance on the ground they hold as sacred.

The Navajo elders, joined by native-rights activists and other supporters, formed a blockade last week in Burnham, New Mexico at the site of the Desert Rock Energy Project, a proposed coal-fired power plant. The self-described "resisters" say that in a land already ravaged by fossil-fuel industries, another power plant will make their environment dirtier and their communities more powerless against industrial interests.

For the whole story, see the New Standard News.

I post this story for a couple reasons. First, I'm originally from Arizona, a short distance from the Navajo Nation, and maintain a fondness in my heart for this people. Second, this is a story of indigenous people standing up against greater powers - the image of old ladies squatting in front of buldozers and stopping them is just plain inspirational. Third, there is a connection being made here by these people between their faith/culture/beliefs and concern for the environment - stewardship of the earth, particularly the earth under our care, is a sacred trust.

Like the
Dine, we too have only limited land and resources. We white folk can afford to export our garbage and exploitation beyond the horizon, and so feel we are free to do as we please. Not so. Some little old ladies cooking frybread in the road know this better than we do. Perhaps we should listen.

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