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Rapport från Bahe Katenay 2007

Rapport från Bahe Katenay

Bahe at 30BM 2007 Nabahe Kediniihii, born and raised on Big Mountain,has spent his whole life working for his People.Among many things, he has served as an interpreterfor the Elders and made possible for their words to reach people, all over the world. He played a crucial role in organizing this gathering.

Greetings Relations

On October 6, 2007, the Dineh community of Sweet Water at Big Mountain hosted its 30th Anniversary celebration for their resistance to forced relocation and to the encroachment of Peabody Coal Company. The celebration was a success. This one day event began on a cold and cloudy Saturday morning with a sunrise ceremony inside the old remains of the council lodge that was built for the 10th Anniversary in 1987. And here are just a few sample of the highlights...

The Big Mtn. Support Committee of 1977 from Albuquerque was represented by Allen Cooper, a non-Indian veteran of Wounded Knee 1973. The Bay Area's Big Mountain Support Group of the 1980s were represented by a good number of people like Martha Bourke, Christy Lubin and Andy Mesches. The first professional photographer on the scene at Big Mtn., Dan Budnik, was present and gave a talk about how the government had orchestrated the land-grab on Black Mesa for control of mineral rights. The Dineh Nation American Indian Movement of the 1970s were represented by Lenny Foster and his brother, Larry. Lenny like Al Cooper talked about how AIM and the seige at Wounded Knee in 1973 brought much awareness about the injustices and brutality of the US Justice Department, and how native resistance in Dineh country grew and which helped connect Big Mtn. resistance to other international indigenous struggles.

Despite the unexpected small turnout of just under a hundred, the few attending elders gave much inspiration and power to the purpose of this celebration. The songs of honor were provided by Tomas Keediniihii, former SDN Patrol member, and his group that traveled all the way from USC Northridge, California. Becky White and her band, The Secret Mission, shared some beautiful and spirit-lifting music. In the evening, there was a crowd around the bonfire as Danny Blackgoat led story telling as others participated, too. Later around the bonfire there was some accordian music and songs by Leo Redwood (a.k.a. Larry "No Nukes" Wood) who was accompanied by the slide guitar of Janek Keediniihii. Beautiful flute music was also provided a Swedish artist and supporter, Jeanette Brodin-Diner.

Elder resisters and representatives emphasized some particular issues besides giving thanks to the many endeavors made by non-Indian friends/supporters and traditional Dineh resisters throughout the 30 years. The elder speakers emphasized that the fight must continue for liberation and to Rekindle the Endangered Dineh Culture at Big Mountain. As Pauline Whitesinger stated, "That is why I initiated that physicial altercation with the BIA fencing crew on that October afternoon in 1977. I did it for the soil that you all are standing on! It was for our Mother Earth that I had to do it! Now, we must stop believing in politics and the legal processes, but instead we must seriously start believing in our own prayers! That is where the real power exist!"

Many local Dineh were fearful that this event, which was a demonstration of sovereignty, would be disrupted by the area's BIA Tribal Law Enforcement decided not to attend. The immediate and a few local elders who face BIA Law harassment on a daily basis were absolutely proud to attend and celebrate their sovereign authorities.
Thanks to all the beautiful people that made this happen! We will share much more as soon as we put together a better edited report. Also, thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers.

In Solidarity and Honor,

~Kat (aka Bahe)

Dineh of Big Mountain


"Out of the Indian approach to Life, there came a great freedom, an intense and absorbing love for Nature, a respect for Life, and an enriching faith in a Supreme Power. And with all this, there is the principle of truth, honesty, generosity, equity, and kinship as a guide to mundane relations."

--Luther Standing Bear, Oglala Lakota Chief



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