2016 Beauty Way Tour and Supply Run
This is my dear friend, Louise Benally of the Dine’ (Navajo) Nation. I met her 25 years ago on my first trip to the Big Mountain region of the Navajo Reservation in Northern Arizona. She was born into a life of resistance and activism, fighting against great odds to remain on the land creator gave her people. She appeared in the 1985 Academy Award Winning Documentary, Broken Rainbow as a teenage activist, explaining the struggle against forced relocation and has been on the front lines ever since.
Her people live on land that holds coal, uranium and other resources the outside world uses to fuel a lifestyle that is poisoning our mother earth. Like the protectors in North Dakota, the Dine’ have long stood against these practices and warned of the consequences we face if we continue. In the time I’ve known her I’ve seen intimidation, violence, sanctions, live-stock confiscations, sacred sites bulldozed, drinking water wells capped, elders dragged from their homes, lies, broken promises and much more used against the people as tactics in continuing the pressure to force them from the land. They live in what some people call a “National Sacrifice Area”, adjacent to the world’s largest coal strip mine. Louise is one of only a few hold outs who have not signed the Accommodation Agreement, a 99-year lease that allows people to stay, but under restrictions and with an end date.
It’s the same all over this country. Indigenous nations suffer through the extraction, toxic processing and disposal of our energy and resource systems. People like Louise live with the collective memory of genocide – loss of land, people, language, song, ceremony, healing ways, plants, water and more than we can know. This is not just history, it continues today. But they are still there.
That’s why members of Clan Dyken and our extended family have been going back to Big Mountain every Thanksgiving since that first trip. It will be our 25th year in support of the resistors.
This year, in addition to our distribution of food and fire wood to families around the area we are organizing to bring building and repair supplies to Louise’s home site. We’ll play a concert there and have a few work days so she can keep a place on the land.
We are working on filling in the final dates for the 2016 Annual Beauty Way Tour. The concerts support the food and supply run. We start October 15th at the Refuge in Jamestown, CA and tour around California and Oregon before heading deep into the reservation for Thanksgiving. If you are interested in bringing the show to your town please get in touch. Clubs, small theaters, community centers, house parties, barn dances – we’ll do it anywhere it works.
To make this happen we’ll need your support and there are many ways you can help – sponsor or produce a show, come to a show, organize your own fund raiser, commit to coming on the journey (be careful it could change your life) or be creative and come up with a new way to produce resources.
You can also visit the Beauty Way page of the Clan Dyken web site to make a contribution.