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Ojo Encino Thoughts from a NM Navajo on Drilling

Ojo Encino

Cecelia Sills, Ojo Encino Chapter Member

You can help Cecelia and other Navajo in this area. Find out how.

"BLM land should go back to Native Americans so that there is no more drilling. For the Navajo tribe, we have a lot of land out here that is being misused by the BLM and there’s a lot sacred sites that belong to Navajo people, sacred because this is where Navajo people came form. And the BLM is using that land for drilling. We as native Americans, as Navajo people, have no rights to protect our sacred sites and that is wrong. It doesn’t belong to white people.

There are gas lines everywhere for fracking and we can’t even use it to heat our homes. We still use wood. We’re destroying our land. It destroys a lot of water. A lot of the air.

When I was a young child there was no air pollutions out here. You could see Shiprock standing on top of the mesa. Now, you can’t even see three or four miles from here.

I think that a lot of these people from BLM just go around and wave dollars in front of Native Americans and they think that’s good but I don’t think that’s good. I think they’re gonna take our land away. They already are.

We live in New Mexico, and we’re not thought of by the state or Navajo Nation. The Navajo tribe doesn’t take care of us. We’re on the checkerboard area. Nobody bothers to come out here to take care of us, and I think that’s not right. If something happens out here and you call a policeman, it takes them two days to get out here. We don’t have hospitals or police protection. If BLM is going to talk about something, let them build a hospital out here on BLM lands. Let’s see them build something for us so we can have jobs.

Everyone has to travel over 100 miles every day and pay their gas money just to go work. We’re in 100 mile radius of all the major towns or cities and even a loaf of bread out here is expensive. Who wants to live like that? We need jobs out here. Oil and gas jobs are filled by out of state workers and they are not good jobs for the people. If BLM is going to do something, give us good jobs. Why don’t they build us a road so our children can get to school and come back safely? How come we don’t have a say with what they’re doing? They’re making money off our land and no one gives us a penny. I don’t like that. I’m sorry if anybody is offended. We have a right in this world."

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