October 19, 2016 – Since 1991, Clan Dyken has been touring the West Coast to bring awareness to the plight of the Dine’. In 1974 the Navajo Relocation Act, Act ousted 10,000 Dine’ and 300 Hopi, for the sake of coal mining. Today small pockets of Navajo are still resisting forced relocation and live in areas called Big Mountain, Dove Springs, Tseeto, Coal Mine Mesa and Black Mesa.
The Story of the Navajo Relocation Act is long and convoluted. For centuries the Navajo lived semi nomadically in the Northern Arizona area. They herded sheep, planted corn and squash, built Hogans, corrals, and held ceremony. During the last 120 years or so, land disputes, range issues, political wrangling, and the discovery of abundant natural resources, such as coal and uranium led to dividing the land and the Dine.’ Some Navajo were relocated to Navajo Partition Lands, others were forced to leave and relocate to cities and new developments where culture and language were quickly lost.
But, some Dine’ never relocated. These earth defenders stayed to maintain Dine’ culture and protect the earth from the world’s largest coalmine. They basically held down the fort for the last fifty years. Bear Dyken says, “Native People are always standing in the way of resource extraction.”
It was true fifty years ago, and poignantly true today.
Those who remain live without basic human rights. In addition to threatened and scarce water sources, the Dine’ cannot cut firewood, graze livestock, repair homes or have ceremonies without lengthy and costly permits. They live in the shadow of Black Mesa Coal Mine, operated by Peabody Coal Company.
Those who remain tend to be elder women who still value traditional ways. And now families are moving back to support their elders.
So, for twenty-five years, members of the band Clan Dyken along with a network of global activists have offered support to these elders and families. Clan Dyken and friends travel to Northern Arizona during Thanksgiving week and bring food, firewood, tools and needed volunteers.
The money for this endeavor is raised by a series of benefits called the Beauty Way Tour. This year Clan Dyken has seven benefits to travel to and perform throughout California and Oregon.
Joining Clan Dyken at the local Grass Valley benefit are musical activists Boca do Rio, Kimberly Bass, and Fast Rattler.
Boca do Rio, a high energy, electro-funk-meets-traditional Brazilian folk, dance band will weave traditional sambas, favelas, and choros with a marvelously modern and funky sound. Founded by Alex Calatayud and Kevin Welch, the band itself, holds it core that we are citizens of the universe, connected by music, the stars, and the natural world. Kevin Welch, with a doctorate in Ecology, maintains that our lives are linked in all ways, great and small. He combines this belief with action in both restorative environmental action and music.
Kimberly Bass local and worldly, multi-talented singer & songwriter has donated her time to the Beauty Way Tour for twelve years. Kimberly opens the show with a transcendental prayer using crystal bowls and her powerful voice. Moving her audiences to stillness, connection, and a desire to sing with her, she weaves magic and divine inspiration. WWW.KIMBERLYBASS.COM
Brendan Phillips, founder of Fast Rattler, brings American Folk music to a new audience by drawing from original works and those of his father, Utah Phillips. Described as Gypsy-Jammin-Wood Punk, raucous, energetic and insightful, Brendan, and his band, carry on the tradition of inspiring us to remember and act compassionately toward social justice.
Clan Dyken brothers, Mark and Bear, have been involved in issues of environmental and social justice since they were teenagers in Wisconsin! Joined now by Bear’s son, Silas, their songs reflect depthful observations of the issues we face as humans in the world today, including energy use, economic, social, and political matters. Their new, in progress, album pulled from a wellspring of rich lives examines water, fire, ancestors, and the mysteries of life. In vivo, this folk rock-regga-funk- bands inspires dance, love, and action. For more information on the issues at Big Mountain and the world of Clan Dyken go to www.clandyken.com
The Beauty Way Tour is an event in itself. On Saturday, November 5th, at the Banner Grange in Grass Valley, CA, beginning at 4 PM, there will be a showing of the movie Broken Rainbow, a silent auction with many items donated by generous local merchants, and a delicious dinner of Vegan Squash soup and Turkey Soup. Following and during will be dancing and music entertainment. This all ages event is always fun. No one is turned away for lack of funds.
Tickets can be found at Yabobo Nevada City, Break Caffé, Grass Valley and Sweetland Garden Mercantile, on the San Juan Ridge. For more information call the event coordinator, Sarah Lily St Michaels at 530-913-3225.
This event is sponsored by KVMR and SOL Communications.
For more info on the issues with the Dine’ go to www.clandyken.com
What: Beauty Way Tour
When: November 5, 4-11 pm
Where: Banner Grange 12629 McCourtney Road, Grass Valley, CA 95949
Tickets: At the door, $24. In advance, $24, Yabobo in Nevada City, Break Caffé in Grass Valley, Sweetland Garden Mercantile, North San Juan.
WEB: Facebook/Beauty Way 2016-Benefit for Big Mountain Elders, or www.clandyken.com