Letter: Dooda (No) Desert Rock group modifies mission statement

To the editor:

Dooda (No) Desert Rock spontaneously came to life as a loosely-organized grassroots advocacy organization that opposed the construction of a large mine-mouth, coal-fired power plant on the Navajo Reservation near Shiprock and the Four Corners. "Dooda" means "no" or "absolutely not" in Navajo. Opposition to the plant, including blocking exploratory drilling and the successful defense of an injunction suit by a large corporation, ended up in the eventual withdrawal of federal clean air permits for the plant and it is dead (for now).

The organization matured, but current situations in the Navajo Nation require it to restate its purposes in a mission statement that is more relevant to what is going on. Corporate interests that promoted the Desert Rock Power Plant are still active, and developers are attempting to revive failed coal extraction policies in the Navajo Nation under the guise of "sovereignty," "prosperity" and "economic development." Dooda (No) Desert Rock proudly counts itself among the many non-governmental organizations that are attempting to use the Navajo Nation's progressive environmental protection laws and federal policies to help the people of the Navajo Nation.

The positions of Dooda (No) Desert Rock are supported in international human rights and sustainable development law and particularly supported by Special Rapporteur James Anaya of the United Nations in his July 6, 2012 report to the Human Rights Council of the General Assembly (No. A/HRC/21/47). It reports and makes recommendations on the rights of indigenous peoples in relation to extractive industries. Dooda (NO) Desert Rock participated in the April 2010 World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in elaborating the Law of the Rights of Mother Earth and promoting it, and right to water initiatives, in the United Nations. It also participated in the United Nations Indigenous Forum.

Now it is the mission of Dooda ("No!") Desert Rock to: Undertake all necessary activities to protect the rights of Mother Earth and promote The Fundamental Laws of the Dine' for the protection of Mother Earth, the environment and the Five Fingered People who live with the Earth Mother. We will continue to resist and block extractive industry initiatives that violate the rights of Mother Earth, all living creatures, the environment and the Five Fingered Peoples.

We plan to mobilize and educate Navajos and their supporters to protect the environment and promote and foster clean government in the Navajo Nation.

Elouise Brown

Dooda (NO) Desert Rock Committee President

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