<center>Letters to the Editor</center>

Editor:

The Grand Canyon is a place of great spiritual and cultural value to Native people of the Colorado Plateau. It is the place of emergence for some and its waters are a resource upon which others depend for individual and tribal survival. Over the years, though, this great wonder has become a place of humiliation and alienation for the indigenous peoples of this land.

Our children have seen their parents harassed and chased off the land by police who arrest and confiscate. Virtually every Canyon visitor learns about John Wesley Powell and his Anglo boatmen, but how many hear the stories and myths, the teachings, which arise from our long years and deep respect for this land. Is it any wonder we must work so hard to sustain our children’s respect for our traditions, our languages, and our teachings when those who control the land and the money have worked so hard to disdain them?

Development of Canyon Forest Village, of the Museum of Northern Arizona’s Insight Center, and a major Indian marketplace managed by Native people to assure authenticity and respect, will do much to reverse the history of disdain, abuse, and confrontation so many of us associate with the Canyon. It will help to reawaken in our children the joy and pride in culture that children of all races enjoy. It will help them to learn trades and train for management positions that will permit them to earn good livings there in our native lands. And it will permit them to see how deeply the rest of the world regards our traditions and teaching about balance and beauty in living and stewardship in daily practice.

For our children, for the future, for all that we have to share with the wider community, support CFV, vote YES on 400.

Dorothy Denetsosie

Flagstaff

Editor:

It’s always difficult for small businesses to succeed against larger corporations. But many of the small businesses of Northern Arizona have managed to remain successful, thanks in no small part to Grand Canyon tourism.However, Canyon Forest Village and Proposition 400 could jeopardize the future of small businesses in Northern Arizona. This massive development would take tourism dollars out of our communities and away from our small businesses. This would have an extremely detrimental effect on local economies and jobs for area residents.

Canyon Forest Village is a dangerous proposal for communities throughout the area. Its 1,000 motel rooms and quarter-million square feet of retail space don’t belong at the entrance to Grand Canyon National Park, and they shouldn’t be built at the expense of existing residents.

I hope you will vote to protect the small businesses of Northern Arizona by saying “No” to the Canyon Forest Village and Proposition 400.

Barbara Kimball

Fredonia, AZ

Editor:

In 1954, the Arizona Department of Transportation realigned Hwy. 180 through private property (Tusayan Development Plan) and inflated property values for three families adjacent to South-Rim Grand Canyon.

The monied powers of Tusayan have ignored regional planning efforts, refused to develop emergency services, continued to mine ancestral water (now 5 wells), and have not addressed socio-economic inequalities created by their exploiting itinerant labor. The monopolistic power of Tusayan landowners now requires a planned, community-based solution.

When Grand Canyon National Park grappled with growth management, visitor experience and carrying capacity, the Tusayan landowners were nowhere to be found. The GCNP General Management Plan (GMP) calls for removing commercial services from the South Rim. The cost of relocating services has attracted only one bidder. This bidder has addressed the needs identified by the GMP, will exchange 2700+ acres of private wildlands for 272 acres (taxpayer benefit), has reduced from 3,000 hotel rooms to 900, has met stringent environmental and governmental regulations, and has already pumped over $10 million into our local economy. All of this has been done with private money for the benefit of taxpayers. Should this bidder be barred from playing because chain hotels do not like competition?

CFV will increase the economic viability of Northern Arizona through planned phased-in servicing over seven years. It is not perfect, but it is 1) truthful, 2) planned and 3) does not cost taxpayers. Vote YES on Prop 400.

Bryan Bates

Editor:

I have very recently moved to Arizona from Vermont, drawn here by the rich and diverse landscape of both peoples and natural environment. This varied texture of your state is one of your greatest strengths, and voters should be encouraged to support this through the power of their votes. The issue that concerns me here is Proposition 203, an initiative to do away with bilingual education.

While it is essential that we educate in such a way that all peoples have an equal opportunity to succeed in mainstream society; healthy success will never emanate from the loss of one’s roots and culture. Language is made up of so much more than words. Language speaks of place, ancestors, one’s entire story and heritage. Some things can never be translated such as the way one feels when one speaks the language of one’s people. Having grown up in Israel speaking Hebrew, I am aware that when we move from one language to another we are moving through different archives — emotions, peoples, places and more. Thus we are actually changing places inside of ourselves, living different parts of ourselves.

Peoples who endeavor and sometimes struggle to hold on to their ways of life by maintaining their connection to their language should be given all of the support they can get, while also being welcomed into the language and ways of the majority culture. Not only should their language be supported but all that that language embraces. We should not seek to amalgamate our peoples but rather recognize our differing backgrounds as an enriching gift and welcome these differences as tools for our continued learning.

Children are flexible and curious beings capable of living in multiple worlds. The difficulty of straddling worlds may develop when one part of ourselves comes to be at war with another. When we vote against supporting a language in the educational process, we are voting against much more than a language and this message will hardly be missed by our young ones

Miriam Dror

Winslow

Editor:

I am a thirteen year old Dine´ girl being raised with my Native American language, “Dine´”, spoken to me everyday. I wake up to the Dine´ words, “Get up my little me,” every morning, and I fall asleep after I have heard, “Go to sleep my little one.” I cannot imagine a day without my language being spoken. My language is powerful and it is more meaningful than the English language, to me.

Proposition 203 is a very big mistake. We Native Americans have been tricked out of everything including our land. We cannot allow losing our language because that is what we have left that gives us our identity.

Our classroom is located in our community and not somewhere in a big city. So, speaking Dine´ is our right because the community is our home. Proposition 203 would take away the rights of parents to decide for the best education for their children.

Mr. Unz needs to learn more about what is valued by bilingual speakers. If he cares so much about bilingual speakers, he could leave us all alone. I am proud of who I am, a bilingual speaker, Dine´ and English.

Milayia Leigh Sells

WNANAF Sr. Princess

2000-2001

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