McCain screws Navajo and Hopi tribes

Arizona tribal reservations mapOnce upon a time, I too shared in the generally warm, fuzzy, positive feelings of Senator John McCain held by the majority of the population. I even forgave him a little bit for the unconstitutional McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform dealie.

But this is unforgivable.

From the site:

Navajo and Hopi families residing on Big Mountain and the surrounding area of the Black Mesa in northern Arizona may be forced to relocate as a new senate bill, S1003 “The Navajo Hopi Land Settlement Act Amendments of 2005,” goes before Congress. If passed, the bill will permanently displace the Navajo and Hopi, and, according to a press release by the Black Mesa Indigenous Support organization, “relieve the federal government of any further responsibility for the relocated people.” Sponsored by Senator John McCain, S1003 was initiated at nearly the same time as Peabody Coal, the world’s largest coal company, expressed an interest in the Navajo land. Peabody Coal plans to expand its strip mining into this area, where billions of tons of low-sulfur coal are located.

And people still mistake the Republicans for free-market types, somehow.

My wife spent most of last summer on the Hopi reservation, interning with a local church for a psychology degree. She told me stories of the people on there, and I indeed know a few of them. Thinking that they will be forced to move off of the scraps the feds left them from the last 250 years pisses me off. This is eminent domain on a scale unimaginable… but the bastards will probably get away with it. Since when has our racist federal government given a damn about the Native Americans, after all? Environmentalists can bitch and moan about ANWR, to save some wildlife… but flesh and blood human beings have less right to their land than animals, apparently, so long as they’re natives.

Stuart Richards

Stuart Richards is a 26-year-old land surveyor based out of Portland, OR. He is a left-leaning geolibertarian and (theologically) liberal Christian, and has been blogging on and other libertarian sites since 2004.

  1. Keep in mind that this bill also accomplishes something else, a little more “insidious” — it effectively disbands the remaining elements of being a sovereign nation that the Navajo and Hopi peoples still hold onto.

    They will no longer be subbourned sovereign nations, and simply be portions of the population at whole… mostly destitute, and without any means to recover the losses inevitably incurred by the dissolution of a society.

  2. * Governor Janet Napolitano’s Office
    1700 West Washington-101A
    Phoenix, Arizona 85007
    Telephone (602) 542-1318
    Fax 602-542-1381
    E-mail address:
    * Senator John McCain
    241 Russell-Senate Office Bldg.
    Washington, D.C. 20510-0303
    tel: 202-224-2235 fax: 202-228-2862
    E-mail address:
    * Senator Jon Kyl
    Washington, D.C.
    730 Hart Senate Building
    Washington, D.C. 20510
    Phone: (202) 224-4521
    Fax: (202) 224-2207

  3. This is a serious eminent domain issue. What we’ve done to native Americans over the centuries should give the message to all liberals just how bad eminent domain really is. They just don’t get it.

  4. I am angered by this because the Hopi and the Navajo are a peaceful people very few of them are on government aid to live most of them work. Also, I lived there this summer and the sovereign nations do a better job of taking care of crime than the freakin State government does. If Arizona passes this bill also they will be taking away most of the jobs that the Navajo and Hopi Have which are tribal jobs.

    btw: I’m Stuart’s Wife.

  5. Let’s call it what it is. THEFT. Plain and simple.
    Lots of people have the idea that casinos have made the Indians rich, but there are far too many Indians living
    in rural areas that are about as bad off as you can get.
    I came across a small reservation a few years back that
    was heartbreaking to visit.
    Michael H. Wilson

  6. We live in Chadron, NE, which is just across the state line from the Pine Ridge Lakota reservation in South Dakota. Going there is seriously like going to a Third World country-conditions are so bad. Seriously, we’ve screwed the natives worse than a few casinos could ever fix, and now we want to screw them some more? McCain is a bastard and needs to be thrown out of office for this… theft, for this ethnic cleansing, even.

  7. I don’t even know where to start, but I hope they fight this thing violently to the death if all legal options are exhausted. I’m part Native American myself. The tribe that my ancestors were from went freaking extinct! Think about that. EXTINCT!

    I am glad that I never recommended Peabody Coal, which BTW is an otherwise good stock. Ticker symbol: BTU. Cute eh?

  8. It’s not even making news on the local media.

    (Keep in mind I’m a City of Phoenix resident)

  9. This has been going on for years, it’s nothing new. They have been pushing the people in every way they can to get them off the land. They took their animals, they took their water – elders walking 10-20 miles to get water to give to their animals and for themselves; they faced stiff fines if they tried to repair their homes – so if they had a big hole in the roof – well, it had to stay that way. This is a travesty that has been going on against American Indian people for generations and few know about it. We are an invisible people – this is how the us gov operates. What you don’t see, you don’t know, and what you don’t know about you won’t care about.

    They have stolen our lands, murdered and tortured our people; gave us deadly diseases, never honored but a few treaties and now Americans are seeing them for what they really are – well SOME are seeing truth – others, live with their heads in the sand and their hand in someone’s pocket

    But we are strong; we are here forever.

  10. I was outraged when I first read your post. Then I spent some time last night reading through the bill in question. Now, I’m just confused. The situtation sounds very complicated.

    When I read through the bill, it looked like its was just an effort to wrap up the work of a temporary agency. When I read the Senate testimony, some bureaucrat was assuring McCain that no Navajos were ever forcibly relocated. Then I read the Navajo activists sites and there were accusations about Black Mesa Navajos being harassed until they accepted relocation, and Peabody Coal sucking all their water out of the ground. Then I read other accounts of how many people on the reservation depended on the power plant for their jobs, and how some of the tribe want to reopen the plant. Then I read about conflicts between the Hopi and the Navajo. Then accounts of how the Bureau of Indian Affairs purposely created conflicts between the Hopi and the Navajo.

    Please, those of you who know, explain further what’s up.

  11. Is theft supported by the U.S. Constitution? Can’t the U.S. Supreme Court stop McCain?