Monday, April 1, 2013

PL93-620 R2. Jun-Nov 1973: The Havasupai are ANGRY!

The Senate hearing in June gathered and concentrated everyone's attention. Meanwhile in Arizona, there was a series of meetings which, ignoring the land question, concentrated on infra-structure and development support. In early May, at Supai, the BIA and the Supai covered finishing the road from US 66, bringing transmission lines to Long Mesa and down to Supai, trail maintenance, a new school building, a revised liquor ordinance, upgraded irrigation, power at the Hilltop trailhead, beginning a study for a tramway, and starting a long-range-planning process to cover camping facilities, tourist lodge construction & the school. 
  CBS asked to meet with the Council in June about a tv documentary.
A mid-June meeting in Phoenix included officials from BIA, the Park and Forest Services, and a state planning agency; no Havasupai. They reviewed the road and power tranmission and then discussed multi-agency projects: a village and campground sewage system, trail improvement, camping limits, and a trail ride business. 

  Two weeks later, the agencies and Havasupai met in Williams to work on a Land Use Plan comprising sewerage, work on the trail including trash disposal & water, tram possibility, increasing campground size, Willaha road improvement, and work force opportunities. There was "strong interest" in a tram for both freight and people, Chairman Paya thought it could solve some problems, and mentioned people coming to a possible 32-unit "new hotel". I stress that much of the discussion seemed to be about what might be desirable or possible; the reading reinforces the bureaucratic difficulties entangling the Havasupai. This was also the period when the Forest and Park Services were backing changing the Goldwater bill so that only a study was authorized. 
  A few days later, the Council resolved to ask the state Economic Planning & Development office (OEPAD) to assist the tribe in development for its "future economic well-being".
  A July follow-up meeting summarized this work by saying that people were thinking about thinking about getting started.
  I suppose for the agency people, this all seemed like business as usual and that in the way of bureaucracies, something would get done sometime. The Havasupai would have been legitimately fortified in their view that only when they controlled their own land would any development really happen. Some complain that heated arguments get nothing done; well, the Havasupai could have replied, neither does the ultra-cool of endless bureaucratic palavering.

Part of the wider audience the Havasupai needed to find was provided by the Sunday magazine of the Denver Post in a 15 Jul 1973 story tilted to "The tribe banished to the bottom of the Grand Canyon". Here's a sample: "There are only Havasupai left in the canyon." "They are part of an ecology everyone wants to save, but apparently not at the expense of rocks, animals and scenery." The writer got the origin of the reservation wrong, leaving the impression of Havasupai as standard victims. He presented Chairman Oscar Paya's views at length, more or less accurately, including his demonization of "conservationists", "professional environmentalists" and "Sunday hikers", and stated that most adult Havasupai "have a daily battle with obesity and diabetes". I thought this photo of Paya, full of determination, appropriate:

The author recounted the Goldwater visit in January, with hope being "sparked". The reporter, however, was no political journalist, and depended on Goldwater's Senate statements. Ignorant of Supai before his visit, he was often surprised by what he saw. Interviewing former Chairman Lee Marshall, he recorded his view that "the best solution to the freight dilemma is to build an aerial tramway", and noted that the council had adopted a resolution in 1972 favoring a tramway if economical and authorizing a feasibility study. The writer mentioned the dozen or so "Caucasians" working for the Havasupai and profiled Ted Shaffer, the general manager, as he had Paya and Marshall. Concluding, he suspected there will be "considerable debate" "about real estate", but maybe "someone will ask what will happen to the Havasupai Indians if they are not given more land."

