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'Rumble on the Mountain' Songs from the Water to Halt Uranium Mining in Grand Canyon

by Brenda Norrell
Hopi singer Ryon Polequaptewa, spoke on the sacred cedar which lends itself to make the Hopi flute, and of the sacred space of Hopi, where there is "very little rain, but an abundance of life," during the seven-hour music extravaganza 'Rumble on the Mountain,' at the Orpheum Theater in Flagstaff on Saturday. The celebration of water focused on the threat to Havasupai water by uranium mining now ongoing in the Grand Canyon. Carletta Tilouisi, Havasupai said, "Our Havasupai youths danced and sang for the earth people, animals, and waters."
424898173_7972228079460257_5689951511884701150_n__1_.jpg
Songs from the Water

Rumble on the Mountain 10: Native Voices of the Colorado Plateau in opposition to uranium mining in the Grand Canyon

By Brenda Norrell, Censored News
Translation into French by Christine Prat
https://chrisp.lautre.net/wpblog/?p=8346

FLAGSTAFF, Arizona -- Hopi singer Ryon Polequaptewa, spoke on the sacred cedar which lends itself to make the Hopi flute, and of the sacred space of Hopi, where there is "very little rain, but an abundance of life," during the seven-hour music extravaganza 'Rumble on the Mountain,' at the Orpheum Theater in Flagstaff on Saturday.

The celebration of water focused on the threat to Havasupai water by uranium mining now ongoing in the Grand Canyon.

Energy Fuels is now mining uranium at the Canyon Mine/Pinyon Plain Mine in the Grand Canyon. The radioactive transport now threatens Navajo, Hopi, Ute and everyone on the haul route from northern Arizona to the uranium mill in southeastern Utah.

During the powerful music and presentations, Ed Kabotie, Hopi, performed "The Trail," honoring those who have passed, making their journey among the stars.

Kabotie remembered Dine' artist Baje Whitethorne, Sr., Rainy Ortiz, daughter of Simon Ortiz and Joy Harjo, and Dine' Klee Benally. Kabotie said Icy Whisper, the band, had a death in the family and was not able to be at Rumble.

Leona Morgan, Dine' with Haul No! said, "We are tired of being a resource colony."

"We are not a sacrifice zone," Leona said, pointing out new plans for hydrogen mining on the Navajo Nation.

"The Navajo Nation is tired of being extracted."

"We can stop Pinyon Plain," Leona said. The mine, now called the Canyon Mine, has already been documented in violation of laws.

Although the mine only recently began operations, Leona said the Canyon Mine in the Grand Canyon in Arizona has already been hauling uranium in unmarked trucks to the White Mesa mill in southeastern Utah, endangering the local White Mesa Ute community.

Canyon Mine has already been caught spraying uranium-contaminated water onto the Forest Service lands in the Grand Canyon. Last week, a tractor there was turned upside down. Leona urged the public to go out and watch the uranium mine, which is on public land, and document the violations. She said the company can not be relied on to self-report accidents.

Leona also warned about Biden's plan to triple nuclear energy production worldwide. She pointed out there is no place to put nuclear waste from nuclear power plants -- waste that will be radioactive forever.

Leona said Holtec International was stopped from building the world's largest radioactive waste dump in New Mexico last year. It was stopped with a New Mexico State law, after the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a permit for it. A second radioactive waste dump was stopped in Texas.

Leona shared how Haul No! was born, out of concern for Energy Fuels, which owns the uranium mine on the Dine' sacred mountain of Mount Taylor in New Mexico. Then, there was the threat of the Energy Fuels Canyon Mine/Pinyon Plain uranium mine in the Grand Canyon.

Leona said there was the threat of two uranium mines that would be transporting uranium through the Navajo Nation, which has laws prohibiting both uranium mining and the transport of uranium through Dine' land.

Leona recalled how she was discussing this with Serena Riggs, of the struggle to protect the Confluence, and Klee Benally.

"We were just sitting around the table talking about our concerns, and Klee Benally said, 'Let's call it 'Haul No!'"

"That's how Haul No!' got started," Leona said.

Vernon Masayesva, Hopi from Hotevilla and former chairman, in a talk shared by way of a video presentation from the first Rumble on the Mountain, encouraged seeking a new paradigm in life.

