Black Mesa/Navajo Reservation: Located in the upland area of Navajo County, Arizona. The mesa has been home to native peoples for the last 7,000 years, but since the 1960s the mesa has been strip mined for coal by Peabody Coal Company.

Peabody Coal Mining Company: Peabody Energy is the world's largest private-sector coal company. The company fuels 10% of United States electricity generation and 2% worldwide. The company has 31 surface and underground mining operations in the US and Australia, but most importantly the Black Mesa Mine in northeastern Arizona. According to the company, all mined land is "restored to a productive condition that provides lasting benefits."

Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA): The BIA is the federal police force that manages all "Indian Land" held in trust by the federal government. In relation to the Black Mesa/Peabody Coal issue, the BIA is denying Hopi and Navajo residents access to water by capping off, fencing off, and dismantling local water sources, but while also allowing Peabody Coal Company to use 3.1 million gallons of water each day from the tribe's sole drinking water aquifer. On September 8th, 2000, Kevin Gover of the BIA formally apologized to the tribes. His apology was in response to the BIA's "legacy of racism and inhumanity," given BIA's official policy concerning Peabody Coal and the tribes. Unfortunately, the apology has changed very little of the BIA's action

Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Effects (OSMRE): OSMRE is a bureau of the department of the Interior. Their mission is to carry out the requirements of the 1977 Surface Mining and Control Reclamation Act (SMCRA). Its primary concern is to ensure that coal mines are operated in a way that protects citizens and the environment, as well as to make sure the environment is restored after mining and control the effects of past mining. OSMRE has been entertaining Peabody Coal's application to expand mining on Black Mesa.

Navajo Tribal Elders: The Navajo elders are a powerful force opposing the Peabody Coal Company's mining of the Black Mesa. For the last thirty years, elders have been trying to save tradition and have been fighting off relocation, as well as other aspects of mining effects. Opinions vary within members of the tribes and among the Navajo and Hopi; however, I am going to focus primarily on the Navajo perspective.

Hopi Tribe: Given the Hopi Reservation's location within the Navajo Reservation, the Hopi tribe is affected by all the Navajo decisions. This has created some trouble between the tribes. The Hopi signed the contract with Peabody Coal two years after the Navajo.

Black Mesa Indigenous Support (BMIS): BMIS is a group organized to support and assist Native American Elders and residents of Black Mesa by promoting awareness of the ongoing struggle between many Navajo and Hopi and the Peabody Coal Company.

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