Wupatki eviction survivors remember….

Several elders from families evicted from their ancestral winter grazing grounds and homes in what are now the Wupatki National Monument, the Babbitt and Shuey ranches were video interviewed about their evictions by Don Yellowman (Forgotten People) and Dr. Lee Greer (La Sierra University, Riverside, CA). The oral histories were recorded on the 20th through the 22nd of December in Coalmine, Wupatki, and Black Falls. Some of the children and relatives of survivors were also interviewed. These oral histories are part of a project to find and record the memories of as many remaining survivors and relatives as possible in order to add to the growing body of documented research on the Wupatki evictions.

Octogenarian sisters who experienced the eviction of their family: Faye Willie and Elsie Tohannie (née Peshlakai).

Oral memories include being subjected to deceptive offers of help and gifts, the gradual unveiling of the eviction agenda, being herded by Park Rangers away from Wupatki toward the Little Colorado River, being threatened by the overhead firing of rounds by ranch fence riders, threats against and arrest of family leaders, and the gradual eviction of families as heads of households died. In the case of the sole remaining resident within the national monument, Stella Peshlakai, the pressure and harassment has included placing a locked gate in front of her access road making entry by family and service personnel difficult, the recent, mysterious opening of her livestock corral followed by Park complaints about her goats being loose, repeated incidents of pressure by individual Park Rangers, including even within the last month. If her water usage seems high, she is accused of sharing the piped in water with other Diné. Other events frequently follow the pattern.

In addition to the memories of survivors and their families, there are numerous remnants of the homes and corrals of the evicted inhabitants scattered over the hills, the cemented closing off of traditional springs in the region, and the piping in of outside water. Some of the disturbed springs are sacred sites, which provided water for generations of native inhabitants and their livestock.

Since the US government now officially supports (as of 16 December 2010) the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, it is an opportune moment. The ultimate goal is justice, not merely a monument memorial to the Wupatki Navajo and the ancient Anasazi, but also the right of return for the several families with roots in the Wupatki. Workable legislative precedents of renewed indigenous presence in national parks are available.

7 Thoughts on “Wupatki eviction survivors remember….

  1. I would like to thankx for the time you have put in composing this post. I am hoping the same top-quality blog post from you in the upcoming as well. In fact your creative writing skill has inspired me to get my own blog now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings quickly. Your write up is a good example of it.

  2. Your website is pretty slow to load in Safari.

  3. I guess you have created several really interesting points. Not as well many others would really think about it the direction you just did. I am truly impressed that there is so much about this subject that has been unveiled and you made it so nicely, with so considerably class. Brilliant one, man! Truly wonderful things right here.

  4. Pingback: Ranch fense | DigiimageOnline

  5. this post is very usefull thx!

  6. As the Noob, We are continuously exploring online meant for reports that will reward for me. Thank you so much

  7. Thnx a lot to do this! Simply put i haven’t has been this kind of energized using a content for ages! You’ve gotten it again, what ever meaning located in wordpress blogging. Most certainly, You’re going to be without a doubt some people that have something to imply that people might pick up. Carry on typically the excellent role. Keep on motivational the individuals!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post Navigation