|Chronology of Dine' & Hopi|
|Supplied by http://www.applicom.com/vbm/Chron.htm
with additions by SENAA International
|1500's - 1800's||Shared use of Four Corners by several Native peoples, including village dwelling Hopi and herds men / hunter Dine' (Navajo.) Spanish / Mexican occupation of Southwest.|
|1680||Massive Pueblo Revolt in which all village dwellers, including Hopi, forcibly eliminate Spanish presence in Four Corners. Navajo assistance.|
|1693||Spanish reoccupation of all areas except Hopi|
|1848||U.S. Mexican War concluded with Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, ceding Southwest to U.S., which agrees never to remove Native peoples.|
|1849-1851||California Gold Rush, White settlers flood through Four Corners, conflict with Indians; U.S. declares war on Navajo.|
|1860-1864||U.S. Civil War.|
|1863-1864||Colonel Kit Carson, on contract with U.S., destroys Dine' livestock and crops, puts all captured Navajo on 400 mile Long Walk to Fort Sumner in New Mexico. Thousands die on Walk and in captivity.|
U.S. imposes "Navajo Treaty" on headmen as condition for release from starvation at F ort Sumner. Small "reservation" established in NW New Mexico.
Department of the Interior establishes a 3.5 million acre Navajo Reservation in northwestern New Mexico.
|1871||U.S. stops signing treaties with Indians, moves "Indian Affairs" from War Dept. to Interior, launches "Indian education" program with stated goal of "civilizing" the indigenous/traditional people. Forcible removal of Hopi and Navajo children to schools. Resistance.|
|1878 and 1882||Navajo reservation expanded into Arizona to accommodate growth of tribe and grazing needs.|
|1882||President Chester A. Arthur signs Executive Order. One degree latitude by one degree longitude, creating Hopi Reservation of approximately 3.5 million acres, with no correlation to Hopi occupancy.|
|1884||Hopi religious leaders write to President challenging his authority to prescribe any boundaries on Hopi (they never had a treaty with U.S.)|
|1905-1923||Intense oil, gas and minerals exploration. Companies request contractual/leasing authority on Indian lands.|
|1909||U.S. Geological Survey discovers that about 8 billion tons of coal lie under Black Mesa.|
|1923||First "tribal council" formed at Navajo, by Department of Interior, at request of Standard Oil. Only action they may take is to authorize Indian Agent to sign leases in their name. After pressure from Standard Oil, the Bureau of Indian Affairs forms a Navajo Tribal Council that approves mineral leases against the will of Navajo people.|
|1934||Indian Reorganization Act.|
|1936||Interior Secretary Harold Ickes forms Hopi Tribal Council over strong resistance of traditional people, establishes nineteen grazing districts on Hopi and Navajo reservations, and declares area immediately surrounding Hopi villages (District 6) exclusively Hopi.|
|1943||District 6 enlarged to 631,000 acres, forcing Navajo within the new boundaries to move.|
|1946||Congress passes Indian Claims Commission Act authorizing Indian tribes to seek monetary compensation for loss of ancestral lands.|
|1947||John Boyden applies to Navajo Tribal Council for position of general counsel and claims attorney but is turned down in favor of Normal Littell . . . Hopi Tribal Council hires Boyden as general counsel.|
|1951||When oil was found on the Hopi reservation, the BIA appointed John Boyden to resurrect the Hopi Tribal Council which had collapsed due to a nearly complete boycott by the Hopi people. Boyden was a former archbishop in the Mormon Church and an attorney for Peabody Coal, the largest U.S. coal company.|
|1952-1957||Boyden and Littell petition Secretary of the Interior to partition lands outside District 6.|
|1954||Kerr-McGee built uranium mill.|
|1962||A federal court reaffirmed the boundaries of an exclusive Hopi area set aside in 1943, but declared the balance of the 1882 reservation had to be shared equally. This became known as the Joint Use Area, or JUA. The federal court ruled that only Congress can partition Indian lands and declares land outside District 6 a Joint Use Area to be controlled by both Hopi and Navajo.|
|1963||Vanadium Corp. bought uranium mill from Kerr-McGee. 1.5 million tons of ore were processed and left in contaminated waste piles covering 72 acres next to the San Juan River near Shiprock, NM.|
|1963||Representative Wayne Aspinall (D-Colorado) introduces bill to partition Joint Use Area . . .bill fails to clear Interior Committee.|
|1965||Interior Secretary Stewart Udall embarks on plan to develop water and mineral resources in the Southwest.|
|1966||Over objection of Hopi traditional and spiritual leaders, Hopi Tribal Council grants 35 year lease to Peabody Coal Company to develop Black Mesa.|
Navajo-Hopi Land Settlement Act (PL93-531) becomes law. Several Arizona Congressmen and Lawyers convinced the rest of Congress that the "Land Dispute" had become a bloody "Range War." This came as a shock to Navajo and Hopi on the JUA, but Congress trusted its Western Colleagues and they signed into Law the Navajo-Hopi Land Settlement Act, dividing the JUA into Navajo and Hopi halves and ostensibly, solving the problem.
