Wednesday, October 21, 2020
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Letters: Hemp has no part in our culture

Marijuana/hemp has no part in Navajo culture and traditions. Let alone, no part in any indigenous culture or traditions.

Marijuana/hemp should not even be considered to be legalized in the Navajo Nation. Evidence of its destructive effects are evident by what is happening in the Shiprock Agency.

One person abusing his place on the farm board with ruthless tactics to gain as much land as he can with his criminal entourage, through threats, intimidation, and the unlawful use of firearms, plus his complete unethical actions along with complete disregard of Navajo Nation laws, should suffice his removal from the office of farm board presidency.

His continued criminal activities should also ban him from applying for any future public office of the Navajo Nation, as well as at the county and state levels. So should those in the local government and chapter office who condone his criminal actions, which makes them just as guilty. His bringing in of all these foreign nationals without proper quarantine protocol to work his illegal farms shows no respect towards the Navajo government and the Navajo people.

Sad to see the outcome of poor parenting, but this type of behavior by one entrusted to work for the Navajo farmers should be of great concern for the whole Navajo Nation.

These foreign nationals have time and time again brought alcohol by the cases onto the reservation to entice the young Navajo workers, who work for low pay and/or illegal marijuana potted plants, just for money to use to support their addictions, into partying at the man camps where there are always fights and gunshots with some of our young Navajo women being drugged, taken advantage of, beaten, and left to make their own way home.

Many of our own would rather turn a blind eye rather than admit that this type of criminal activity is taking place right in our own neighborhoods, something many say is encouraged by the individual who brought them here to work his illegal farms.

All local parents should be made aware that, yes, this is happening and that we need to watch out for all our youth. I am aware that in our neighborhood, there are witnesses who have seen the foreigners coming into our neighbors’ yards and also drive into our neighborhood watching all our young kids playing outdoors.

They actually have to be chased off by neighbors on the lookout for each other. There are also incidents where these foreign nationals have threatened our elders and youth at the local businesses.

Dineh Benally’s disregard to policy and procedure is witnessed by his cutting of the highway fence line, state property, to put an entrance to his illegal marijuana/hemp farm right across the street from the entrance to our local high school, something that should anger the high school students, their parents, and the school board.

His plowing of the road that leads to said marijuana/hemp farm cuts through the Diné College property, which the college should protest and block from being used.

Just more ruthless criminal behavior by someone lusting after monetary self-gain over his own people. After all, “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness,” as has been shown with a local church falling in on these illegal activities, their love of our Creator God overtaken by their lust after earthly riches. These criminal actions should be evident that his illegal hemp farms are also farms of marijuana.

More evidence coming from one of his followers posting online in the local flea market page of local workers being needed to farm medicinal marijuana, which is still illegal in the Navajo Nation.

It is now shown how this individual, after causing great disruption in the Shiprock community, now has his sights set on other Navajo farmland in other Navajo agencies. His criminal ways of gaining access to the unsuspecting Navajo farmers’ farmlands is now worsening after hearing he now is in the works of scamming the ranchers of their grazing permits.

To allow this individual to continue to hold office and even remain on the farm board shows total lack of Navajo election laws, rules and regulations. It shows why so many Navajo voters are losing faith in our Navajo government. We ask that if the Navajo Nation government cannot stop this person then the intervention of the federal government be requested.

This has gone on far too long from someone whose only plans are for self-gain at any cost. Very disheartening to witness all this individual is allowed to get away with and is still sitting as farm board president?

The Navajo Nation is becoming a reservation where criminals come to hide out and where they can do as they please with no fear of being prosecuted for their crimes. Those farmers who have violated their lease and permits by allowing this criminal to sell their land to foreign entities should now forfeit their farmlands back to the tribe.

All this we, as Navajo parents, need to see of what can happen if we do not parent our youth correctly and stray from the teachings of our elders on our heritage, culture, and traditions.

Norman Joe
Shiprock, N.M.

Don’t let them poison our Mother

This concerns me about every minority out there. Not just the Native people who are, it is said, the protectors of our mother, the earth. The earth of whom we are supposed to be a natural part, because from her is where we originated.

All peoples’ stories, no matter what color or belief, stems from the earth. Even Christian-believing people can relate. It says in the good book that from the dust you came and to the dust you shall return, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. So to live in balance and harmony we took of her what we needed and that was all. The machine age is destroying our culture and our sense of balance with our mother.

On the other side, the conglomerates of the world who control our government and us by not only manipulation, but by increasing acts of war. I know the issue of COVID-19 is new and everyone is still adapting, but did they not plant the seed in the first place, the seed that has grown and choked off our sense of spirituality, our connection with our mother?

