Din'e (Navajo) Elders and Relatives (Covid-19)

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My name is Christopher Nagethligai-Byrd Cullen.

I am helping my relative Bithanii Wayne Wilson and a small group of community members on the Din'e (Navajo) reservation to get the needed supplies for hundreds of Elders in rural areas who do not have access to basic food, water and supplies.

For some it is literally 300 miles to the nearest store. At 70,  80 and 90yrs old this trip would be impossible and it takes a 4-wheel drive to get to some of these areas.

With dwindling supplies, food banks closing and little being offered by the US government, it is a very strong reality that many of my relatives could die due to starvation, not to mention the pandemic Covid-19 virus

I am Din'e through my grandfather Hank Nagethligai Bainbridge and Wayne and I are related that way, we are taught to be of service to our community, especially our elders who are the repositories of thousands of years of ancient knowledge and understanding about our planet earth and how to live as a tight knit, woven community in a good way.

Our Din'e elders are some of the most intelligent, compassionate and beautiful human beings I have ever met.

In these times their particular knowledge is vital to meeting the challenges of this day and age. Not our greatest leaders and scientist have been able to stop some of the disasters we are starting to face. If we do not take care of our elders, who then will guide us with compassion and insight through our most difficult times?

Please help me in supporting some of our most vulnerable populations and true national treasures, who just need some basic needs met.

If you have the ability, you can also send the following supplies direct to Wayne Wilson at:

Wayne Wilson
306 Vista Avenue
Gallup, NM 87301

Supplies needed:
Disinfectant/ Rubbing Alcohol
Iodine Pills 
Cleaning Supplies Wipes and Bleach
Toilet Paper
Water

For any questions, I can be reached at 206.391-2188

-------------------------------

A Navajo Four Directions Prayer 

Diigo Haasdzo Sohodizin

Koo Doo Hozhoo Doo Shi Ya'an ni' kaan, Diyin Ni'liinii,
Shi Ninsahakees
Ha'a'aah, Hayolkaal, Daan, Sisnajini Doo Bi'ke'hgo Da'iinaanii Beh Hozhogo Na Sháa Doo,
Shi Naha'ta,
Shadi'aahji, Nohodeetliizh, Shi, Tsoodzil Doo Gaal Beh Hozhogo Na Sháa Doo,
Shi Iina,
E'e'Aahji, Nohootsoii, Aak'ee, Dook'o'oosliid, Doo Aha'ana'ooniil, K'eh Bi' ke'go Hozhogo Na Sháa Doo,
Shi Sihasin
Nahookosji' Chaalheel, Hai, Dibenitsaa Doo Shi' Sih Hasin K'ad Beh Shi Hozhogo Bi' K'ehgo da iinaaniigii Shil behozin Beh Hozhogo Na Sháa Doo,

Hozhogo Diigo haaz dzohgo Beh Shi ta'h Hozho, Shi Diyin Niliiniii Beh Hozhogo Na Shaa Doo, Shi Daagii Hozhogo Na Sha Do, Shi Keh deh, Hozhogo Na Shaa Do, Shi Yaagii Hozhogo Na Shaa Do, Shi Tsijí' Dehgo Hozhogo Na Sha Do, T'a altsoh Shi'Naago Hozhogo Na Sha Do, Hozho Na Haas Dlii, Hozho Na Haas Dlii, Hozho Na Haas Dlii, Hozho Na Haas Dlii.

( May it be Beautiful from here my Heavenly Great Spirit, from my Thoughts of the Eastern Dawn's first light, Spring, Mt.Blanca, from where my consiousness awakens and my life begins again in a clockwise manner I Walk in Beauty,
To the South of Blue Day light of Planning my Goals in which Summer represents, Mt. Taylor from which my life path is my Youthfulness that strengthens and endurance evolves as I Walk in Beauty,
To the West of Yellow Evening Twilight, San Francisco Peak in which the Autumn Fall represents to embrace, respect, by physically Manifesting my goals and family values as I continue learning, I walk in Beauty,
To the North of Folding Darkness of Black Night, Mt. Hesperus, in which Winter and in old age I become wiser as in Reflecting on my life's goals, with this Prayer,
I walk in Beauty, I walk in Beauty with Beauty before me, I walk in Beauty with Beauty behind me, I walk in Beauty with Beauty Below me, I walk in Beauty with Beauty Below me. I walk in Beauty with Beauty above me, I walk in Beauty with Beauty all around me, All is Beautiful, All is Beautiful, All is Beautiful, All is Beautiful..) W.Wilson Dine'h / Navajo Bitahnii do Toh aheedliinii da Shi Zhe'eh, Toh di'chiinii Da Shi Cheii, Tsi'najinii Da Shi Nali'