50/50 partition of lands, boundary to be confirmed by District Court, 90% livestock reduction, establishes Relocation Commission to implement removal of Indians living on the "wrong side of the fence." This also represented the beginning of home repair and home construction freeze.
It is a widely held belief that the Dispute was contrived by Government-sponsored and styled tribal council and influential energy interests whose sole intent was to clear up coal and water rights on the JUA, and open the way for more rapid energy development . . . Vast quantities of oil, uranium and coal were involved.
|1975||Federal mediator William Simkin, draws partition line.|
|November 1976||DeConcini (D-Az) replaces Sam Steiger as Arizona Senator. States he favors repeal of P.L. 93-531|
A team of three dozen investigative journalists and editors went to Arizona to investigate the assassination of Don Bolles, Arizona Republic reporter, whose car was dynamited. what they found was that "the real story was that the State of Arizona made land fraud the state's biggest business. In Arizona the practice of land fraud has reached new levels of sophistication." (The Arizona Project, Andrews and McNeel, inc., 1977)
Three men convicted of Bolles' murder, one reportedly claiming he was killed because he had uncovered evidence of a swindle involving "the Arizona triumvirate of Barry and Bob Goldwaer and Harry Rosenzweig."
Under land exchange provisions of P.L. 93-531, real estate speculators worked for quick profit. companies which have previously sought access to BLM lands now found an angle, purchasing lands sought by the tribe and then exchanging those lands with the BLM, which is obligated by P.L. 93-531 to obtain the lands on behalf of the tribe.
Under P.L. 93-531 some 3500 square miles of land (2.2 million acres) will change hands. Critics of the relocation program have often claimed that the Act was primarily a real estate boondoggle, manufactured by special corporate and Mormon interests.
|February 10, 1997|
District Court decrees partition line under P.L. 93-531..
A 300-mile long fence was built to divide the Hopi and Navajo sides of the JUA. 100 Hopi had to leave the "Navajo" side, 10,000 Navajo on the "Hopi" side had to reduce their sheep by 90 percent and were prohibited to build or repair homes and roads. The Navajo have been forced to "Relocate" to nearby border towns.
|1977||Fences erected around partition land.|
|February 2, 1977||Traditional Navajo elder Pauline Whitesinger of Big Mountain confronts and evicts fencing crew, tears down fence, Community tears down miles of fence. resistance movement supported by Hopi and Navajo traditional and religious leaders springs up around Big Mountain.|
|November 1977||Seven day conference hosted by Big Mountain, to meet with traditional Hopi and request AIM (American Indian Movement) assistance.|
|1977||Almost all the lands to be exchanged or transferred lie in Arizona. The Arizona Project, Andrews and McNeel, Inc. state that they found "The state of Arizona made land fraud the state's biggest business and had reached new levels of sophistication."|
|October 28, 1979||Traditional Navajo Council of elders issues "Declaration of Independence" disassociating itself from pro-development Tribal Council and pledging total resistance to relocation. Big Mountain Dine' declare "The sacred laws of the Dine' give no authority for the federal government and its related agencies to intrude and disrupt the sacred lands of Big Mountain.|
United Nuclear Uranium mining contamination along the Rio Puerco river (site of relocation to "New Lands").
