Peshlakai Presentation


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Peshlakai Presentation

  1. 1. James Peshlakai<br />ACR 2011 Annual Conference<br />San Diego, CA<br />James and Family<br />Overlooking the Grand Canyon<br />
  2. 2. NATIVE AMERICA: Pre- Columbus <br /><ul><li>Navajos, we believe the Holy People got together to plan Life on Earth. We believe that corn pollen was the first substance on earth that created all life and that Growing People, plants, first lived here. We believe that insects were the first people to sing and dance on earth. </li></li></ul><li>NATIVE AMERICA: Pre- Columbus <br /><ul><li>We believe that we are the children of Mother Earth, Father Sky, Mother Water and Father Sun. We also believe that our brothers and sisters have two legs, four legs, many legs and that the earth, sky, clouds, mountains, and water are our brothers and sisters as well.</li></li></ul><li>NATIVE AMERICA: Pre- Columbus <br /><ul><li>When the Holy People created Life on Earth, they anticipated all forms of life to live from birth to old age fully experiencing life on earth. All life must live in the present seeing it, hearing it, smelling it, tasting it, and feeling it. Navajos call this, Life on the Pollen Trail.  We believe no one should be denied Life on the Pollen Trail, just as we don't tell trees to grow or birds when to lay eggs.</li></li></ul><li>NATIVE AMERICA: Post Columbus<br /><ul><li>October 12, 1492, Christopher Columbus kneeled on the shores of the Americas, holding a Bible to his chest and asked God, “Oh God, my lord, help me kill all those savages and take their land”.</li></li></ul><li>NATIVE AMERICA: Post Columbus<br />Navajo ancestral lands came under Spain's rule, then Mexico's, and finally the United States. Within each of those 'rules' our land was further divided up: Spanish land grants, forts, mines, cattle ranches, state and federal land grabs and so forth. With each change of foreign rule the Native peoples were either hunted or driven out of their ancestral homeland.<br />
  3. 3. NATIVE AMERICA: Post Columbus<br />During these occupations of foreign rule, the Navajos lost land, and family. Foreigners attacked Navajo religion, cultural traditions, and philosophy. Navajo leaders throughout these times fought to get their women and children back from slavery. Some ended up as slaves in Mexico, today their descendants return to their ancestral homeland as illegal immigrants.<br />
  4. 4. NATIVE AMERICA: Post Columbus<br />In the early 1860s, Kit Carson rounded up the Navajos. They were forcibly marched on what was later named “The Long Walk”; hundreds died. The U.S. government incarcerated the remaining Navajos in a concentration camp name Ft. Sumner located in New Mexico hundreds of miles from the Navajos homeland. <br />
  5. 5. NAVAJO TREATY OF 1868<br /><ul><li>In 1868 a treaty between the Navajo leaders and the U. S. government  returned 8000 or so Navajos to a Reservation 1/8 the size of their original lands. And though the Navajo Reservation has grown still our Sacred Mountains are outside all the Reservation boundaries. During signing of the peace treaty, Barbacito (a Navajo Elder) communicated to the Great White Fathers that the Holy people appointed four sacred mountains and four rivers for the Navajos to live within.</li></li></ul><li>NAVAJOS: Post Treaty of 1868.<br />Roughly 1902, following the massacre of a Navajo hunting party near Flagstaff, Western Navajo headmen, BeshligaiiAtsidi and Chissie Nez, my paternal and maternal grandfathers, traveled to Washington D. C. on a mission of peace.<br />Chishi Nez, William Johnston <br />and BeshlagaiiAtsidi 1902<br />
  6. 6. Navajos: WWII<br />With the help of William Johnston, a local missionary. They met with President Theodore Roosevelt. In their group was a seven year old Philip Johnston (William's son), who served as their interpreter. Philip later assisted in establishment of the Navajo Code Talkers in World War II.<br />
  7. 7. NAVAJOS: Post Treaty of 1868.<br /><ul><li>BeshligaiiEtsitty, and later his son Clyde Peshlakai, my father continued to work for peace; sharing their people's culture particularly with the founders of the Museum of Northern Arizona, which covers all of the Colorado Plateau. </li></ul>Flagstaff 1899.<br />1940-1950 Chronicled in “Letters from Wupatki”<br />
  8. 8. Navajos post treaty 1868<br /><ul><li>When the U. S. made the Wupatki Ruins into a National Monument, Clyde and his family were residents of the area. He continued his father's work. Upon Clyde's death, the U.S. evicted his descendants from Wupatki. </li></li></ul><li>NAVAJOS: WWII<br />My clan grandfather, Charlie Kelly, was General McArthur’s personal Code Talker, also served with the US Calvary in 1890 and early 1900’s, Later he served in Europe during WWI in the Pacific with General McArthur. In his later days he recounted and told many stories of that time. The origins of the Navajo Code Talkers was not to far from where I was born in 1945.<br />
