Wastewater snow would ruin a mountain considered sacred – Flagstaff (USA)

[R]ivers run through Navajo lands but the water is diverted to golf courses in Phoenix […] while natives lack legal rights to the water and can’t even get plumbing to wash their hands.

Source: Janene Yazzie, a Navajo community organizer, explained to her interlocutor from the New York Times quoted by Vinay Lal (Professor of History & Asian American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles UCLA) in “Coronavirus in Native American Communities: The Charade of ‘Thanksgiving'”
URL: https://vinaylal.wordpress.com/2020/11/22/coronavirus-in-native-american-communities-the-charade-of-thanksgiving/
Date visited: 27 November 2020

By LESLIE MACMILLAN, The New York Times, September 26, 2012

Resort’s Snow Won’t Be Pure This Year; It’ll Be Sewage

[…] “Everyone does well when the ski area does well,” said J. R. Murray, general manager of Snowbowl.

But Indians, who pray and hold ceremonies on the mountain, feel their concerns are too easily swept aside. “Our culture can still be reduced to something that is less important than the profit margin on a ski resort,” Mr. Benally said. “That’s a very, very hard place to be in.”

The wastewater snow, Indians say, will ruin a mountain they consider sacred ground as well as the ecosystem, a concern shared by environmental groups. When it melts, it “could degrade water quality of the aquifers,” said Rob Smith, regional staff director at the Sierra Club. […]

City officials, like Brad Hill, Flagstaff’s utilities director, say they have been “very proactive” in ensuring that the water is safe. That is why, in addition to the federal study, the city conducted its own water tests.

It hired Catherine R. Propper, a scientist and professor at Northern Arizona University, who found that Flagstaff’s water contains endocrine-disrupting chemicals, or EDCs, including hormones, antibiotics, antidepressants, pharmaceuticals and steroids.

“We don’t know what effect freezing and thawing is going to have on the chemical compounds,” she said. “We don’t know what UV is going to do to them. Some of the compounds will bind to the soil; some will get into the aquifers. It is a very complicated system that we know very little about.” […]

The Environmental Protection Agency says it is studying the chemicals, and Flagstaff and Snowbowl both say that if they become regulated, the city “will scale treatment to come into compliance,” according to Kevin Burke, city manager. […]

Source: Arizona Ski Resort’s Sewage Plan Creates Uproar – NYTimes.com
Address : http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/27/us/arizona-ski-resorts-sewage-plan-creates-uproar.html?hpw&_r=1
Date Visited: Thu Sep 27 2012 23:34:23 GMT+0200 (CEST)

August 12, 2007

Far From the Reservation, but Still Sacred?

[…] As president of the Quechans over the last decade, Mr. Jackson is leading a new kind of Indian war, this time in the courts. The battlegrounds are ancient sites like the religious circles, burial grounds and mountaintops across the West that Indians hold sacred and are protected by federal environmental and historic preservation laws. After successful smaller battles, Mr. Jackson is now challenging a bigger project, arguing that the construction of a planned $4 billion oil refinery in Arizona could destroy sites sacred to his tribe.

[…] Mr. Rosevear may be exaggerating, but his fear illustrates just what’s at stake. If the Quechans’ lawsuit succeeds, it would bolster the efforts of other, larger tribes to block development on territory where they also once lived and prayed.

ALREADY, in northern Arizona, Navajos, Hopis and other Indians have effectively stopped plans to expand a ski resort roughly 50 miles from the nearest reservation, after convincing a federal appellate panel in March that using wastewater to make artificial snow would desecrate peaks long held sacred.

Leaders of the Northern Cheyenne tribe, meanwhile, have been using similar arguments to block drilling for coal-bed methane near their reservation in Montana. Pumping water out of underground aquifers to extract natural gas will harm the spirits that inhabit the springs and streams where the Northern Cheyenne worship, says Gail Small, a Northern Cheyenne tribe member who heads Native Action, an environmental group she founded after graduating from law school.

Adding weight to her argument is the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, passed by Congress in 1978, which acknowledges the link between native American religion and land both on and off the reservation.

“You’re seeing a real renaissance of tribes becoming aware of their cultural resources and heritage, and reclaiming that heritage even when it’s off the reservation,” says Robert A. Williams Jr., a law professor at the University of Arizona who has advised tribes on the legal issues surrounding off-reservation sacred sites.

Source: Far From the Reservation, but Still Sacred? – New York Times
Address : http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/12/business/yourmoney/12tribe.html?pagewanted=print&_r=1&
Date Visited: Mon Oct 15 2012 20:17:48 GMT+0200 (CEST)

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