The Church Rock uranium mining operation in 1979 was the site of the nation's largest radioactive spill. Both the Little Colorado and the Puerco are carrying radioactive contamination into the Colorado River and Grand Canyon, state and federal officials said. "There was a long history of uranium waste water dumped into the Puerco, prior to the spill," Chris Shuey, Southwest Research and Information Center, Albuquerque, NM said. The United Nuclear and Kerr McGee mines discharged up to 5,000 gallons per minute of waste water, and were already high in radioactive contamination from the waste water. (See Rio Radioactive, the Gallup Independent, 7/19/88.)
|June 1979||Fifth International Indian Treaty Council, held at Big Mountain. Elders issue Notice stating "We do hereby declare total resistance to any effort or influence to be removed from our homes and ancestral lands. We further declare our right to live in peace with our Hopi neighbors." First Big Mountain support group formed.|
|September 5, 1979||Elder Catherine Smith of Big Mountain drives fencing crew off land at gunpoint, halting fencing which had "destroyed sacred plants, herbs and a sacred spring." Arrested, acquitted in mistrial.|
|October 28, 1979||Big Mountain Dine' declare Independence and Sovereignty, stating, "The sacred laws of the Dine' give no authority for the federal government and its related agencies to intrude and disrupt the sacred lands of Big Mountain."|
|1980||Peabody Coal Company announces there is enough coal under Black Mesa to be mined for the next 100 years.|
|June 1980||Congress amended its 1974 legislation with Public Law 96-305, enabling the Navajos to obtain 250,000 acres of federal land at government expense and giving the bribe the option of purchasing an additional 150,000 acres. The "New Lands" were to be used for resettling relocatees.|
|September 1980||Elder Alice Benally and three daughters from Big Mountain are maced, thrown to the ground confronting fencing crew. Charged with 8 federal crimes.|
|April 1981||Final Relocation Plan submitted to Congress. Elders and American Indian Movement establish Survival Camp at Big Mountain.|
|July 8, 1981||Relocation plan accepted by Congress. 291 families relocated before adoption of Plan.|
Delegation from Big Mountain, Dine' and traditional Hopi went to Geneva, Switzerland 1981 to attend U.N. Human Rights Commission and submitted violations of human rights.
U.N. response (given verbally) to accusations at U.N. Commission about the big Mountain case: "Touched on the matter of property rights." "American Indians can own property." "Speculation about the intention of coal companies is nothing but conjecture." "There is no threat to anyone's religion in the U.S."
|1982||Relocation commission director, Leon Berger, resigns in frustration over commission procedures. Big Mountain legal Defense / Offense Committee formed in Flagstaff from National Lawyers Guild meeting at Santa Fe, NM, to provide us with legal representation against forced relocation and to represent relocatees cheated in real estate deals. New Navajo and Hopi tribal chairmen, Peterson Zah and Ivan Sidney, vow to settle dispute peaceably.|
|April 1982||U.S. District Court orders destruction of 11 homes and other structures under P.L. 93-531, in and around Big Mountain area. Livestock confiscation resumes. Gatherings called to establish permanent presence of support workers on the land.|
|January 1983||President Zah takes office as new Navajo Tribal Chairman announces "new era" of negotiation between the two Chairmen.|
|April 1983||Resisting confiscation of her horses, Big Mountain Elder Mae Tso is beaten, arrested and locked up; suffers heart attack.|
|Spring 1983||Legal Defense Committee investigates relocatee ripoffs, so-called "home loss" phenomenon. Suites filed in State courts against realtors and finance companies. House Appropriations Committee requests "information" on home losses.|
|August 1983||First Sun Dance held at Big Mountain and this ceremony continues to be conducted every year.|
|March 1984||Legal Defense Committee and Support Group Network launch initiative to halt Relocation Commission funding pending investigation of fraud.|
|June 1984||Appropriation passes House with rider requesting investigation of fraud in relocation program|
Chairman Watkins testified to the House that "We will move them off the JUA by 1986" and then submitted a report to Congress that showed it would take until 1993 to complete the relocations.