- Wayne Bithanii Wilson



SOME HISTORICAL STRUGGLES WITH COLONIALISM

The Din'e have been battling with the US Government, settlers and companies ever since Europeans stepped on the land, which has been their home for thousands of years.

In 1863 Kit Carson launched a brutal and relentless search-and-destroy campaign against the Navajo people. Under his command, the US Cavalry swept across the Navajo countryside chopping down fruit trees, destroying crops and butchering sheep. Thousands of Navajos were killed, and approximately 8,500 Navajo men, women and children were captured and forced to walk more than 400 miles in the dead of winter to Fort Summer, a barren, 40-square-mile reservation in eastern New Mexico. This became known in Native American history as "The Long Walk."

In 1944 the Government approved uranium mining without consent and also set off nuclear bomb tests close to Din'e and Hopi land, which has caused a number of health problems, including cancer and many have died from and are still dying from today. It was uranium form Hopi/Navajo land that made the bomb that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was taken without approval, despite the warnings the Hopi made that "No One" should make this kind of bomb, as it would be used 10-fold against "anyone" who used it. In the Hopi prophecies it is referred to as :"The Gourd of Ashes". 

Additionally, In the 70's the Peabody coal company was given rights to strip mine, without due process and have been forcibly relocating our Din'e relatives for decades.  This was in the "Big Mountain" area and is well documented. Many of the Elders whose families have lived in the same areas for thousands of years were forced to move from their Traditional homes into square boxes the government made for them. Many of the Elders died because they couldn't handle the strain of that kind of cultural and emotional change. 

In the 90's Din'e were fighting back with lawyers and any means possible. Things came to a head and the Peabody coal company created a story in the media that the Hopi and Navajo were fighting and arguing together, so they needed to be moved off of their ancestral lands.  Yet, the Hopi and Navajo have been peacefully living together for thousands of years. Clearly a ploy to gain access to the coal on their land. The Peabody Coal company in collaboration with the US Government employed a number of tactics to get their way. They hired goons to try and steal their sheep and cattle, the Din'e only means of subsistence. They would then would charge the Din'e exorbitant fees for "holding" them.  There were regular fly overs from military jets in the middle of the night to terrorize and force our relatives to submit to their mining and relocation. They would also get some of the non-traditional Navajo that didn't grow up with their culture to speak on behalf of the Traditional elders to sell and make deals with the company with land that was not theirs to begin with. The devisions and conflict have been overwhelming for many, all due to the greed and ignorance of a few.

My Din'e brother Mark TiXapi Hull, was there alongside the Grandma's with shotguns ready to defend the people from increased and horrible attacks. He gave me first hand accounts of all these happenings. This is also very well documented.

The Peabody Coal Company uses the "Slurry" process, which uses thousands upon thousands of gallons of water to move the coal in underground pipelines. Many of the peoples wells have dried up as the water table drops, leaving many to have to ship in water from hundreds of miles away. 

There has been a constant barrage of terrorism to what I would describe as the most beautiful people I know. Those of you who are just learning these things can collaborate with our Din'e relatives and "Land Defenders", so we can free the Din'e and ourselves from the disease that is called "Colonialism" and move forward in a more peaceful and healthy way.


https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/04/10/473547227/for-the-navajo-nation-uranium-minings-deadly-legacy-lingers

https://www.culturalsurvival.org/publications/cultural-survival-quarterly/historical-overview-navajo-relocation






Donations

  • Brittany Kleinschnitz 
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Organizer

Chris Cullen 
Organizer
Seattle, WA
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