Navajo-Hopi Struggle to Protect the Big Mountain Reservation
In 1974, the federal government partitioned the Big Mountain reservation, where the Hopi and Navajo tribes currently reside, and transferred some of the land to private ownership. Many Hopi and Navajo were relocated to other lands, but some 300 families remain at Big Mountain to fight the continued exploitation of their lands by private mining companies.
Currently, those 300 families are living on land that holds over $10 billion worth of coal. The Peabody Mining Company would like expand its operations by 13,800 acres, thus intruding upon the Big Mountain residents’ sovereignty and potentially threatening the reservation environment. If Peabody is successful in gaining a federal permit to mine the reservation, the remaining 300 families face relocation.