Dine' residents of the JUA testify at relocation hearings that they cannot move, should not have to move, will not move, and refuse to be moved. These hearings are being done in preparation for the long-promised oversight hearings by the Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs.
|December 1985||Legal Defense Committee has joined with Coconino County Legal Aid in a suit against the U.S. government for breach of duty, wrongful death and negligence. The suit, a Federal Tort Claims Act, charges the Relocation Commission with relocating Navajo families into living conditions which potentially cause a loss of life, and other laws requiring due process and compensation for relocations. (resulting from the death of a family's 3 month old baby daughter from pneumonia.)|
|1985||$12 million uranium mill clean-up project for uranium tailings left from a mill built by Kerr-McGee in 1954|
|March 4, 1985|
Traditional Hopi, Hotevilla call for Repeal of P.L. 93-531
The traditional and religious leadership of Hotevilla stated that "This genocidal legislation was made into law by congress and signed by the President of the United States without our knowledge, consent or approval, therefore, this Bill is a total violation of our sovereign rights, the Civil Rights Act, The Religious Freedom Act, the Guadalupe Hidalgo Treaty of 1848, and the Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations."
"There is no need for this bill, as we, the grass-root people of both Hopi and Navajo, all know there was no fighting, quarreling, nor warfare taking place in our homeland." "As Initiated Hopi members of Wuwuchim and Kachina Religious Order, knowing our ancient spiritual instructions, warnings and prophecies, we see this as merely a political conflict between Hopi and Navajo Chairman, that was instigated and promoted by the BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs) after they quickly set up the so-called Hopi Tribal Council and placing them in the hands of the Secretary of the Interior, who in turn used them as a tool to begin mineral resource development with the aid of the Multinational Corporation." "The BIA pressured the so-called Hopi Tribal Council to hire Mormon attorneys to bring about leasing of Hopi and Navajo homelands for minerals resource development." "It is for this reason that P.L. 93-531 was passed in Congress.
House Appropriations Committee submits report to President Regan highly critical of relocation program.
State Senator James Henderson has introduced a bill in the Arizona state legislature which would request the U.S. Congress consider repealing P.L. 93-531. The bill if passed would call for a halt to implementation of P.L. 93-531, call for Congressional oversight and investigation of the relocation program consider repeal of the act, and a freeze on the legal status of the JUA.
|February- June, 1985||Meetings with official and traditionals to gather positions. May 29, meting with Hopi religious leaders at Second Mesa expressing their traditional view that the Navajos should stay.|
|June 30, 1985||Religious leadership of Hopi and elders of Big Mountain meet to share unified position that Navajo and Hopi should continue to share the life and land of the JUA.|
|August 1985||Hopi Tribal Council Chairman Ivan Signey says time for negotiations is past. Ivan Sidney rejects Regan's representative's recommendation for land exchange. President Zah agrees to sign second recommendation of "rental payment' between Tribes.|
|September - October 1985||Judge Clark, on behalf of President Regan submits Report to Regan recommending that Congress reconsider P.L. 93-531|
|February 1986||Arizona congressman John McCain and Morris Udall draft amendment to P.L. 93-531 calling for an end to relocation of residents and exchange of lands between Navajo and Hopi as compensation.|
|February 4, 1986||Sidney Yates, Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior at an oversight hearing states "The Relocation Commission has botched the job of relocation." he also noted, "that there was a 'groundswell of support' all across the country for the Navajo resisting relocation." Chairman Yates was dissatisfied with 10 years of failure, and the lack of any credible agreement regarding how many people remain on the land, facing removal, estimates of less than 200 families by the BIA, 335 families by the Commission, and 111 families by the Navajo Tribe.|
|February 4, 1986||On the same day as Yates hearing Representative Morris Udall (D-Az) briefed both Tribal Chairmen on a bill he may introduce "Comprehensive Settlement Act" to virtually halt relocation. A key feature was the elimination of the Relocation Commission within 6 months, and transfer of the programs' remains to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA.)|
|March 1986||Sidney Yates released a report in which staff investigators state that they could find no aspect of the program which was working, and no reason to believe it could be made to work.|
|July 7, 1986|
The so-called deadline. The government has relocated most of the Navajo. some remain on the JUA and await Relocation. But 1,000 traditionals (who adhere to ancient tribal customs) refuse to leave Big Mountain, their sacred ancestral homeland.
