Navajo practitioners have offered their support for the Grand Canyon Escalade Project. Contrary to what the Grand Canyon Trust wants us to believe, the GCE project has received many letters of support from traditional Navajo and NAC practitioners from the Western region of the Navajo Nation since 2012. Many of these practitioners have made prayers and offerings on behalf of the development and for the sake of their families and friends who live in the area.
Here are what some had to say in support of the project:
“I have found that the way of life that’s known to us Navajo people in their late 60’s and 70’s, is not the norm of our younger generation today. And I feel for them as they talk about the many times that they have applied for employment and were never hired, we live in the Former Bennett Freeze Area and it seems even though the so call freeze has lifted there has not been any change that we have seen, in terms of creating a better environment for the young people and the elderly.” – Charley McCabe, Navajo Practitioner, Coalmine Mesa, Arizona
“Although, the sacred sites is of concern to many people, we were also taught about the future destiny of our young people, who are in need of employment. We are being assured that these sacred prayer sites will be monitored, protected, and preserved for us, which is not being done today. We were also informed that various medicine men from all religions will be involved in developing the history of ‘where the rivers come together’.” – Mr. Jae Charley, Navajo NAC Practitioner, Tuba City, Arizona
“In my travels across the Navajo Reservation I perform ceremonies for many people, some resulting from the frustration disappointment of not being able to find work to support their families. This has a tremendous effect on people causing some to resort to abusing alcohol, drugs, neglecting/abusing children, domestic violence, and eventually suicide. The social problems these families go through cause them to become out of balance with nature and have to have ceremonies done for them. These issues also cause the Navajo people to loose confidence in their community leaders and the Navajo Nation government. Because of this I support the development of the Grand Canyon Escalade.” – Calvin Butler, Navajo NAC Practitioner, Monument Valley, Arizona
“I believe that propose plans for the creation of jobs for our young people would be beneficial to help keep our young people closer to home. Secondly, the monitoring and protection of sacred prayer sites would also alleviate desecration of the sites currently made by river rafters and hikers in the canyon. Lastly, it would provide revenues for the rehabilitation of the Former Bennett Freeze area. For these reasons I support the propose Grand Canyon Escalade development being proposed.” – Roger Begay, Navajo Practitioner, Tuba City, Arizona