Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Idle oil, gas wells threaten Indian tribes while energy companies, regulators do little


September 6, 2018

Someone from Orlinda Benally’s family has come to the Chuska Mountains to graze their sheep in the shade provided by the aspen and pine trees every summer for longer than she can remember. They come to graze their sheep in the shade. Forty years ago her parents built a snug wooden cabin and a corral. The black bear that range in the area don’t bother the sheep – Orlinda’s mother, Sally Benally, has a special way of speaking to them in Navajo and they stay away – but this year, despite the heat that bakes the valley and burns the skin on the back of a person’s arm, the Benallys may not come up to the mountain. There is something that scares them far more than the bears.


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