Arizona Happy to Sacrifice Navajos for its Dirty Coal Electricity — Document

Roberta Blackgoat, with her son Danny Blackgoat, and Mike Flores, Tohono O’odham, protesting Peabody Coal and depletion of the aquifer in Flagstaff. Photo by Brenda Norrell

Article by Brenda Norrell

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The following letter from the Arizona Corporation Commission to the Secretary of Interior reveals the fact that Arizona was always happy to sacrifice Navajos in order to receive its dirty, coal-fired electricity for Southern Arizona.

Arizona politicians, along with corrupt attorneys and irresponsible media, were responsible for the relocation of more than 14,000 Navajos in order to clear the land for Peabody Coal to mine Black Mesa.

This coal has long powered the Navajo Generating Station on the Navajo Nation, poisoning the air, water and rupturing the land. It depleted the aquifer and caused widespread critical health problems.

This dirty energy resulted in 40 years of misery for Navajos on Big Mountain and Black Mesa.

The Navajo Nation Council and President Russell Begaye — who rallied at Standing Rock last year to fight Dakota Access Pipeline — are now working to keep this dirty coal power plant open.

It is one of the dirtiest coal fired power plants in the world.

ARIZONA CORPORATION Commission’s letter to Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke on a 5-year “settlement” proposal.

It’s Time to Stop and Take a Breath on Arizona’s Power Future

The negotiations over saving Navajo Generating Station (NGS) have ended and the Navajo Tribal Council is left with a seemingly unamendable extension agreement to keep the coal-fired power plant in partial service for another two years. With no room to alter the proposal in the Navajo Tribal Council and only a few weeks to consider it before the Salt River Project (SRP) proceeds with decommissioning, it is almost humorous to consider these coincidences as anything but pre-planned. This scripted process, predicated on SRP’s imposed urgency forgets the 2013 verbal agreement and handshake to keep the plant open until 2044 as part of a multi- owner settlement to close 1/3 of the plant to meet EPA regulations.

So here we have it: A sad, short stop to a longstanding institution that is responsible for what Arizona is today. Arguably, without NGS there would hardly be a Valley of the Sun. Some of Arizona’s greatest statesman-Rep. John Rhodes, Gov. Paul Fannin, Sens Barry Goldwater and Carl Hayden and Interior Secretary Udall -stepped up to the plate to make sure the power for our Colorado River water allocation would be “home grown” in Arizona.1 NGS allowed Arizona to be self-reliant by using our own coal and our own plant in unison with our Native American communities to provide for our state’s young economy. The Sierra Club and business community alike, rejoiced over this cooperation.

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Haul No! Halt Uranium Mining in Grand Canyon




Monday, June 19, 2017

Contact: Klee Benally
Sarana Riggs

‘Haul No!’ Tour Underway to Stop Grand Canyon Uranium Mining & Transport

Upcoming Dates: Flagstaff, Cameron, & Red Butte

Grand Canyon, Arizona — As Energy Fuels Inc. (EFI) threatens to start uranium mining on sacred Indigenous Lands managed by the US Forest Service, just miles from the Grand Canyon, Haul No! is in the midst of a 300 mile awareness and action tour along the Canyon Mine haul route.

What: The Haul No! Tour includes presentations on public health, cultural and environmental impacts from uranium mining, and a direct action workshop.

Who: Haul No! is a volunteer Indigenous-led group collaborating with Indigenous communities and leaders, environmental organizations, and community-based advocates working to stop nuclear colonialism in the Southwest.

When & Where:Haul No! tour has already been through Bluff, Monument Valley, Kayenta, & Tuba City.

Monday, June 19, Flagstaff, AZ

Coconino Center for the Arts, 6pm – 8pm
2300 N Fort Valley Rd, Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Tuesday, June 20, Cameron, AZ

UPDATED: Cameron Chapter House, 1:00pm – 3:00pm

June 23-25, Red Butte, AZ
Havasupai Prayer Gathering
Due to Highway 180 road closure please use the following directions from Flagstaff (approx. 75 miles):

Directions: From Flagstaff, take I-40 West

Take exit 165 for AZ-64/I-40 toward Williams/Grand Canyon

Go through Valle (north) and continue 11 miles to Forest Road 320.

Turn right (east) and go 1.3 miles to FR 340.

Look for signs.

Why: Up to 12 trucks a day with 30 tons each of highly radioactive uranium ore are slated to be transported through mostly small reservation communities.The Havasupai Nation has legally challenged the US Forest Service due failure complete meaningful consultation with the Havasupai in their 1986 Environmental Impact Statement regarding Canyon Mine. A decision from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is still pending.

Although the Navajo Nation has banned transport of uranium through its lands since 2012, EFI would be permitted by the state of Arizona due to jurisdictional issues.

Possible radioactive contamination to land, water, and air from the Canyon Mine, White Mesa Mill, and transport of uranium would impact northern Arizona, southeast Utah, the Colorado River, Moenkopi Wash, the San Juan River, and the lands and cultural resources of the Havasupai, Hopi, Navajo, Ute, and Paiute peoples.

Updates and more information can be found at: &

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Honoring Lehman Brightman by John Redhouse

By John Redhouse, Dineh

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In Honor

We have lost another great warrior with the passing of Dr Lehman Brightman, Sr. Lehman or Lee, La Nada Means, and other militant activist-warriors in the San Francisco area boldly founded the United Native Americans (UNA) in the summer of 1968. As a college freshman, I will always remember his strong militant leadership and voice when we protested the anti-Indian presence of Secretary of Interior Walter Hickel (a pro-termination enemy of the People) and corrupt Vice President Spiro Agnew during the annual convention of the National Congress of American Indians in Albuquerque in October, 1969. In our direct action protest, we even took it to the streets when we blocked their motorcade procession from the airport to downtown before being surrounded and brutalized by armed security guards. Later, however, we managed to boo (or heckle) Hickel off stage at the convention. And I will never forget the powerful and eloquent speech he delivered in that packed conference room at the Motor Inn in Window Rock in August, 1970 on the need for militance, always, in the course of our activist work and the necessity of taking the strongest possible action in defense of native peoples and lands throughout the Americas. In January, 1978, I met him again at the Albuquerque Indian School auditorium when he spoke of his continuing work—as an activist and a scholar—documenting and exposing the horrific environmental and health impacts of uranium development on Navajo and Pueblo lands and the criminal motives behind the illegal mass sterilization of native women. I continued to follow and support his life’s work until 2011 when he suffered a crippling stroke and could no longer serve native people. A true warrior, he sacrificed and gave to his people. He gave and gave until he couldn’t give anymore. Like Herb Blatchford, Clyde Warrior, Mel Thom, and other great visionary leaders of the Red Power era, Dr. Lehman Brightman will always be remembered for his remarkable work and enduring legacy.

All Our Relations,
John Redhouse

Thank you John Redhouse, Dine’, for sharing with Censored News your memories of Dr. Lehman Brightman, who passed to the Spirit World on Sunday afternoon.


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