Two Navajo Indians from Arizona are in Dublin to mobilise support against what they say are threats to their land and culture.
Larry Bilta and Leo Bege are in Dublin as part of a European tour to present statements of the plight of the Navajo Indians to the Hanson Trust, the British based parent company of Peabody Coal Company, and the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva.
Bilta and Bege are just two of a five-party delegation of Navjao and Hopi Indians who gave a press conference in Dublin in support of their cause.
When you take our lands, you take our lives.
As a result of the coal mining in the Black Mesa area of Arizona, they have lost their ancestral lands and livestock with irreparable damage to vegetation. They argue that this has led to the destruction of the foundation of traditional Navajo life. According to Larry Bilta, this
Poses threat to the Navajo religion, culture and herbal medicine that is very important to the Navajo people
Damien Lee, who has spent some time on the Indian reservation in Arizona, also speaks to RTÉ News about the lifestyle and civilisation of the Navajo.
I found magnificent countryside and a very warm, natural, friendly people. And they were very similar in many ways in attitudes to many people in Connemara.
An RTÉ News report by Bob Powells broadcast on 8 February 1991.