The New Pathfinders
The new pathfinders
September 2013. I progress slowly, getting closer to the Indian reservation of Hopi and Navajo people, in Arizona. Wild and spectacular. The New World, and its two worlds, Indian and Anglo. Abundance and affluence of the tourists' tide that floods the day. Timeless presence of the aborigines. Brief encounter in full sun. The time it takes to them to sell the visitors the artifacts of their dreams. One is here since time exists, and it seems, until it will extinguish. The other just passing, as he always did, and it seems, always will. The Indian knows his land for generations, and teaches it to the future generations with application, no one here would think of missing a day at school. And carefully too, he learns his visitors. Capitalism, modernity, nothing but the new firearms. Practiced survivalist he is engaged to preserve, for all, the world where he is, its invisible balances revealed by its beauty, that all can see.
On the road, navigating these wide-open spaces, always-visible afar, the three spewing sisters, the high chimneys of the Navajo Generating Station of Page. Day and night burns here the coal brought from the Black Mesa plateau to illuminate hundreds of miles away the cities of Arizona, Nevada, California, and the nights of Las Vegas. Black Mesa, Indian reservation where people do without running water, or electricity.
Marshall and Nicole Johnson are raising here their three children, in Pinion, small community, poor and isolated in the middle of the Navajo Nation, the land that was left to them. Marshall and Nicole are "Nnataanii", "natural leaders", "elected chiefs" as explains Brett Isaac. Navajo native of the area, he engineers solar panels and installs them with friends and family all over the reservation.
Active ferments of a consciousness that has sustained life until progress came threatening it, they watch. Frugal maquisards, the Navajo Indians have invented before we thought it wise to live without spending more than the land could give. And, to not exhaust it in one generation they resist today the pressure of these projects larger than life of power plants and tourists sites to exploit mineral resources and beauty of the Earth. In them this dynamic belief that the land is not something entrusted to them by their ancestors but by their children, just the time for them to grow.
Self-reliance is the rule as is this intent education on how to take precious care of the land, that will give back in kind, with food and medicines.
The oppressor is powerful. The Indian apt and patient. Figuring on the list of the endangered species he has a unique voice to speak to mankind of its destiny.
Les nouveaux éclaireurs
Septembre 2013. Je progresse lentement et me rapproche de la réserve Navajo, en Arizona, traversant des paysages sauvages et spectaculaires. Le Nouveau Monde, et ses deux mondes: anglo et indien. Abondance et affluence de la marée de touristes qui envahit le jour. Présence intemporelle des aborigènes. Brêve rencontre. Le temps pour les uns de vendre leur illusions aux autres. L'un, là depuis toujours et semble t il, pour toujours, l'autre, de passage, depuis toujours, et semble t il peut être pour toujours. L'indien connaît son pays depuis des générations et il l'enseigne aux prochaines avec application. On ne rate pas un jour d'école ici. Et il apprend ses visiteurs. Capitalisme, modernité, les nouvelles armes a feu. Survivaliste permanent il est engagé à préserver pour tous le monde ou il est, ses équilibres invisibles révélés par sa beauté qui parle a tous.
Sur la route de ces grands espaces, toujours visible au loin, la Navajo Generating Station de Page, qui fume. Nuit et jour brule ici le charbon du plateau de Black Mesa qui fait briller au loin les villes d'Arizona, Nevada et Californie, et scintiller les nuits de Las Vegas. Black Mesa, réserve indienne ou l'on vit sans eau courante ni électricité.
Marshall et Nicole Johnson y élèvent leur trois enfants, au coeur de Pinion, petite communauté pauvre et isolée située au centre de la Navajo Nation, la terre qu'on leur a laissée. Marshall et Nicole sont "Nnataanii", leaders naturels, "élus chefs" comme dit Brett Isaac. Navajo lui aussi, il conçoit des panneaux solaires qu'il installe sur toute la réserve.
Ferments actifs d'une conscience qui a supporté la vie jusqu'au progrès qui la menace, ils veillent. Maquisards frugaux, les indiens Navajo ont inventé avant qu'on y revienne de vivre sans dépenser plus que la terre ne donnait. Et pour ne pas l'épuiser en une génération ils resistent aujourd'hui aux pressions des projets plus grands que nature des exploiteurs de gisements minéraux et de sites touristiques. Guidés par cette dynamique croyance que la terre ne leur vient pas transmise par leurs ancêtres, mais empruntée à leurs enfants le temps qu'ils grandissent.
Alors l'auto suffisance est de mise, comme l'est une savante éducation du soin de la terre, qui le rend bien, en nourritures et médicines naturelles.
