Navajo family fights to stay on national monument land

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  • Navajo family fights to stay on monument land

    Navajo elder Stella Peshlakai Smith, 89, stands outside a traditional dwelling on her homestead at Wupatki National Monument in northern Arizona earlier this month. The National Park Service, which manages the monument, and the Peshlakai family are at odds over the family’s pursuit of residency in the vast expanse of grassland and pueblo ruins. Felicia Fonseca/The Associated Press

Posted: Saturday, March 22, 2014 6:30 pm | Updated: 9:23 pm, Sat Mar 22, 2014.

WUPATKI NATIONAL MONUMENT, Ariz — Before an expanse of grassland and pueblo ruins in northern Arizona was declared a national monument, it was home to hundreds of Navajos whose ancestors returned to settle the area after a forced march to an Eastern New Mexico internment camp.

Slowly, the Navajo families left Wupatki National Monument, too, either voluntarily or under pressure by the National Park Service, which sought to eliminate private use of the public land it managed. Only one Navajo woman remains.

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  • Josh Davis posted at 11:26 am on Fri, May 2, 2014.

    CraxyD Posts: 1

    Maybe she can borrow some of Cliven Bundy's people

  • Allan Ladd posted at 1:50 pm on Mon, Apr 21, 2014.

    Ladd Posts: 8

    There is nothing new in the sad story of the last elder being pushed off ancestral land because they are in the way of some corporate profiteer. Usually it is strip mining, fracking, cattle grazing behind the bulldozers flattening someone's home or hogan. Here it is likely not sheep overgrazing that was really the issue. Traditionals know quite well how to live in harmony with their ancestral land without overgrazing like modern corporate exploiters who leave behind in their wake nothing but Wasteland and tainted water. Thing how absurd it is that the Park Service doesn't want the sight of someone who still lives in sacred harmony with Mother Earth to detract from the sight of a monument to that vanishing outlook ! Having just come from Easter, that is the equivalent of someone running off the last Christian living near the Tomb in order to sell tickets to tourists ! One suspects that what is really behind running this story is not sympathy with this woman but part of the media's current interest in dramatizing the conflict between public lands and private profiteers. Since the mainstream media is owned by the latter, you can guess where their real sympathies lie !

  • Maureen Gour posted at 6:32 am on Sun, Apr 20, 2014.

    Mdgour Posts: 1

    One more example of the US government trying to drive native Americans off lands they've occupied since long before there was a US government. Shame on you, National Park Service!

  • ernestl morellsr posted at 11:58 am on Sat, Apr 19, 2014.

    ernestl morellsr Posts: 1

    ...I can say, that there's a time for eveything to change, or that changes will come no matter what, but there are somethings that need not changes, because of a long historical connection, and this is one of them....Private land that is being taken away, I wish I knew how to word this.or say something that sound deep, like the free land that was given to the early settlers who became rich from it, or millions of cattles crossing the Native Tribal lands. But there will come a day when this Triage will be dealt with...

  • Prince Michael Jauregui posted at 10:50 pm on Thu, Apr 17, 2014.

    HRH Prince Michael Posts: 8

    What a cold and absolutely deplorable microcosm for the
    treatment of Native-Americans by a sinister "Government" - in 2014?!

    These grossly unjust actions must be rectified.


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