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“You don’t know who to turn to.”

I worked out on the oil field for 13 years… I worked more on the [Bureau of Land Management (BLM)] and allotted land. I worked for a company over the hill. I know they did a lot of contamination and they covered up a lot of stuff that to this day I still know where it’s covered up. I moved on and I worked for another company in town [Farmington] and they operated a whole lot differently. This company got away with a lot of stuff.

“Mostly, they got away with the roadways, destroying the roads and getting away with getting off the right-a-ways. That’s the main issue that I got complaints [about]…Every time I go report it to the [Bureau of Land Management (BLM)] office they kind of push it aside as crazy. They’ve been doing that all these years.”

“I went to WPX’s office today. I went in early, at 6 o’clock. They just knocked down a guardrail that I put up not that long ago because of the culvert that they keep smashing and keep smashing… I irrigate the water that comes down through [the culvert] for [my grandmother’s] garden and they keep smashing it, and every time they smash it they reroute the water in different ways. So I’ve got to maintain it. That’s the reason I went to WPX’s office today… they threw it on the [Federal Indian Minerals Office].”

“I guess [BLM is] dealing with the oil companies behind our back … and I can’t do anything about it with the [Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)] in the way. I get stuck there… I think a lot of it is that you’re dealing with allotment owners, you’re dealing with BLM, and you’re dealing with oil and gas companies, and you don’t know who to turn to. There’s no environmental inspector out here. And when we go to talk to the BLM they kind of just point back to the BIA… it’s just a circle.”

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“Ecana drilled a well an the west side of our house, down below and my dad’s mom was buried there. They just barely missed the graveyard, it was like a foot away… They didn’t even notify us, let us know, they just went in there and started drilling. When we went back there to visit our grandma, we saw that pad there. We didn’t like it. We talked to the BLM people about putting up a fence there and they wouldn’t let us.”

“I grew up in the white people’s world. I didn’t get taught traditionally; let me put it that way… I went to the dormitories. That’s how I grew up. And I hate to say this, but Uncle Sam brainwashed me. And that’s a good thing, that’s the reason why I’m sitting here. But the thing that frustrates me out there is that they don’t hear us… We’ve got a voice, but they don’t hear us, they just push us to the side… he’s white, I’m brown, and that makes a whole lot of difference, even where I worked.”

“I was sitting at the round table, at a safety meeting, and there were white people sitting there and there were only two of us brownies… and they were talking about [Navajos] and they thought I was hispanic. They didn’t know that I was from out by Lybrook. And they were talking to me right in my face about my people: ‘Drunk this, drunk that. You know, Navajos are like this, they ain’t got houses they live in hogans, they live in the dirt,’ stuff like that, sitting around the table.”

Will you add your voice?

Demand cancellation of the March 2018 oil and gas lease sale, and all future sales, in Greater Chaco until proper protections for the people, environment, and cultural resources are put in place.

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