Bill Richardson, former Gov. of New Mexico
Newly installed Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye is renegotiating a wild horse protection agreement with former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and actor/activist Robert Redford.
Richardson and Redford formed the Foundation to Protect New Mexico Wildlife in 2013 as the state considered a permit for a horse slaughter facility in Roswell. The group later worked with the former Navajo Nation president to stop the roundup of feral horses from the reservation for shipment to slaughter facilities in Mexico.
Navajo officials have said the horses are overgrazing and harming the land. The prior administration signed an agreement with Redford and Richardson to halt roundups and find other ways to reduce the horse population, such as adoptions.
Alarie Ray-Garcia of the foundation said Richardson met last week with Begaye and other Navajo officials.
Rick Abasta, a public information officer for the Navajo Nation, said Begaye wants to consult with chapter house leaders and other elders before moving forward with changes to the agreement.
Ray-Garcia said the foundation was ready to hire a company to conduct an aerial survey of the horse population. Estimates have ranged from a few thousand to 75,000 animals.
Categories: Horse News, Horse Slaughter
Follow the money trail …
“the data the policy is based on comes from an environmental impact study commissioned by Peabody Energy in 2008 as part of the permitting process to expand a coal mine it operates on Navajo land. The coal mine fuels the Navajo Generating Station power plant, which is majority owned by the U.S. Interior Department. Interior oversees the BLM, the agency responsible for managing wild horses, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), which issues grazing permits on the reservation and contracts with horse buyers, including “kill buyers,” who buy horses bound for slaughterhouses.”
Just trying to take more from the Native American
This is certainly an eye opener! Have heard of the Peabody mine before – it sure does sound like more of the same treatment the Indians have received for way too long. And this mess is in Arizona too – like the Oak Flats Resolution Copper mine! And our fine politicians are allowing it to go on.
The Hopi have suffered impacts as well. Their tribal lands are totally surrounded by the Navajo Reservation, but they’re rarely mentioned. Some history on Black Mesa, the mine, and the power plant (includes a map):
Hopi and Coal Mining on Black Mesa, Arizona
“Here’s What Coal Mining Is Doing to Communities in the Navajo Nation”
By Laura Dattaro, March 18, 2015
Horses are an integral part of the Dine (Navajo) Creation Story.
The link to Roy Kady’s rug doesn’t work, but this article about Roy shows it.
The Horse Song Rug by Roy Kady and another horse song:
FROM THE NAVAJO WAR GOD’S HORSE SONG I am the Turqoise Woman’s son.
On top of Belted Mountain,
Beautiful horse–slim like a weasel.
My horse has a hoof like striped agate;
His fetlock is like a fine eagle plume;
His legs are like quick lightning.
My horse’s body is like an eagle-plumed arrow;
My horse has a tail like a trailing black cloud.
I put flexible goods on my horse’s back;
The Little Holy Wind blows through his hair.
His mane is made of short rainbows.
My horse’s ears are made of round corn.
My horse’s eyes are made of big stars.
My horse’s head is made of mixed waters–
From the holy waters–he never knows thirst.
My horse’s teeth are made of white shell.
The long rainbow is in his mouth for a bridle,
and with it I guide him.
When my horse neighs, different-colored horses follow.
When my horse neighs, different-colored sheep follow.
I am wealthy, because of him.
Before me peaceful,
Behind me peaceful,
Under me peaceful,
Over me peaceful,
All around me peaceful–
Peaceful voice when he neighs.
I am Everlasting and Peaceful.
I stand for my horse.