  9. 9. NAVAJOS: Post Treaty of 1868.<br /><ul><li>I am James Peshlakai, son of Clyde Peshlakai, with law books in and hand and lawyers for support. I continue my grandfathers and father work for peace and progress of the Navajo people into the present and future. </li></li></ul><li>James Peshlakai’s time<br />I became the Cameron Chapter President, within the Navajo Nation in or about June 1973-74. My clan brother, Charlie Huskon supported me and was instrumental in my election. He was self educated on many subjects including the Treaty of 1868, the history of Arizona, and the Navajo Nation (government), etc..<br />
  10. 10. NAVAJOS Post Treaty of 1868<br />Mt. Hesperus<br />Mt. Blanco<br />San Francisco <br />Peaks<br />Mt Taylor<br />
  11. 11. James Peshlakai’s time.<br />Congress passed an Act that denied the Navajo people their fundamental rights to, Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness. Since that time the Navajo Tribe has been locked in law suits with the neighboring Hopi Tribe, over land jurisdiction. <br />The Act passed by Congress continues to disrupt the lives of the Navajo people. Navajo’s are unable to build, repair homes. Schools, job opportunities, are extremely limited. Crime, poverty, drug abuse, and alcohol abuse are higher than the national average. <br />
  12. 12. James Peshlakai’s time<br /><ul><li>Other Navajo land disputes were with the National Park Service, United States Forest Service, and with Babbitt Cattle Company (owned by Bruce Babbit the former United States Secretary of the Interior). Other legal’s issues involved the Religious Freedom Act, American Indian Repatriation Act, Arizona Welfare programs, various schools issues.</li></ul>Clyde's Descendants 2011: Charles, Ernest, James, Roy<br />Eleanor, Stella, Katy, and Polly.<br />
  13. 13. James Peshlakai’s time.<br /><ul><li>As an alternative to filing law suits seeking legal recourses, I set out to empower the Navajo by supporting cultural initiatives such as Pinon Picking, leading youth in experiencing the Navajo back country, cultural workshops. I also sought to educate non- Natives on the Navajo. Despite best efforts there are some non-Natives that still believe we should lose our Native identities.
  14. 14. Recently, I was nominated to, “Who’s Who Among Americas Teachers, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006.</li></li></ul><li>James Peshlakai’s time.<br />I have taught in remote areas of the Navajo land. I have assisted in the creation of schools, Adult Education, and college programs to the Navajo land. I formed and supported the Native Arts, Food cooperatives, Youth Summer Camps, etc. <br />I was nominated, Rodeo Man of the Year 1986, Navajo Man of the Year 1990. <br />I, with family and relatives established the “Peshlakai Cultural Foundation, dedicated to the preservation of Native American Culture” in 2000 in honor of my late son, Jameson Clyde Peshlakai. I work daily to keep traditions strong… <br />
  15. 15. James Peshlakai’s time<br /><ul><li>Presently people from other tribes, ethnicities have entered into the tribe, bringing with them their religion, beliefs; as a result, diluting the Navajo culture. Navajos started incorporating the changes into the culture, changing the views of the traditional Navajo philosophy. The traditional Navajo religion was replaced by the New Native American Church, Christianity and/or other tribal influences.</li></li></ul><li>James Peshlakai’s time<br /><ul><li>Navajo Tourism brings income to Navajo families where unemployment erodes the fabric of the community. The Western Navajo Fair, Hillerman Country tours, participation with the Arizona Office of Tourism, and Spotlight on the Southwest bring a Green River of dollars to the people. </li></li></ul><li>James Peshlakai’s time<br /><ul><li>Tony Hillermanwrote books that have connected millions of readers worldwide with the Navajo culture. Mr. Hillerman recognized James as a mentor in his memoir Seldom Disappointed and the Wailing Wind is dedicated to the Peshlakai Cultural Foundation.</li></li></ul><li>James Peshlakai’s time.<br /><ul><li>I’ve continued with my families legacy; practicing Navajo medicine. I maintain my father and grandfather’s knowledge and teachings of healing, and the carrying of medicine bags. This is a my burden and gift to maintain and pass on the Navajo way of life. Many modern Navajo people have lost the Ways of the Navajo.</li></li></ul><li>CONCLUSION<br />My dedication to empower and preserve the Navajo, has lead me into criminal records with State and Federal governments. I have been publicly introduced by National Park Service as troublemaker at hearings. I have stared into a barrel of guns pointed by the National Park Service, Police witnessed by my wife, my children and grandchildren.<br />
  16. 16. CONCLUSION<br />My people expect me to continue to defend the rights of all the People.<br />For the Navajo “people” include:<br /> the people with two legs, four legs, many legs, the people of the sky and clouds, the growing people (plants), people of the mountain, the earth and the water. By teaching each other and understanding one’s culture; I sincerely believe in the Blessing Way of Life.<br />
  17. 17. Questions?<br />