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'Techqua Ikachi: Aboriginal Warning'

By Gwyndolin Lee -- Special to Today

The prophecy by the Hopi, the Dine' and others expressed in the new educational DVD film ''Techqua Ikachi: Aboriginal Warning'' (43 minutes) from www.venicevisionarymedia.net spells out a very specific cause for a potential doomsday. Science has now caught up with those long-dead prophets to confirm the amazing accuracy of their vision with the new prediction of a global warming disaster from the continued dominance of coal and oil as our principal energy sources. The words techqua ikachi refer to Hopi for ''land and life.''

For decades and continuing to this day, the Hopi and Dine' have protested at Black Mesa in northern Arizona on those same reservation lands where in prior years many had died from the carcinogenic effects of uranium mining. One center for this widespread local opposition has been the traditional Hopi village of Hotevilla, founded in 1906 after a clash between Hopi traditionals and those ''progressives'' who had decided to give up their traditions, convert to Christianity, and seek the material benefits of Western technology and industry. The traditionals were purged out of the ancient village of Oraibi into the desert wilderness in the cold and snow of winter and founded their own new village at Hotevilla.

In 1969, the federal government brought in contractors to provide the first electric power to the village of Hotevilla. Power poles were trucked in, and heavy equipment arrived to clear the way for the installation. At this point, a group of Hopi elders arrived on the scene to block the work. Those old men lied down in the path of the bulldozers, ready to sacrifice their lives if necessary to prevent electric power from coming to their village. One 90-year-old man was injured and did not survive long after. Why would anyone resist or even criticize progress?

Like many indigenous peoples, the traditional Hopi share a widespread belief and prophecy that taking oil and minerals is a transgression on Mother Earth and will bring disaster. Modern evidence supporting this belief can be found in the toxicity at all mining sites everywhere and in the new specter of a potential doomsday from the continued dominance of coal as our principal energy source.

This prophecy, like scriptural prophecies, foretells doom for those who forsake the right way of life; but the Hopi and Dine' prophecy is very specific in describing mining and drilling as the sources of the coming catastrophe, and this focus is proving accurate with the rise of the specter of global warming.

The Arizona conflict is but one aspect of a worldwide epidemic of appropriation and exploitation of lands of indigenous peoples, including many other locations in the U.S. Among sites of recent protest demonstrations are Arizona, Nevada, California, Utah, Florida, the Dakotas, Alaska, Canada, Burma, Colombia, Indonesia, Tibet, the Arctic, Mexico, Madagascar, the Philippines, Russia, Chile, Brazil, Guatemala, Australia, Thailand and India; thousands of demonstrations have also been held in China. Many others are not reported. Civil war over oil has broken out in Sudan, Nigeria and Pakistan, and mass murder in Ethiopia. More than 5 million are dead from wars over mining in the Congo.

There is no organizational link between these peoples. What they have in common is the despoiling of their lands for the profit of others.

Those elders requested a film be made about the Hopi prophecy. The elders risked their lives to block the bulldozers, as in the film. Those elders are gone now, yet the protest demonstrations by the Hopi and Dine' have not only continued, the conflict there has grown and expanded. Similar conflicts worldwide continue and worsen. A long list of URLs for news reports is available at www.geocities.com/alankentgorg.

Almost 40 years after that demonstration in Hotevilla, the docudrama ''Techqua Ikachi'' has been finished, aimed at schools and colleges, and dedicated to the Hopi elders who provided the inspiration. The film won the Neptune Award at the Moondance International Film Festival and has been honored at the Columbus Film Festival and at international film festivals in China, India, Canada, Korea and Latin America.

The Hopi people knew how to be civil to others long before modern so-called civilization, which brought money and modern things but no peace and little civility. The Hopi had lived their quiet life in a difficult desert for many centuries in peace, but now the lust for energy and minerals leaves them and many other indigenous peoples little chance for peace.

Ultimately our environmental problems are connected to the sufferings of others around the world from exploitation of their lands by oil and mining interest - but in the end, as their prophecies state, everyone may all go down together.