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Bonnie Whitesinger, Big Mountain, AZ - September 1999
Whitesinger discusses the fallout of Relocation:
Persistent, chronic stress manifests in physical illness
and emotional fatigue for the Navajo Dine'

Whitesinger's House, Big Mountain, AZ - September 1999


A plea from Bonnie:

Bonnie Whitesinger, resident of Big Mountain

I am a wife and mother of 6 children. I have renal failure. As of April
1997, I had a breakdown when I was at the 53rd session of the Commission on
Human Rights at the United Nations in Geneva Switzerland. I attended this
session with Kee Watchman carrying the message of the elders, mainly the
matriarchs. So being a mother, I work for my children's future. I was going
to stay in Geneva for 3 weeks but I had to cut my trip short to 12 days
because I got ill and I had to come home to be admitted to a hospital for my
condition. Since then I haven't received any assistance for my condition.

Now, I wish to call for help. At the same time being sick, I have to endure
the hardship of going to dialysis treatment over ungraded dirt roads 3 times
a week and raise my children. I used to live at my mother, Pauline
Whitesinger’s house but I had to move to be on the school bus route. So, for
the past 12 years I have been living in an abandoned dilapidated one room
house without adequate space for me and my family. My house has broken
windows, no running water, no indoor plumbing and no electricity. It was
abandoned for 30 years before I moved in. The roof is old and inside it
there are mice nests. Inside the walls and the wall panels are dead mice,
debris and feces. It looks awful in there. During the monsoon season the roof
leaks and it has the smell of mice urine. It gets on our dishes. I have
applied for a homesite because of my health condition. I have repeatedly
been denied. My home is beyond repair and I desperately need your assistance
in obtaining a double wide trailer for me and my family of 6 children and 2

I need a kidney transplant right away. At Dialysis, these machines are
affecting my heart. I have witnessed death on the machine - people my own
age. And since winter months are coming I desperately need a truck to haul
water and firewood we need for our survival. There is so much stress. And
at the same time I am getting letters from the Navajo Hopi Relocation office
in Flagstaff telling me to relocate and to comply with the 90 days notice to
vacate. My mother, Pauline Whitesinger who lives on HPL also receives
letters from the same relocation office. She had a meeting on January 9,
1999 and made her appeal with the elders affected to the relocation office to
stop. They told them they don't want to receive any more letters (Notices to
Vacate). That didn't help.

For me, I need emergency financial assistance regarding my health condition.
Please I need your help to get on the kidney transplant list which requires
that I have a decent house with electrical hook up, running water and a
cellular or regular phone. And during the duration of the winter months I
need a Ford double cab pick up truck to haul water and wood which is
necessary for our survival.

I also want to make a call to my relatives in the East, in the South, in the
West and the North that I need help with your contribution of money to go
toward ceremonies to protect the elders on Hopi Partition Lands and their
families. Our lives are at stake with the deadline coming up so we need to
protect ourselves with ongoing traditional ceremonies. Please help me because
me, my family and my people have a lot of concerns for our survival.

If you want to send donations to me please send postal money orders to Bonnie
Whitesinger, P.O. Box 1073, Hotevilla, AZ 86030. If you want to leave a
message for me or require more information please contact Marsha Monestersky,
Consultant to Sovereign Dineh Nation, cellular phone: (520) 674-4479, e-mail:

Please help us pressure Thomas Benally, the executive director of the Navajo
Hopi Land Commission, Window Rock, AZ and his staff, Phone: (520) 871-6277,
Address: P.O. Box 2549, Navajo Nation, Window Rock, AZ 86515. AND Kelsey
Begaye, President, The Navajo Nation, Phone: (520) 871-6000, Address: P.O.
Box 9000, Navajo Nation, Window Rock, AZ 86515.

It is the rightful obligation of the Navajo Hopi Land Commission and the
Navajo Tribe to help us survive at this time. This office must contribute
the elders that are still on HPL and those of us with life threatening
conditions. They are part of a US governmental effort that has spent over
400 million US taxpayer dollars to fund our genocide while denying those of
us that resist relocation even our ability to survive. We are expecting a
harsh winter and need this office to provide us with survival money and
supplies like kerosene, matches, propane, gas, water and a supply for our
livestock like hay, grain and salt blocks. And materials for shelter for our
sheep during lambing season, tarps, cellophane sheeting. Urge them to start
working on our behalf and commit themselves to working on an injunction
against the deadline.

There are a lot of families on HPL living in the same condition I am. We
have been subject to the Freeze on construction for over 20 years, enduring
great hardship yearlong, on ungraded dirt roads that destroy our vehicles.
We are denied everything, even the right to build or fix our homes, even for
though of us with life threatening health problems. And many of my people
are elderly and children.

It is urgent that the we be able to fix our homes so our families can move
back to stand with our elders and support them for the deadline and for the
ceremonies we need to conduct. The deadline date February 1, 2000 is about
90 days from now. And our elders and our children are in jeopardy because
the Hopi tribe and the Navajo tribe are not informing the people about what
kind of effects we are going to see at deadline date, only that US Marshals
will be coming in to force us off our land. I believe that the laws of the US
government is only there to benefit the elite corporations and corrupt tribal

Please understand that we are at a critical point now and ask you those of
you that want to contribute to our survival to please do so at this time.
And help in whatever way you can.

Thank you,


Bonnie Whitesinger


Bonnie Whitesinger has been fighting relocation alongside her mother Pauline and the other Elders all her life. She has 6 children. She desperately needs a kidney transplant and goes to dialysis three times a week. The roundtrip is nearly 200 miles. All her money and that of her family goes to keeping her head above water. The last time I saw Bonnie, I noticed the suffering her arm had been through over the years doing dialysis. I almost cried and then became very mad because the powers that be have targeted her to die for her convictions. You need three things to get on the list for Kidneys:

1- Water supply

2- Electricity

3- A Phone

Without being on the list, Bonnie will not even have a chance of a new Kidney and she is marked for death. I know that her Prayers and those of the Medicine People are keeping her alive along with her culture.

Well there is electric lines right up to Bonnie's house but they are cut feet from her dwelling. There is a brand new water line leading to the house but it isn't turned on. And I know the Navajo Nation has some social service department somewhere inside all that Peabody revenue that could give her an emergency cell phone. I SEE CLEARLY THAT THE NAVAJO NATION IS NEGLEGENT WITH HER LIFE AND PERHAPS IS WILLING TO KILL HER IN THIS WAY TO STOP HER ACTIVISM.

Let's get Bonnie on the list. Pressure the Navajo Nation for Help. Pressure your resources and the US resources around you for help. Read on; a reporter's words about Bonnie:

The following is by Suzanne Marcus Fletcher-
Bonnie Whitesinger embodies the very essence of Dine’ suffering and strength on Big Mountain. She advocates non-violence, but maintains her right to defend her children’s welfare, her home, and her commitment to honor an ancient Covenant her people made with the Creator to protect the sacred soil of Black Mesa. Bonnie suffers from acute kidney failure due to prolonged chronic stress, and the on-going threat of forced eviction. She requires a transplant to survive and urgently needs your letters of support to obtain necessary transplant approval.

Please write Bonnie

Bonnie Whitesinger, Box1073, Hotevilla AZ86030

Please send her your prayers and any money you can spare. She has lived for the struggle and is a casualty that we all need to take responsibility for. Remember she has 6 children and more expenses than any one person should have to endure.

You can pressure Percy Deal at the Hard Roch Chapter of the Navajo nation for her electrical and water. Tell him they must end her suffering as they bear the responsibility for her life at this point. The number there is 520 725 3528. Get their address and put it in writing.