From Vietnam Veterans Against the War,

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Still Robbing Indian Land


All of us remember from school days the story of how the Dutch settlers purchased Manhattan Island for $24 from the native inhabitants. It was one of the biggest real estate swindles in history!

Three centuries later most of us have changed our consciousness about the American Indians. We realize that our government has historically treated them with indignity and deceit, violating nearly all our treaties soon after we signed them.

All that's past, right?... Wrong! Our Congress—which represents you and me—is even today in the midst of another land grab from native Americans, this time from the Hopi and Navajo tribes of Arizona.

We can stop this tragedy if we act quickly. Here's a summary of the facts and what we can do about the situation:

At the urging of major business interests, the U.S. government is continuing a centuries old campaign to steal Indian land. At Big Mountain, Arizona, the government plans to forcibly remove 14,000 Navaho and Hopi people from land on which they have lived for centuries—so that coal and uranium companies can build strip mines. The corporations will have the "gift" of stolen Indian land: The U.S. taxpayers will be left with a tax bill for over a billion dollars. No more than 15% of the people turn out to vote for these councils; most natives do not recognize the legitimacy of white sponsored native councils that claim the ability to sell or lease ancestral lands.

Thomas Banyacya of the Hopi traditional council of elders says, "There is no land dispute between the Navajo and the Hopi. The traditional people never recognized the tribal councils. It is the tribal councils and big energy companies and the U.S. government who are in dispute against the Navajos and the Hopis. The Great Spirit didn't want the land dug up to create nuclear weapons...I call upon the U.S. and the so-called tribal councils to refrain from invading Big Mountain and allow the traditional people to remain in their homes."

For more information, write the Big Mountain Legal Offense/ Defense Committee and ask to be on their mailing list. Include your phone number for their emergency phone campaign. If you can send a much-needed donation. The address is: Big Mountain Legal Defense/Offense Committee, 2501 N 4th St, Suite 18-19, Flagstaff, AZ 86001. (602) 774-5233.

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