L'oppresseur est puissant. L'indien apte et patient. Sur la liste des espèces en voie de disparition il a une voix unique pour parler aux hommes de leur destin
Shonto Arizona 2013. Navajo sheep herd
Highway 98 between Page and Shonto Arizona 2013. The light announces more rain to the land
Lorena Nelson Shonto Arizona 2013. Lorena spins wool of her shurro sheeps
Lake Powell Page Arizona 2013. In the back the Navajo generating station
Page Arizona 2013. No land is off limits the Page development
Monument Valley between Arizona and Utah 2013. Tree Japanese tourists
Kayenta Arizona 2013. Jimmy plays its flute for tourists at Macdonald
Mary Laughter Shonto Arizona 2013. Mary 84, a shepard now retired shops at the trading post
Monument Valley Arizona 2013. Asian tourists looking for dream catchers
Helen Salazar Monument Valley Utah 2013. Helen lives in the Mittens mountains she helps her family weaving for the tourists
Monument Valley Utah /Arizona 2013. Safari tour in Monument Valley
Monument Valley Utah / Arizona 2013. A brief respite in a long day
Antelope Canyon Arizona 2013. More than 160, 000 walk through those narrows each year
Tulie Palooka Hurley Scription House Arizona 2013. Tulie keeps its his Navajo diary since 1940
Rita Gilmore White Rock Trail Arizona 2013. Rita is a medicine woman and a substance abuse counselor, has profile on facebook
Monument Valley Utah Arizona 2013. Visitor center: tribute to a famous cowboy
Lamar Whitmer Scottsdale Arizona 2013. Lamar is about to rein in Hopi and Navajo sacred land for his grand project of tramway hotels and fast food and R.V parks on the grand canyon parks
Alyia Jhonson Pinion Arizona 2013. Alyia 5 prepares for her next rodeo contest
Monument Valley Utah Arizona 2013. 5 dollars for a postcard
Alyia Johnson Pinion Arizona 2013. Alyia trains with her favorit horse
On highway 98 Arizona 2013. Bykers Greed and power plant
Monument Valley Utah Arizona 2013. Four hundred horses power by a reservation dog
Page Arizona Safeway parking 2013. Vanessa Joe and baby Raelyn in a cedar wood cradle board
Black Mesa Peabody coal mine Arizona 2013. The mine pumps water from the aquifer to mix it with coal for easier transportation to the power plant. That water is dearly missed by the fragile ecosystem of the Navajo land
Highway 98 Arizona 2013. Pearl Begay. Jobs were promised but we never got them but respiratory deseases we did get
Dixie Alice Young Highway 98 Arizona 2013. Dixie lives within sight of the power plant and gets light from propane
Lake Powell Arizona 2013. One of the two million a year Lake Powell visitor gets ready to embark with his toy
Lake powell resort Arizona 2013. Picture hunting from the edge
Lake Powell resort Arizona 2013.
Dixie Alice Young Highway 98 Arizona 2013. The smoke gets to her place and leaves hashes everywhere like it’s the backyard of the plant
Pinion Arizona 2013. Raeanna 12, Alyia 5 and Cedric Johnson . School finished early today because of an outage. At home drawing under the light of LEDs
Black Mesa Arizona 2013. Electricity is abundant up in the air but 18 000 in the area have no electicity
Black Mesa Arizona 2013. Kayenta mine is the largest coal strip mine of the US while this is one of the poorest area of the country. Not only did it disturb the land but also the harmonious relationship between Navajo and Hopi people
The Navajo Generating Station Page Arizona 2013. This aging plant sees its future with more and more uncertainties competing with cleaner renewable sources of energy such as solar plants and windmills
The Navajo Generating Station Page Arizona 2013. Fellix Fuller and Mike Collins lab chemists at the plant. A certain number of positions are reserved to Navajo people as the plant sits on Navajo land
The Navajo Generating Station Page Arizona 2013. Security warning
Monument Valley Utah Arizona 2013. Mary 60 and her mother Helen 80, working on their jewelry that they sell to the tourists. They have no electricity or water. They supplement their income with the “Hogan experience”: one night without electricity and water for a 150 dollars.
Tsahbiikin Arizona 2013. Elaine Manheimer in her fruits and vegetables garden. “Electricity is too expensive so sometimes I sleep in my truck and read a book a night with my LED lamp”
Tsahbiikin Arizona 2013. Julian and his daughter Jessica 7 is trying to make a living from his micro farming
Tsahbiikin Arizona 2013. Julian is showing a ceremonial object that he sells to his people
The enchantment resort Sedona Arizona 2013. A luxury resort and spa sells the red rock views and their healing power
North of Pinion Arizona 2013. Marshall and his daughter Kayla Johnson and their dog Rico at a dry whash. The water pumped by the mine has depleted the aquifer
The enchantment resort Sedona 2013. What ever water was left by the mine is now pumped by the resort for its cricket field
Betatakin Arizona Arizona 2013. Mary Martinez makes wedding baskets in front of their Hogan made of pinion and cedar wood
Blue Gap Arizona 2013. All the coal and uranium mines around have exhausted the water contained in the land
Marshall Johnson Blue gap Arizona. Marshall stands by a “earth fissure” filled recently by rain
Blue gap Arizona 2013. Those earth fissures are largely thought to be a consequence of careless mining
Blue Gap Arizona 2013. Jimmy his wife Candy and their children in front of their home. The crack is caused by unstable ground from over exploitation of the underground
School of Pinion Arizona 2013. Marshall Johnson is doing a lecture raising awareness as to the fragile equilibrium of their land
Baby Rocks Arizona 2013. Brett Isaac founded Shonto Energy, a local grass root organization producing solar panels. “Navajo Generating Station will have to adapt. We just want to be the solution”
North of Pinion Arizona 2013. The Johnson family. Looking at the future in their land of opportunity