Since passage of P.L. 935-31, the “Relocation Act”, Dineh have been victims of governmental attempts
to deny us traditional practice of religion. In our sacred ways we cannot be separated from the lands of
our birth. The U.S. Constitution says, “Congress shall make no law...prohibiting the free exercise (of
religion) )”. Yet this is the very effect the Act inflicts on our inalienable rights. By the U.S. claiming
powers only God can ordain, we have been compelled to resist an immoral and illegal legislative edict.
Many of us will die before we allow the profaning of what we know to be good, just, and holy. The
Creator is the only one who is going to relocate us.

Traditional Dineh cannot separate any facet of our lives from prayers and ceremonies given us by the
Holy Ones. Long ago Creator’s helpers instructed us to live between four sacred mountains. Just as
Hopi were told to settle on their Mesa after long wanderings, so too were we brought together within the
natural boundaries of Dinehtah. Hogans were built to represent our place in this universe, defining the
area we conduct our lives much the same way a Kiva does. Our religion tells us the land is our Church
and the Hogan it’s Altar. We won’t be driven from our Church, or allow our Altar to be destroyed. to do
so would be to abandon our religion. Without our land and sacred ways we lose the essence of what it is
to be Dineh, and become fallen leaves scattered by the winds.

At birth our children are made part of the Earth by burial of their umbilical cords. At death they are
returned to the Earth in a traditional way. Between those times Dineh pray at established sites within
their customary use area. The ceremonies-Puberty, Blessing Way, Yei Bi Chei, and many others, which
insure our health and place in creation, are performed in this same region. Sacred springs and offering
points, as well as the location of ceremonial plants, are also contained here. Ours is a religion of Nature,
based on specific places, and guided by natural laws. Through the beauty of nature we gain the beauty in
our lives.

We who are unalterably opposed to Relocation gain our strength by maintaining our traditional religion.
We wish harm to no one and don’t understand why we’ve been made to suffer so much for so long. We
remember our honored friend and Traditional Hopi Elder, Grandfather David Monongye,. He often told
why many Traditional Hopi knew it was the Creator’s idea for Dineh to live here. He was taught the
Dineh were brought to surround the Mesas by the Holy Ones so as to provide a protective buffer from the
forces of greed and destruction. If, and when, the Traditional Dineh are removed from these lands, his
people would fail in turn, and the Earth would be destroyed. He knew from ancient teachings that Dineh
and Hopi were physically and spiritually bound together. He realized, as do the current Resisters to
relocation, that if the Dineh’s Church and Altar can be destroyed, so could everyone

Roberta Blackgoat
Sovereign Dineh Nation
7 April 1996