UPDATE: Our original post did not make it clear that this is an invite-only event and closed at this point. The gathering is seeking support from individuals and organizations. How you can support:
Because this exciting gathering differs from other BMIS gatherings and the participants have already been determined, there are other ways for the BMIS supporter network to plug in and support. This is an opportunity to move your resources, as folks who have had the rich experience of spending time with the on-land resistance communities, to enable folks from other frontline resistance movements to connect to the 40 year-long struggle for self-determination on Black Mesa/Big Mountain. We are asking for your financial support to help fund travel for the various organizations who will attend…Checks made payable to “Black Mesa Indigenous Support” with “Organization-based Gathering” in memo line.
SINCE 1974, Public Law 93-531 (the relocation law) has forcefully relocated tens of thousands of Dineh (Navajo) and several hundred Hopi people from their ancestral homeland in Arizona. Generations have been impacted by the loss of grazing areas and the intentional break up of this community. This is the largest relocation of Indigenous people in this country since the Trail of Tears and it is ongoing. This corporate colonialism was falsely presented to the outside world as a land dispute between the Dineh and Hopi.
This genocidal policy was crafted by government agents and energy company representatives in order to gain access to the mineral resources of Black Mesa – billions of tons of low sulfur coal. For over 30 years, traditional Dine’ at Black Mesa have lived in resistance, steadfastly refusing to relocate as strip-mines rip apart their sacred lands and generating plants poison the desert air.
Led by Big Mountain/Black Mesa community members and in collaboration with organizers from other front line resistance communities, Black Mesa Indigenous Support (BMIS) is coordinating a land-based gathering on Black Mesa from June 3-9th. A Black Mesa community member is using a four directions planning model to guide the process of shaping the goals, conversations, projects, and structure of the gathering. A family who has been resisting forced relocation for over four decades due to Peabody Coal Mine’s operations has offered to host the gathering. Work such as rebuilding roads, hogans, corals, shearing and herding sheep, and planting corn will connect participants to resistance based in a traditional, land-based lifeway.
Through centering the Big Mountain/Black Mesa struggle for self-determination, cultural survival, and the right to remain on ancestral homelands, the aim of the gathering is to link this struggle to other social, racial, environmental, migrant and climate justice movements. Members of Black Mesa/Big Mountain resistance community have asked the theme and practice of decolonization frame the work parties, workshops, discussions, art and cultural sharing. By fostering creative, spiritually and culturally grounded modes of coming together, we hope to generate tangible cross movement connections toward a common struggle.
Groups involved in the planning process/ planning on attending range from Palestinian Youth Movement, (Un)Occupy Albuquerque, Hawaiian Sovereignty movement, Ka Lei Maile Ali’i, Radical Action for Mountain Peoples Survival, Seventh Native American Generation (SNAG), Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance, Sixth World Indigenous Peoples Organization.
The gathering will include workshops and conversations between and among the Big Mountain/Black Mesa resistance community and other frontline resistance communities from around the country, Native youth organizer caucus, cultural sharing, work parties, an elders’ circle, a community meal, and a concert with Rebel Diaz, Bronx-based hip hop artists and youth organizers, and Shining Soul, grassroots hip hop duo from occupied O’odham land in Southern Arizona.
*Participation for this gathering is currently full. There are, however, other ways to support.*
We are seeking financial support for the gathering. Funds will go to: Indigenous organizers and other frontline communities’ travel, documenting of the event by Native Youth Media Collective, Outta Your Backpack Media, sheep for meals, and supplies for on-land work projects.
As always, you can send checks to “Black Mesa Indigenous Support” at PO Box 23501 Flagstaff, AZ 86002 OR donate online here. If you donate online, don’t forget to put BMIS in the designation box.
“WE SMELL A NEW DAWN
WE TASTE THIS NEW POWER
WE STEWARD WE SHELTER
WE WITNESS WE PRAY WE GATHER
WE FIND NEW KINDNESS
WE KISS THE GROUND”