KENDRA

“We’re still fighting.”

“It’s like what does [my little sister] need? Water, air, just like we do.”

“A lot of [local] people I think don’t speak, because they think it has nothing to do with them. Like, oh, well if I say something, then what’s it going to matter? I’ve had people tell me that. They’re like, ‘Why do I need to say something? They don’t listen, they don’t care.'”

“I’ve been talking a whole lot this past year, they’re giving me these great opportunities to go to D.C. … I’ve been telling them we’re struggling out here. Things are different. Things are getting worse, things aren’t better.”

“You know, [the oil companies] made almost twenty million dollars out here but when you drive through here can you tell that?… We don’t have any rec centers, we don’t have a police department, we don’t have a fire department.

“They’re taking from us, that’s all they’re doing is they’re taking from us. When they say, oh, all money goes back to the community through royalties or bonuses… they think that it will cover these damages that we’re experiencing. And it’s like, no, there will never be enough because what they’re doing will never be taken away.”

“It’s going to be there, just sitting there, rotting. They don’t care. Once it stops producing, that’s it. They just leave. There are tons of abandoned sites around here, tons. And when you look at them, they’re all silver and rusty. They’re just sitting there, staring back. You know, doing nothing, but having lots of effects on us.”

“When my mom explains to [my grandma] what’s going on out here, she’s like, oh well. She says it’s not the same. The land is not the same, she knows… We were just hunting for wild onions a month ago and she’s like ‘Where are they?’ Because they’re not growing like they used to.”

“I want to learn what herbs they use… That’s the kind of things I want to know, I want to learn what can we use here and not need to go to a pharmacy where they charge like four dollars for clean witch hazel.”

“People use the Yucca roots to wash their hair. It kinda soaks up once you start breaking it. It’s pretty cool. My grandma likes to use it. I remember one time she sent me outside, around January, and she’s like ‘Go get me a Yucca!’ And I got like an inch into the ground and it was frozen solid. I was laughing, ‘I don’t know grandma, you’re going to have to wait a couple more months, there is no way I’m getting through the ice.'”

 “It just makes me angry. When I think about school, like when I used to go to Bloomfield, you’re on the bus two hours a day, five days a week just to learn their American history. When I think about it now makes me mad. Why don’t they teach more Native American History? Oh, I know why, because they’ll find out about all the murder and the genocide that happened. You know, like they sent us two hours each day just to learn that. Just to learn that we should think like everybody else. We should learn not to question things because it’s always been that way, and it will continue to be that way.”

“But it’s like we need to wake up and realize that we can say something, we shouldn’t just settle for the very horrific things that were done to my people. I mean, when I took the history class I was just like crying the whole semester learning about these great grandmothers and uncles and aunts, relatives that were treated that way just because they were here before the settlers came in. You know, that’s really hurtful, it’s just sad, really sad. And it makes me angry that it’s not taught, like it’s not an actual part of history, even though that’s what it is.”

“So I tell people, just look at history, look at where we are at now. We’re still fighting. We’re still fighting.”

“We weren’t even on the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) map until two years ago, all the houses out here.”

“In my area, the top is tribal trust land, so you have to apply for a homesite … I think six inches down is where federal minerals start, and we have no say to that.”

“I mean when I was growing up, I never thought of that. I never thought, ‘Oh, well, this is not owned by us,’ when we dug out a shovel full of dirt. We never thought of those things. That’s what I want to get across to you: we didn’t have boundaries.”

 “Now you have these trucks going by, and ‘WPX Only’ roads, it’s a bummer because we’re being treated like outsiders. And whenever we speak against them we’re shown as bad people, really bad people, because we’re trying to keep allottees from getting money… It’s not about the money, that’s not why I do it. I’m concerned about people, I’m genuinely concerned about their health.”

“I tell people, when you’re an allotment owner you have priority, you have a privilege, because you’re told more things than anybody else, like me. I don’t have any ownership, any type of papers that say this is my area, so they’re not going to tell me things, and they’re not going to invite me to their meetings with WPX because I’m a nobody.”

“That’s why these allottees need to understand that they have a lot of say in what happens out here. They should consider that it’s not only affecting them… Not everyone gets to make decisions on what happens out here.”

“When I think about the people I’ve talked to… who are for oil, one of the only things they mention is their job. Nothing else. Nothing about how they’re going to keep providing for their family after all this is gone, nothing about the future. It’s always about right now when they talk about this [oil and gas] money. But the money is not here forever, so it’s strange for me to hear that. It’s like, so you don’t expect to be here in ten years? You don’t expect to be living in these conditions, maybe even worse, in 20 years?”

“What makes me mad is when we have outsiders, like WPX, going to these meetings and saying, ‘We’re not hurting you, we’re not doing anything to you guys, we’re helping you guys. You guys are blessed with oil, you guys should share that.'”

“It’s those types of people, outsiders who don’t understand that they really have no right to say things like that because they’re not from here, this is not their home.”

“That’s what’s so weird and hurtful to me. [Oil and gas workers] don’t see and won’t ever feel that. They don’t think this is destructive, they don’t think this is wrong, they just think it’s a job… They don’t see what they’re actually doing to the land because they don’t care and they don’t see it. So they don’t see people living on that land already that are being pushed away from it.”

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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