In mid-July, the Havasupai newsletter, Canyon Shadows, was devoted to recounting the Senate hearing and their delegation's visit to Washington "to fight for more land". (Although there are no credits in this issue, Vol VI, no 5, I believe Steve Hirst was the writer-editor.) "Many Witnesses Oppose Havasupai" was the headline, and June 20 was "the big day for the Havasuapi". On the 19th, Clark Jack, Augustine Hanna, and attorney Joe Babbitt joined Steve and Lois Hirst, who had been working in the National Archives. (When I was doing my own research over the next couple of years, I came across their traces. In spite of our sometimes-in-common source material, we created different historical frameworks.) Senator Goldwater's pleas for return of Havasupai land were noted, "then, however, the others started in. The Park Service led off by showing they had been lying all along", by asking that portions of the proposed Reservation be put in the Park instead. The Forest Service followed also asking for "detailed study" of the Havasupai claim and "public values". Now Chairman Bible, "impatient", asked how long the studies would take, and said that two years was too long; you have "to do better than that". The Hualapai said "they joined with the Havasupai tribe in opposing the bill. As a result, everyone seemed surprised to learn the tribe still does want to have its land returned." Augustine Hanna "spoke at some length on the tribe's historical rights. The entire room listened closely,…but very few questions followed." Hanna's statement was included in the newsletter.
  Then, the newsletter reported, McComb "bragged how he has spent all of 180 days" in the Canyon, and any lands for the Havasupai should come "from somewhere outside the Park". He implied the Forest Service permits should go to NPS, and "went further that more of Havasu Canyon" should be in the Park. He said the land was home to wildlife, sheep being the most important", to which the article added "[and humans?]". "Alderson of Friends of the Earth [but not, apparently, of the people on it]" testified giving land to the Havasupai would be "highly damaging to the Park".
  On June 22, Shadows continued, Terry Emerson "was prepared to say that the subcommittee had not been impressed by the Havasupai case and that it does not look very good for the tribe."  "All we can say is we are astonished." "We predict" that at the House hearings, "they are going to sit up and take notice of what we say this time."  (This suggests two lines of inquiry: Was Emerson ever doing more than what Goldwater bade him; did he truly embrace the Havasupai cause? Why did the Havasupai and their allies not put on a grander, broader show, with more friends testifying for them?)

July saw the false alarm about hearings before the House Parks subcommittee, which led to the preparation of a new Havasupai statement, intended to be "something very different". I will review that below at the November time it was delivered. Meanwhile, the signs of the Havasupai strategy of attacking Sierra Club opposition to their expansion demand showed up. A pugnacious letter arrived in early August from Chairman Paya to "Don McIver, Outings Chairman, Grand Canyon Chapter Sierra Club". (I do not know why McIver was chosen; my files have no evidences of earlier communications.) The chapter executive committee was invited urgently to come to the Tribal Council meeting August 11. "Very concerned at the harm your organization's attitude" was bringing. The Havasupai never suggested taking "your homes", but have worked for 88 years to "rectify the wrong done our people when the government took our plateau home from us…We wonder why you have opposed its return to us." We think we can persuade you to support us. "Please… be prepared to tell us where you find our demand unreasonable".

On the 11th, Paya wrote re-extending the invitation. "We must meet here on our reservation."  You must "see what we face" and "hear how our people feel about having their past robbed from them for tourism." We should control any tourism. We should not have to get permits from the Park and Forest; they should have to get permits from us. "We understand you feel ashamed to come say before us the things you have said before others. but .. we will show you every courtesy".

McIver now wrote to McComb: "I think we are going to have to go and listen to them." He was willing and would like another executive committee member to go with him, and McComb or Ingram. He did not like the Havasupai thinking he did not have what it takes to go and listen, and was "bugged" by being told he felt ashamed. Apparently, this trip did not happen. Nevertheless, it was clear that Club opposition to the transfer was now being questioned by some Club members, with differences of opinion being reported to me by chapter chair Margot Garcia.

(A pause here, to answer the obvious question. Neither John nor I went to Supai, though we met with Havasupai and supporters, as we shall see. Nor did we feel in any way ashamed about defending the integrity of Grand Canyon National Park and the National Park System. We were "pretty clear" that we were not asking to add any existing Reservation land to the Park, but that is not to the point because 1. we did want to add to the Park land the Havasupai wanted to add to the Reservation, and 2. we did not oppose the notion of adding Navajo land if they concurred, and 3. we wanted the northern boundary of the Hualapai Reservation to be defined by putting the southern boundary of the Park on the south bank of the river. And most important, we certainly fought the Havasupai effort, as I will relate; and as that effort developed, we and other Park System defenders responded to Havasupai pugnacity with our own.)

