Dine’ Elders and Medicine People take action to protect horses

© Irma Novak, all rights reserved

© Irma Novak, all rights reserved

Dine’ Elders and Medicine people unanimously pass joint resolution urging Navajo Nation to comply with fundamental law in treatment of horses and expressing opposition to the 2014 Rangeland Improvement Act

TEESTO, Az — Diné Hataalii Association and Nohooka’ Diné, traditional cultural leaders, passed a joint resolution on June 14, 2014, advising the Navajo Nation to adhere to Dine’ spiritual traditions and culture to insure the humane treatment of horses and complete halt to NN horse round-up. Dr. Anthony Lee, President of DHA, spoke of the fire that is out of control on the Chuska Mountain Range, “this (fire) can be attributed, in part, to the horses that already have been slaughtered with no amends made to the Holy People.”

The resolution also expresses opposition to the 2014 Rangeland Improvement Act because the Navajo Nation has not properly consulted or informed the Dine’ people about the Act’s purpose, intent, impacts and/or consequences. The resolution states, “The 2014 Rangeland Improvement Act defines horses as “livestock” or an “animal unit” without regard for the sacred place that horses have in our healing ceremonies, prayers and way of life. This attempt to diminish or prohibit our spiritual way of life and understandings is a direct violation of the Navajo Nation’s bill of rights under freedom of religion.”

The two traditional groups also asked the Navajo Nation to conduct a formal and thorough investigation into alleged horse theft by those the Nation employed during the round-up, charging that some of the horses taken during the roundups were professionally trained with brands and grazing permits. Mr. Leland Grass of Nohooka Dine’ said, “Horse theft and cruelty is a serious crime, it victimizes both the people whose horses were taken and it victimizes the horses.  As traditional people we see every horse as sacred and when we treat them inhumanely we violate our own sacredness as human beings”.

The resolution also expresses concerns with a recent Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Bill Richardson, Robert Redford and Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly regarding horse slaughter and the round-ups. The resolution states, the MOU “does not acknowledge our sacred way of life and custom of Dine’ People” and “without the direct involvement and full participation of the Dine’ People, Elders, and Medicine People this MOU…will not have attained the free, prior and informed consent of the Dine’ Peoples as is required by law”. Dr. Lee states “In the long run, we, as medicine people, are advocating and protecting the sacred medicine bundles, passed down to us by our forebears and ancestry. They ensure the future survival of our children and grandchildren.”

The resolution further states, “It is unacceptable to violate or challenge our Creator’s immutable Laws and the way of life that was provided to us, as Dine’, to maintain balance and harmony with All Creation”. “We strongly urge the Navajo Nation to create and uphold man-made laws that do not oppose, challenge or go against our sacred Dine’ way of life”. “As earth surface people, we do not have the power nor the authority to change, alter, or supersede the natural and fundamental laws established by the Holy People”, adds Dr. Lee.

The resolution affirms that horses are sacred and created with the universe and ends by insisting “that all horses be treated humanely and that we maintain a healthy relationship with (the horse).”

Read more about the resolution HERE

Robert Redford Calls For A Ban On Horse Slaughter

 

CHATHAM, N.Y., April 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — On the cusp of the 2013 Annual American Equine Summit hosted by the New York-based national equine protection organization Equine Advocates, the call to ban horse slaughter permanently has received much needed support from Robert Redford.

Actor, director, environmentalist and founder of the Sundance Festival, Redford wrote a letter to Equine Advocates President Susan Wagner to support the unequivocal stance that horse slaughter must be banned in the US.  “Horses are acquired for slaughter without disclosure and often through fraud and misrepresentation.  The entire slaughter process is cruel, inhumane and perpetuates abuse and neglect without consequences, in addition to condoning a violation of our nation’s cruelty laws,” said Redford.  “As Americans, we have the right to oppose both the return of horse slaughter to the US and the transport of our wild and domestic equines to other countries for the purpose of slaughter.”

Redford joins a bilateral effort to reverse the advance of horse slaughter through public opinion and safety concerns, and legislation on both state and federal levels.

New York has become the latest state to push for a ban on horse slaughter with Senate Bill S.4615 and Assembly Bill A.3905.  New York State Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, who will deliver the Keynote Address at the Summit, joined State Senator Kathy Marchionein co-sponsoring the bill at a press conference last week.  If passed, New York State would join California, Illinois, New Jersey and Texas in prohibiting it.

The Obama administration’s proposed 2014 budget includes a proposal to essentially prevent equines from being slaughtered in the US by defunding FDA inspections.  The recent bipartisan introduction of the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act would also prohibit the transport, export or import of horses intended for slaughter or horsemeat, leading the issue closer to the solution most Americans demand: Ban it.

“We applaud Robert Redford for his powerful, meaningful and profound words on behalf of America, at a time when over 80% of our citizens oppose horse slaughter,” said Wagner.  “Beyond the sheer brutality of the practice, horse slaughter will enable dangerous FDA-banned drugs found in horsemeat to potentially threaten the US food supply if cross contamination occurs with other meat, like what’s happening across Europe.  Horses are not bred for food and should be removed from the food chain.”

Experts, government officials and others will convene at Equine Advocates Rescue & Sanctuary in Chatham, NY Saturday, April 27 – Sunday, April 28 for the 2013 Annual American Equine Summit.  For a full list of speakers, visit:http://www.equineadvocates.org/EquinesBlog/?p=765. Follow Summit News #AES2013.

Founded in 1996, Equine Advocates Inc. is a national non-profit equine protection organization whose mission is to rescue, protect and prevent the abuse of equines — especially through banning the slaughter of American horses — through education, investigation, rescue operations and public education. Info@equineadvocates.org, @equineadvocates.org or 518-245-1599 for more information.

SOURCE Equine Advocates

Original Source:
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/robert-redford-calls-for-a-ban-on-horse-slaughter-204075661.html