I think that the Native people of the northern hemisphere are the only ones who understand what I am talking about. Even to this day a lot of people know that connection briefly. We are manipulated into thinking that this system —“economy” — is some kind of privilege, but those that have never had much are more likely to tell you that it is a system set up for failure, especially if you’re a color they define or look at as inferior.

This mentality of being the best or comparison is a trap. Creator made you perfect just as he needed to. It is the constant propaganda of seeing all these “normal” families on TV.

Idiosyncrasies that we see all day every day and actions that are seen on TV or talked about on the radio are all fake. We as Diné should have realized this a long time ago. Just like all the old ones who shed blood for us future generations to educate ourselves and probably in hopes of us one day uniting and finishing this war that was brought to us.

A government that doesn’t even want you here and now our government is tainted with the bought-off Congressmen and women who do their bidding, getting laws passed that take away more and more of our so-called perceived freedom. Our ancestors would tell you today that we all are living a lie. Diné have never been more out of balance in our entire existence.

“Walk in beauty” is the phrase that we often use and it brings us strength whenever we hear it. This is because in the back of our head we all know it. We know deep down that this system and the way it works is not intended for us. “Manifest Destiny” they called it. And resistance is all they found in us to the point of death and even beyond.

To this day we resist; it just comes naturally because our elders said so, and we respected what our elders said because that was the way we were taught, that when an elder talks, you be quiet and listen.

If one of our elders were to approach the council, not only of the corporate state, but our own Council, which imitates the system that almost brought the people to extinction, they would not be shown an ounce of respect and attention. And then they wonder why they get no appeasement from their system that they copy so much.

The main system just looks down on them and laughs, watching our delegates play government, never taking us seriously. It’s obvious that our brothers and sisters are being killed, ambushed and more. Just because they believed they were doing a part, if not for the system, but for their family seeking honor, bravery and coups, a system that does not care for them.

They were just being used and they were chewed up and spit out. The only thing that means anything to them is profit. Maximize the profit for the multi-billion dollar industries that have their hands in everything that passes as business so that they get their cut.

And this mentality is what we have adapted, thinking it’s normal because it is different and consistent through the TV and other mass-reaching devices we entertain ourselves with. They consistently show us the propaganda of making the illusions of how a “normal” family acts through their picture box, continuous sights of this behavior over time makes us think that it is normal. People start to tell themselves it’s just that way because it’s just like that, that this is the way.

No, it’s a lie. We have the power to change as a people and nation if we but remember our mother whom we are to protect. Yet we have neglected her because this male-dominating mentality taught to us through all the mechanisms I stated briefly before by continuously seeing it day in and day out.

The Diné have known that women are the source of our strength and all the emotions needed to live harmoniously with each other and all the animals of the earth also. Natural parts of the earth, we all are, and we, the so-called top of the food chain as humans, are all living out of balance. It isn’t even a choice really. We’re born into this system.

It costs money for you to be born and costs again to bury you after you die. We trust in what they tell us and just accept it, thinking we are not powerful enough. They may have all the money and all the guns, and we perceive these things as power. They are not power. They may seem like power because it is in our minds that we give them power.

They attack us now through subtle changes. They keep us distracted from real issues concerning our mother, using the hectic day-to-day hustle of your jobs, or having you trying to chase a piece of paper that wouldn’t benefit us if this system didn’t exist.

Money is our goal because we are made to believe that we need it to live. No, it is useless in reality. We are a slave to this machine that maximizes the profit. Now to the real issue. The EPA and DOE approved the release of nuclear waste into the air. We all are so distracted by our daily lives by the uselessness of trying to maintain in the system that we do not notice what they are doing to our mother. While they attack our mother, we don’t pay attention to these real issues that concern not only ourselves but also even them that created the system.

They are insane. And our grandchildren will suffer because we refused to stand. Look what they did in Standing Rock where our brothers and sisters resisted. A short-lived victory, it is sad how the bureaucratic mumble-jumble so strategically fell into their favor. It is because they want the profit from the oil those pipes would produce.

No regard or care for those that it would be affected if the pipes were to leak. They poisoned our minds and our way of life. We are out of balance by not protecting our mother. We wonder why we have so much cancer going around and we’re curious where it came from.

My theory is that the FDA approved a lot of poison into processed foods, knowing the effects. They knew but it was their way of population control. If people were eating healthy like in the old days we would of course live longer. And by the lifestyle we adapted, our mother would have been depleted. No more natural resources because they are all poisoned and contaminated with their man-made molecules and what not.

So my people, and I say that with so much pride, let’s do what comes natural to us and resist. Do not let them release this poison into the air, but each of us has a path. A-ho! All my relations, Creator bless you all and protect you.

Kyle Coan
Window Rock, Ariz.


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