Dine' Warrior Leonard Benally passes to Spirit World

 

Big Mountain resister spent his life fighting Peabody Coal and relocation from Black Mesa

By Brenda Norrell

Dine' Leonard Benally of Big Mountain, who spent his life fighting Peabody Coal and resisting relocation from his homeland, passed to the Spirit World on Friday. Leonard's family spent the past decades resisting relocation from Black Mesa and naming the names of those responsible for the misery that Navajos are surviving, including tribal politicians, attorneys, and Arizona Congressmen.

Leonard's sister, Louise Benally of Big Mountain, said, "Leonard my dear brother struggled with cancer and has taken his journey to the Spirit World. He was a good person, a fighter. He fought for the freedom of his people all his life and will continue to fight from above. Prayers for our family at this time. Leonard's spirit will live on as a warrior and will always be loved by many."

In memory, I am sharing this words from an interview with Leonard on Big Mountain, after the Sundance was bulldozed there. 

Leonard said, “We have been living in silence and we have been dying in silence. We want to share with others our struggle. If we walk alone, we are useless, we are nothing."

“The old people have told us, take your struggle out to other struggles. Then you can stand together with one freedom. They isolate us, dislocate us and relocate us. Relocation is nothing new to Indigenous people, it has been going on for 500 years.”

Leonard and his family have spent their lives striving to protect the sacred area of Big Mountain, and exposing the lies of corporations, the media and polticians. The deception resulted in the removal of more than 14,000 Navajos who were relocated from their homeland and the "gouging out of the liver" of Mother Earth by the coal mining of Peabody Coal on Black Mesa. The coal mining resulted in the theft of the pristine aquifer water and the pollution of the land, water and air, resulting in widespread disease, including respiratory diseases and cancer for those who remained and resisted relocation.

Leonard's memorial service will be held next Saturday, Oct. 19, at the Desert Memorial Funeral Home in Tuba City, Arizona, in western Navajo Nation. All are welcome.

Read more

http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2013/10/big-mountain-warrior-leonard-benally.html

 

 

For permission to repost this article brendanorrell@gmail.com

Please share the link

About Brenda Norrell

Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 34 years. She is publisher of Censored News, focusing on Indigenous Peoples, human rights and the US border. Censored News was created after Norrell was censored, then terminated, by Indian Country Today after serving as a longtime staff reporter. Now censored by the mainstream media, she previously was a staff reporter at numerous American Indian newspapers and a stringer for AP, USA Today and others. She lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, and then traveled with the Zapatistas. She covered the climate summits in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Cancun, Mexico, in 2010.

User login

Navigation

About Brenda Norrell

Personal Website
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com/

Biography

Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 34 years. She is publisher of Censored News, focusing on Indigenous Peoples, human rights and the US border. Censored News was created after Norrell was censored, then terminated, by Indian Country Today after serving as a longtime staff reporter. Now censored by the mainstream media, she previously was a staff reporter at numerous American Indian newspapers and a stringer for AP, USA Today and others. She lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, and then traveled with the Zapatistas. She covered the climate summits in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Cancun, Mexico, in 2010.