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Stereotype of the Month Entry

Another Stereotype of the Month entry:

An excerpt from the following newsletter:

Chiron Communiqué

Author¹s Occasional Newsletter
From Steven McFadden

Vol. 7 No. 6
June, 2002

Final Embers of Hiroshima Peace Flame Expire in Ceremony at Big Mountain

(For photographs and the text of this story, see: http://www.chiron-communications.com/communique%207-6.html)

Traditional elders recall in their ways that the Hopi were instructed to remain custodians of this region while war still stalks the world. Four Corners is a microcosmic image of the entire planet; any violations of nature in the region will be reflected and amplified all over the Earth. There are specific prophecies that refer to Black Mesa and Big Mountain, and that warn they should not be dug into. The Hopi must hold this land until human beings live in harmony.

There is an ongoing war for Big Mountain, a war older than a generation that is waged with legal edicts and bulldozers on one side, and prayer, song, and dance on the other. Because Black Mesa is a key center of spiritual energy for North America and the world, and because it represents a hornet¹s nest of crucial karmic and environmental issues, it is an issue that should be of intense interest to every American citizen.

It is a bitter irony that American corporations and government have targeted one of the principal sacred sites on the continent, and exploited it with technology, ripping it open to fulfill explicitly material intentions.

Speaking in the Dineh language (interpreted by a relative) Grandmother Louise Benally told the walkers, "Here we are still at war with the U.S. Government over energy. I feel like I am still living in the 18th Century, when the Cavalry came out and started harassing us. Dineh people remain on Black Mesa, and oppose the forced relocation of traditional peoples so that this place will not be taken over for the coal and uranium that are here. We have a spiritual responsibility to this place."

Rob's reply
The problem with this is that it depicts the battle as one between the big bad government and the poor little Indians. It stereotypes the Indians as helpless victims of oppression. Every Indian mentioned is a wizened elder, a "Grandfather" or "Grandmother," sharing the wisdom of the ages with us crass materialists.

Worse, it obscures the real battle—between the Hopi Tribe and the Navajo Nation for sovereign control over Big Mountain and the rest of the Hopi Partitioned Lands. "Real" Indians are noble and stoic and long-suffering, according to the stereotype. They don't fight with other Indians for their legal and moral rights.


Another Big Mountain article sans Hopi/Navajo conflict
Last Battle at Black Mesa: A Historic Showdown over Native American Rights Is About to Play Out in S.F.

Related links
Hopis vs. Big Mountain trespassers

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