A House appropriations subcommittee concluded that relocation will take at least until 1995 and cost an estimated $338 million.
|July 19, 1988|
The Gallup Independent article "Rio Radioactive" states "Action must be taken now to solve the problem of radioactive contamination of the Rio Puerco. Chris Shuey, coordinator of the Southwest Research and Information Center in Albuquerque, NM said that the Rio Puerco has so much radioactivity in its sediment that drinking from it would pose a health risk at certain times. The surface water of the Puerco River has at times between 10 and 100 times beyond the maximum allowable level for radioactivity, according to a report released in June by Robert Webb, a hydrologist for the U.S. Geological Survey."
"It has been documented that the radioactive particles discharged from Church Rock area uranium mines have been attached to dirt particles and have been carried downstream by runoff. The Church Rock uranium mining operation in l979 was the site of the nation's largest radioactive spill. the government is forcing Navajos off their land to an area where there is not adequate safe water available. Chris Shuey said of the relocation of Navajos to the "New Lands" south of Sanders."
The BIA has attempted to stop the Navajo Tribe from repairing HPL residents' homes under the Navajo Tribe's new housing repair program entitled "Project Hope." The BIA filed a motion for a Temporary Restraining Order alleging that the repairs and construction were in violation of the court ordered freeze on new construction. (Most of the construction was piecemeal repairs of substandard housing.
|September 15, 1988||The House Interior and Insular Affairs Committee held a hearing on the Senate Bill 1236, which Senators Inouye and McCain had introduced in order to reauthorize appropriations for and restructure the relocation program. Traditional Dine' resister from HPL was invited to present testimony about the bill.|
|October 4 and 5, 1988||Main preliminary injunction hearing in Manybeads lawsuit challenging forced relocation as a violation of the first amendment right to free exercise of religion. Witnesses testify about the impacts that forced relocation, the construction freeze, livestock impoundment, have on the practice of the traditional Navajo religion.|
|January 31, 1989|
Big Mountain Sovereign Dine' Nation Declaration of Resistance delivered by hand to the Superintendent, BIA, Keams Canyon.
-- That we the traditional leadership of the Dine' and Hopi were excluded from participating in the so-called mediation process allowed under PL 93-531.
-- That we declare our own sovereignty and resistance in the face of this law.
-- That we make clear our unity with the Hopi traditionals.
-- That we have asked federal work crews implementing partition fencing, livestock confiscation and water diversion projects to leave our lands; and we have evicted them.
-- That we have established a number of resistance camps and ceremonial grounds on the so-called HPL.
-- That forced Indian removal be halted.
-- That harassment, misinformation and recruitment activities aimed at current residents of the HPL halt.
-- That immediate relief be provided for the thousands of refugees created under PL 93-531.
-- That an advisory council or council of reconciliation be made up of Dine' and Hopi representatives of the affected communities..
-- That alternatives be created to current forced Indian removal on Black Mesa.
|1989-1993||Big Mountain Residents continue to resist. Every year since 1981 a Spring Gathering takes place to plan strategies and for spiritual reunification for the coming year.|
|April 1993||Run from Big Mountain to Hotevilla to support the defense at the request for support from traditional Hopi elders.|
|August 5, 1993|
Meeting at Rock Ridge School, Dine' vote 250-1 against the Agreement-In-Principle. The AIP was considered to not be in the best interest of the people. Permits were required to graze livestock, fix homes, break a green branch from a tree, erect a ceremonial structure, NO burial of dead, and accepting living under Hopi Tribal Council jurisdiction. Also living under the time constraints of 75 years would mean handing down our problems to our children and our children's children.
The lease is a legal way for us to be evicted from our ancestral land, and we can be evicted for having a vehicle that is not in working order, use of profane language, etc.
