Just north of Flagstaff, Arizona sits a volcanic mountain range, the San Francisco Peaks. The San Francisco Peaks are sacred to, among other tribes, the Navajo, or Dine. The name they call it is, Diichilí Dzil – Abalone Shell Mountain. According to them, the San Francisco Peak was adorned with Diichilí, Abalone Shell, Black Clouds, Male Rain, and all animals, beside being the home of Haashch’éélt’i’í (Talking God), Naada’algaii ‘Ashkii (White Corn Boy), and Naadá ‘Altsoii ‘At’ééd (Yellow Corn Girl).
In 1930, a ski resort (Snowbowl)was built and tribes were able to hold off any expansion of their sacred land until 1979, when the government intervened and the US Forest Service “claimed that religious rights would be unimpeded, even facilitated by the ski lifts.” Appeals were denied by the US Supreme Court. Snowbowl expanded.
Snowbowl has been trying to expand even more since 1997. The Forest Service demanded an EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) be done before any new developments at the ski resorts expense. To date they have not done this.
Although the mountains are considered sacred to thirteen different tribes, the Hopi and Navajo both use the mountains for ceremonial purposes and approach the mountains with utmost respect. They also gather medicinal plants there.
So why am I writing about Snowbowl? Mountains far from me, that I may never see in my lifetime?
Because I am tired of society reducing our stories down to nothing and calling them myths. The way Native Americans were raised and the stories we were told by our elders are not myths. This is our beliefs and our history. Why does society believe that their Holy Bible is the only way? How can they believe someone was swallowed by a whale and lived? Yet not believe when we tell them our land is sacred. Lakota went through the same thing, while saving Pe’Sla. We had to see the comments and racist hatred from people who claimed our land was not sacred. How would they know?
The Native Americans in the Southwest are now fighting because the Snowbowl Ski Resort is using reclaimed sewage water in their snow making machines. They are literally skiing on poop and pee water on that sacred land. Land where those tribes still gather their medicines.
When I see the snow falling outside, today it is pink in color. I’ve never seen pink snow, but it tells me something is wrong with our environment. It still falls softly, not knowing it may be poison. I see the snow and say a prayer as other Natives, fight for their sacred land.
I think of our brothers and sisters to the South, fighting for their land. Sacred land a ski resort is desecrating in the name of money. All so rich people can go ski on their own shit.
They (Americans) have no idea how it makes us feel to see them being tourists on our sacred land. Next time you see Mount Rushmore, remember how many died trying to save those stolen Hills. Next time you see someone skiing, remember that sacred mountain in Arizona that is being pooped on.
Ain’t gotta lie to kick it