Press Release International Day of Action Home


We urgently seek your help and assistance in gaining immediate intervention to stop the forcible eviction of over 3,000 traditional Dineh (Navajo) from their homes in a remote desert region of northeastern Arizona.

In January 1982, Leon Berger, Executive Director of the Navajo-Hopi Indian Relocation Commission resigned saying that, " the forcible relocation of (over) 10,000 Navajo people is a tragedy of genocide and injustice that will be a blot on the conscience of this country for many generations." In May 1982, Roger Lewis, one of three Federally appointed Relocation Commissioners resigned saying, "I feel that in relocating these elderly people, we are as bad as the people who ran the concentration camps in World War II."

Families whose only crime is living on top of billions of tons of coal are being given warrants for trespassing in their own homes. Over 12,000 traditional Dineh (Navajo) and 100 Hopi have suffered coerced relocation since 1974 when Public Law 93-531, "the Relocation Act" was passed. No hearing was ever held. Over $350 million taxpayer dollars have been spent. In 1996, Senator John McCain (AZ) authored Public Law 104-301 "THE NAVAJO-HOPI LAND DISPUTE SETTLEMENT", sanctioning forced evictions of 3,000 Dineh people who have resisted relocation despite all efforts by the U.S. government to starve and freeze them from their ancestral homeland. For 23 years a U.S. Court ordered Bennett Freeze has denied them the right to repair their homes even in cases of medical need. A ban on housing construction has forced 20 family members to live in a one room hogan. They are denied all services including access to water. US government officials have fenced off, capped off and dismantled water wells. Livestock, upon which they depend upon for their survival, is illegally confiscated and abused in the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) impoundment yard.



  • The present day relocation is the largest Indian removal since the 1800s.

  • Exploitation of the areaās abundant uranium resources has engendered epidemic rates of lung cancer among Navajo uranium miners and their families.

  • Peabody Western Coal Company (PWCC) operates the worldās largest strip mine (103 sq. miles) and seeks to expand operations further into the Dineh homeland.

  • Peabody is owned by Hanson Holding Company of London, England. They operate the Black Mesa/Kayenta mining complex ignoring all laws regulating mining including conducting pre-blast surveys.

  • A recent figure quotes Peabody payed a price of 12¢ per ton to both Navajo and Hopi Tribal Councils. Peabody sells at $22 per ton in the marketplace. Yearly about 12 millions tons are mined.

  • Surface and ground water has been contaminated.

  • An estimated 4,000 Anasazi cliff houses and archeological sites have been destroyed.

  • Highly restrictive permit requirements violates Freedom of Religion. Dineh religion is land-based and site specific.

  • Burial sites and sacred sites are bulldozed and desecrated in violation of the Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act.


  • To save money shipping coal, a 275 mile, illegal coal slurry pipeline pumps over 1.4 billion gallons of scarce, pristine water from a sole source aquifer each year. It is estimated several Hopi villages will run dry in three years at the present rate of usage levels. Others will follow.

  • To use the coal from this area the largest power plant in the US was built. The air pollution created by the power plant is the greatest single point source of greenhouse effect gases in North America and is one of two visible manmade effects seen by Apollo astronauts.

  • The "New Lands", south of Sanders, AZ , the prime site for relocatees was purchased by the US government in 1980. In 1979, the " New Lands" was contaminated by the nationās largest radioactive spill (Church Rock Spill ), second to Chernobyl. It is unfit for human and livestock habitation.

  • Forced relocation to this inadequately remediated Superfund site is in direct violation of Executive Order 12898 on Environmental Justice signed by President Clinton on February 11, 1994.

  • Thousands of Dineh people have died from relocation effects, environmental and stress related illnesses and homelessness. Thousands more are homeless.

  • Threats to seal off the reservation to outside parties and witnesses endangers the lives of Dineh people including elders, women and children.


  • The US Congress must conduct investigations of gross and systemic human rights violations against the Dineh people.


    Your Senators
    U.S. Senate
    Washington, DC 20510

    Your Representatives
    U.S. House of Representatives
    Washington, DC 20515

    Senator John McCain (AZ) is responsible for forced evictions.
    Phone (202)224-2235 and Fax (202)228-2862