Also, give the problems of abuse by the Hopi Tribal Council, and with no sign of good faith during the Mediation process, why are we to believe that we will obtain permission to remain when we go, 75 years from now to the Hopi Tribal Council to seek an extension?
|October 1993||Over 270 local residents sign citizens Complaints against Peabody Coal Company for concerns that can cause significant, imminent environmental harm. These Complaints were filed with Office of Surface Mining (OSM.)|
|November 1993||First press conference held by elders about Citizens Complaints. Expressing concerns about use of an illegal, unpermitted coal slurry pipeline, railroad, access road, improper revegetation / reclamation, wells and water quality.|
|November 1993||OSM inspections begin at Peabody's Black Mesa mining complex.|
|November - February 1994||OSM inspections continue, including inspections for blasting damage to homes, illnesses in livestock and people, toxic contamination of the surface and ground water, land, air, water diminution, destruction of anasazi ruins, sacred, ceremonial and burial sites.|
|February 1994||Delegation from Big Mountain attended EPA Environmental Justice Conference, Washington, DC. February 11, 1994, President Clinton signs Executive Order on Environ,mental Justice.|
|December 12, 1993 to present||Pattern of livestock confiscation aimed at leaders fighting Peabody Coal Company as a retaliation. This is being investigated by the House Committee on Natural Resources.|
|March 28, 1994|
Big Mountain withdrew from Mediation after the Hopi Tribal council had left the Mediation table and an aggressive livestock impoundment incident occurred on March 27.
During the Mediation process the Hopi Tribal Council conducted a campaign of aggressive livestock, wood, wood tool confiscation, denying any means for survival.
|May 1994||Delegation from Big Mountain travels cross-country to Washington, DC for Justice. This is the first case of Environmental Justice to be brought by Native people since President Clinton signed the Executive Order.|
|May 1, 1994||Bob Hagen, Field Office Director, Albuquerque OSM, takes an early retirement after conducting a pattern of obstruction of justice and violation of a federal mandate by Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt, not to interfere with a Field Office Inspector's ability to do their job and write violations as they see them. Bob Hagen had told his Field Office Inspectors (responsible for coal field enforcement of AZ, NM, UT AND CO) not to write violations, conducted "ticket fixing," denied travel money and spent time at a shredder machine.|
|June 1994||Linda Chase, Chief Oversight Investigator, House Committee on Natural Resources and Steve Healey, Sub Committee on Indian Affairs travel to Black Mesa to meet with Big Mountain Delegation in response to our Washington, DC visit and begin investigations for Congressional Oversight Hearing i Washington, DC and a Congressional Field Hearing to be held on Black Mesa. The subject of the investigation is illegal practices by Peabody, Right to Mine by Peabody, etc.|
|June 1994||Petitions are sent to Department of the Interior, Environmental Protection Agency, OSM, for creation of a Native Office in Washington, DC for Environmental Justice, enforcement of Surface Mining Coal Reclamation Act (SMCRA,) and against Relocation, Livestock Confiscation and Wood and Wood Cutting Tool Confiscation.|
|August 3-5, 1994||Attend Environmental Justice Advisory Council meeting in Albuquerque, NM to demand implementation of the law and ensure follow-up investigations and appropriate action is taken by the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency and all federal regulatory agencies.|
The supplied chronology ends here, omitting the saga of S1973, we are listing current activities in the chronology below
Another chronology is listed by Planet Peace
Supporters gathered at Black Mesa, while the eyes of the world turned to that area to witness the actions taken by the U.S. government.
The BIA and HTC issued a statement that they would not evict Dine'h on that day, which contradicted earlier statements that the BIA would remove the Dine'h on or before the deadline "by whatever means necessary."
In their statement, the BIA stated that there was a legal process that must be followed in order to forcibly remove Dine'h from Black Mesa, and that the process had not yet begun. This statement indicated that eviction notices and other attempts to forcibly remove Dine'h were all done illegally and were nothing more or less than terrorist tactics being used by the BIA and the BIA owned HTC.
Kee Shay's attorney made it clear, during a phone conference, that he would also not be available to Kee Shay on 20 July 2000.
Kee Shay had gall bladder surgery.