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“The herbs are harder to find.”

“People, who have had surgery come to me and I collect herbs for them, so their wound can heal. The plants that I collect are drying up, gray and brown in color and some have moved. Because of that I have to travel to Dulce, NM, Chaco Canyon area and the lower area of Nageezi, where water has run off. They are dry now and harder to find.”

“Long ago there were plenty of herbs, we had a lot of rain and the ground was good. Now, it is different. Maybe its because we do not get the rain we used to get. The ground is dry and when it rains it’s really quick and hardly gets the ground wet, then the wind comes and dries it out. This doesn’t give the plants enough water to grow. It started a few years ago, I think. The weather has changed a lot, its drier now.

“The impact [of oil and gas] on the earth has not really happened yet, but it will happen after a while. The herbs are harder to find and not growing.

“Few people use herbs now. No one is really re-learning the use of the plants. There are a few of us herbalists. No one is really relearning it. You have to use a combine medication to get yourself heal. Western medicine, herbs, and your faith. More people are using the Western medicine now.”

“Women have a lot more sickness, because of their child bearing. They get injured during those times and they never really heal. They have more children. They do not use any medicine or go to herbalists. After a length of time, the injury becomes cancer. There was no mention of cancer long ago, now there’s a lot.

“People, do not have faith or beliefs to get better. They use various drugs & alcohol to try and cope.”

I learned [how to be an herbalist] from my grandmother. She raised me and she was an herbalist. Later, my uncle Joe helped me. I am also a ‘Hand trembler,’ I diagnosis people’s sickness. I also make herbs for ‘Lightening Ways.’ My grandmother used the herbs and she used it on me to stay healthy. That why I have ten children and have stayed healthy. She would say, ‘Use these plants and you will live a long life’. She lived until she was 103.”

“The [oil and gas] bothers me, but I can’t really speak out about it or go speak in public. I am careful to speak out about it. People will accuse me of speaking against them. I have relatives that receive money from it too.”

“I was born here. My umbilical cord is buried here. My grandmother told me not to move away from here. I like it here. Even being alone here does not bother me. My kids have asked me to come to their homes in town and away from here to stay a while, but I don’t want to. Maybe if I was more educated I would have ran off somewhere. This is my home.

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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