Alert - Big Mountain - July 2002

It started to step up a year ago again, July 2001, with the arrests of the Grandmothers at Sun Dance. It continued when the Hopi Rangers came heavily armed to Camp Anna Mae with bulldozers, and oversaw the destruction of all that was there with no respect for the sacred -- the tree of life put through a wood chipper, the prayer flags torn down and trampled, the sweat lodges bulldozed. Then there was the arrest of Arrick Crittendon, a youth just trying to record these sacrilegious actions on film. His conviction obviously made him the scapegoat since the charges against the Grandmothers were dismissed.  The HTC wanted blood.  His appeal is still pending. Now since the passing of Grandmother Roberta, the armed Hopi Rangers are back to their terrorist actions, monitoring this area 24/7. Now there are fences and more harassment.

On July 8, 2002, rumblings of the beginning  escalation of harassment of those who remain at Big Mountain were revealed in Brenda Norrell's article, Big Mountain Sundance grounds fenced by rangers.  Since then more has happened.  Yes, the Sun Dance grounds at Camp Anna Mae were fenced, fenced with no gate, thus denying anyone entrance here to pray.  One man ignored the presence of this fence by going over it, then smudging himself and beginning to pray.  Armed Hopi Rangers "observing" the area accosted him for this action, treating him with total disrespect, but with honor he responded that he was there to pray because this all those who have suffered here had made this area sacred, and because the Sun Dance had taken place here for the last twenty years.  The Hopi Rangers continued their harassment, but this man did not flinch.  Finally they left him to do what he came there to do -- to pray. 

There was other fencing, the fencing of the sweat lodge, again with no gate.  This is close to the residence of a traditional elder, Katherine Smith, who is a medicine woman.  It seems the Hopi Rangers, the HTC, and the BIA have forgotten the Native American Religious Rights Act, or choose to ignore it, thinking they are above Creator's law.  They need to think again. 

The harassment has stepped up, reminiscent of the early days of the resistance in the 1980's.  These Hopi Rangers, the HTC, and the BIA do not care how their actions will affect those who live at Big Mountain.  Most are elders, people who should be treated with respect, be allowed to live with dignity, not with the actions they face on a daily basis, those that add much stress to their lives, stress that should not be there, stress that can bring on illness, and even worse, death.  It is because of this rising tension brought on by these armed Hopi Rangers, the HTC and the BIA, that help is needed, support for those who live there. 

Leonard Benally has said that there are very few supporters out there at Big Mountain now to witness this current act of terrorism, and terrorism is what it is.  It can not be viewed as anything but this.  He asks that Wayne Taylor, Eugene Kaye, Ed Chavez and all those who follow their orders to harass the People be reminded that we are all watching what they do, that we know they are violating the religious rights of those who reside on the HPL, and that we know they have no right to try to curtail any of these religious activities.  Human rights and religious rights need to be restored and respected again.

Help, your support, and prayers are needed.  Get the word out, write letters to those listed below. 

Black Mesa Indigenous Support P.O. Box 23501 Flagstaff, AZ 86002,

Diocesan Office of Phoenix (Bishop Thomas O'Brien) 400 East Monroe
Phoenix AZ 85004, email,

Navajo-Hopi Observer 2600 N. Steves Blvd. Flagstaff, AZ 86004 520 526 3115
527 0217 fax

Lieutenant William Vicente Hopi Tribe Ranger Enforcement Services Pob 123
Kykotomovi AZ 86039 520 734 3707

Hopi BIA Area Agency, Wendell Honannie, Acting Superintendent, U.S.
Department of the Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs Hopi Agency Phone: (520)
738-2249 P.O. Box 158 Keams Canyon, AZ 86034

Gail Norton, Secretary of Interior (202) 208-7351
1849 C St. NW (202) 208-6956 Fax
Washington DC 20240

Wayne Taylor, Chairman Hopi Tribal Council
Keams Canyon, AZ 86034

Check the following sites for updates on this alert:


Bo Peep's Hogan


Two things stick in my mind, the words of Louise Benally when she said, "We are still surrounded by the police," this being said in a recent communication after my contact that resulted from reading a Big Mountain post about the current upswing of terrorism at Big Mountain. The other are the words of Grandmother Roberta, ?They act like they want another Wounded Knee.? In all good conscience, this cannot be allowed to continue. The rights of all living on the HPL must be respected.   It is with your help that this can be stopped.  Many thanks to all of you for your prayers and support.

If you need translation help, please visit AltaVista - World / Translate, or if you just need some help writing the letter, see Sample Letter.



the wolf is my messenger

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created July 19, 2002, by Louve14