"Water is life, without water, no life exists."

"We come from the sea, water is what connects all of us together. All of us together can bring holiness back to Earth, our mother, who we have abused."

"She's crying out to us for help, but no one seems to be listening. But now, we Indigenous People need to speak out and say water is not just something you sell or trade, water is sacred, water is spiritual."

"Water connects us to the Creator."

Scientists and engineers believe they can control and manage the water and have placed hundreds of reservoirs on the Colorado River.

"That has disrupted our journey back to the sea."

"Now the river is running dry."

"We do not control water -- water controls. That is the new paradigm."

"That is who we are as Indigenous People. What we do to water, we do to ourselves."

Celebrating its 10th year, Rumble on the Mountain 10, at the Orpheum in Flagstaff, included Native American Award-winning reggae rock band Innastate, Grammy-nominated Dine' Musician/Activist Radmilla Cody, celebrated acoustic metal singer/songwriter Sage Bond, Hopi singer/composer Ryon Polequaptewa, the high elevation sounds of Summit Dub Squad, IrieZona Reggae Rock with Ed Kabotie & Tha 'Yoties, and education, calls to action, and wisdom from HaulNo, Vernon Masayesva, Bucky Preston, and a delegation from Havasupai. Current operations of the Grand Canyon/Pinyon Plain Mine was a focus of the gathering.

Statement from the Havasupai Tribe Regarding Energy Fuels

It is with heavy hearts that we must acknowledge that our greatest fear has come true. Despite decades of active and tireless opposition, Energy Fuels, a foreign for-profit mining company, has acted in its own self-serving interest and extracted toxic uranium at the Pinyon Plain Mine (formerly the “Canyon Mine”), desecrating one of our most sacred sites and jeopardizing the existence of the Havasupai Tribe.

As Guardians of the Grand Canyon, we the Havsuw ‘Baaja, the Havasupai Tribe, have opposed uranium mining in and around our Reservation and the Grand Canyon since time immemorial. We do this to protect our people, our land, our water, our past, our present and our future. And yet, despite the historic and current assistance and advocacy from numerous allies, and the countless letters, phone calls, and personal pleas, our urgent requests to stop this life-threatening action have been disregarded.

Our tribal community’s only source of water is fed by aquifers, which unfortunately sit directly below the Pinyon Plain Mine. The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and the federal EPA claim there is no danger to us, that no harmful effects will come our way from this alleged “clean energy” source. But how can they so confidently make such a claim when Energy Fuels has already contaminated one of the two aquifers while digging the mine shaft, which then led to the company spraying toxic water into the air, only to be spread to the precious plants and animals by the blowing winds. A whole set of unknown and new problems will exist when the company begins transporting uranium over the land.

This is not just a problem that affects our remote Tribe. Rather, millions of people will now be forced to pass by an active uranium mine on their way to the majestic Grand Canyon. Every being should be able to freely experience this natural wonder without risking their lives. Shame on Energy Fuels, and those who were not brave enough to do what is right and necessary.

We will not give up. We owe that to our ancestors, our children, and the generations to come. We will fight on.

Top photo: Carletta Tilouisi, Havasupai said, "Our Havasupai youths danced and sang for the earth people, animals, and waters. We have been participating in “Rumble on the Mountain” for 10 years. Thank you to Ed Kabotie and to all the talented musicians for all your support and advocacy! Hangyu!" Photo courtesy Carletta Tilousi, Censored News.

Read more and listen to Rumble on the Mountain recorded videos at Censored News:

https://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2024/02/rumble-on-mountain-powerful-music-to.html

Article copyright Censored News
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by Brenda Norrell
screenshot_2024-02-04_3.38.16_am__1_.png
Hopi singer and composer Ryon Polequaptewa, spoke on the sacred cedar which lends itself to make the Hopi flute, and of the sacred space of Hopi, where there is "very little rain, but an abundance of life." Screenshot by Censored News.
§
by Brenda Norrell
screenshot_2024-02-04_10.21.21_am__1_.png
In a beautiful tribute, Ed Kabotie, Hopi, performed "The Trail," honoring those who have passed, making their journey among the stars, during the seven-hour Rumble on the Mountain at the Orpheum Theater on Saturday. Screenshot by Censored News.
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