I have related how the Havasupai statement at the House hearings on 12 Nov 1973 went, according to my contemporaneous journal. The statement itself was written just after the June Senate hearing, with a November addendum. In review: they started by stating the Senate hearing "opened our eyes. We've got something very different to tell you from what we said then." We had thought the Park had said it was ready to give us some land. At that hearing, they said they did not want us to get any more land; "liars and bureaucratic land grabbers". "We are mad, and…fighting for our lives."
  Our plateau lands were taken; we need pasturage to raise meat, since we cannot hunt it any more. The fruits of the Hirsts' National Archive research were shown in the detailed recounting of over 80 years of false moves to provide land for the Havasupai (see * below for a summary). Now we have "these so-called environmentalists" begging you to keep this land away from us to protect plants and wild animals. But there is already some protection against trams, roads, and pipelines in this bill that would restrict us more than we are today. These people havent even seen most of these lands. They forget human beings live in nature,too. "We'd like to put some of them out there with noting and see if they could even figure out how to stay alive." McComb brags about his 180 days, but hes just a city man like all the rest. Recreation! We are talking about survival. 
  We fear for our homes and burial sites. The Park Service will end our permits in ten years and chase us aoff and wipe out all trace of our people. Just ask them about what they did to Big Jim's place and our burial ground below Havasu Falls. We have not faither in the Park Service. They wont help. They dont care. They have neglected and mismanaged the campground; we have seen 2000 people there where 300 is the limit. Then they built a fence around it to keep us and our animals out. This is all their mismanagement. They dont know how to protect the environment. Look at Grand Canyon Village. The Park Service has to learn to be like Indians to understand the secret of saving the earth. 
  They say we should get land from elsewhere. But where? This is our home. Our permit lands are the heart of our homeland. We want all our permit lands. We will let the Park have the inner Grand Canyon, but no more corridors. So we will continue to graze our animals on all our permit lands forever. They are ours. The residency plot at Grand Canyon Village is ours. Pasture Wash should be ours again. The Park Service is not going to run our lives any more. We hope legislation will recognize this; otherwise we shall have to enforce it ourselves. 
  The November addendum was an attack on the Park Service for hiring the ROMA planning firm to expand mass tourism on the south rim. We, the Havasupai, will be the ones to pay for this. They will revoke our permit to the Great Thumb. The Supreme Court upheld our aboriginal rights. They claimed the Great Thumb was a lambing area. We showed that was false, and they claimed we intended to let in a flood of bighorn hunters. The South Rim cannot support another Disneyland, so every Park Service employee should be replaced by a Havasupai before they destroy our homeland forever. And at the end, they included this map showing the result they desired:


*What the Hirsts found in their National Archives research, as summarized in the July/November statement for House hearings. For accurate comprehension, this account for the hearing needs to be compared in detail with Hirst's book and my earlier posts, although there is general agreement that there were repeated efforts to secure an appropriate reservation:
1885 Arizonan congressional delegate Bean visited; then reported that Havasupai hunted on the plateau and needed assistance against the cattle and sheep herds, miners & prospectors, and tourists.
1888 The Army reported the reservation is too small and recommended to Washington that it should be extended.
1896 Indian Agent Ewing recommended a northland reservation going from the Hualapai reservation to the Coconino Forest. They need it for their stock and support.
1897 Ewing said the land was theirs, speaking of the Great Thumb. 
1901 The Indian Rights Association recommended a tract adequate for their wants.
1893-1908 The Forest Reserve (National Forest) administrators pressured the Havsupai but never drove them off the plateau. So then they gave us the free permit. But they gave the Pasture Wash area to white ranchers. 
1914 Indian Agent Taylor recommended the return of the permit lands.
1916 Agency Supervisor Young recommended protecting the Havasupai in their use of 230 kac.
1917 Talk started about a park. Hayden's first draft did not include us. So plenty of people got busy and irrigation superintendent Robinson recommended they have sufficient range on top and for dry farming. Indian Agent Gensler agreed. 
1920 A bill was introduced to do this. But all they got was section 3 of the 1919 Park act to keep their rights on the plateau.
1930 Agent Hamley wrote of the need for 90 kac for grazing and homes. 
1931 Another agent wrote of the need for additional reservation land. Hamley testified before a Senate hearings for a land transfer, and a Senator agreed. 
1940 Regional Forest Pooler said they had no objection to eliminating the Forest west of Cataract Canyon. 
1942-3 The famous Hualapai railroad case found no evidence for extinguishment of Havasupai rights.
1943 Superintendent Crow spoke of the general willingness to relinquish the land to the Havasupai within the Kaibab National Forest. 
1943 Field Agent Simington agreed the Forest Service was willing; there should be a 265 kac reservation.
1943 The Park Service did not recommend giving up any of the Park, but admitted the Havasupai needed increased means of earning a self-respecting livelihood.
1943 Crow repeated his plea for Havasupai ownership.
1944 The only result was setting aside four sections of dry canyon. 
1950's The Park Service tried to end our permit rights. Our school was closed.
1953 Park Superintendent Bryant wrote there had been no legal extinguishment of the Havasupai rights in the Park, Forest, and Monument. 
1966 Representative Rhodes asked Interior to consider ceding Park land in trust for the Havasupai.
1968 Representative Steiger introduced a bill to return the permit lands.
1969 on, the case is made that the Indian Claims Commission case did not apply to the land they wanted returned: they had always used them; they got bad advice; our tribal lawyer worked for the biggest cash settlement and said we would agree to it. Havasupai said they wanted land, not money. Our permits land were not included in the ICC settlement, no matter what anyone says. 

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