|For six years SOL Communications led an international effort to supply traditional native Dine’ (Navajo) and Hopi families that were (and many still are) resisting relocation from ancestral grounds to contaminated and other unwanted regions. The location primarily was over coal. During those years (1994, prior to becoming a 501, until 2000) SOL made over 70 caravan “runs” from Los Angeles to the four corners region (AR, NM, CO, UT) to deliver hundreds of thousands of pounds of humanitarian supplies to the resisting families as well as Hopi elders in need. SOL also documented and filmed evidence and testimony of human rights and environmental abuse, culminating in the documentary Vanishing Prayer (Partially funded by actress Lindsay Wagner). Many local churches, ARIA and other non-profits donated food and other supplies to our caravans.
SOL’s documentation led to what became known as the UN SUMMIT, when human rights officials from Geneva flew into the resisting territory and heard testimony. This event was organized and executed by SOL Communications in February 1998, during a brutal snow storm. Over 200 Dine’ and Hopi attended, an overwhelming moment for the UN and support teams.
SOL also teamed up with Action Resource Center (ARC) to bring officials from Southern California Edison to the Native American miners and families to witness first hand the terrible conditions the strip mining has caused upon the people. The mine had literally swallowed and encompassed homesite’s. The meeting was temporarily halted to allow Edison officials time to regather their emotions after visiting homes where children were suffering terrible respitory illness resembling black lung. In a major statement for eyes that could see, the edison officials led the power company to immediately cease ALL coal sources for Los Angles power. We are currently unaware if that circumstance still exists. The power company also sold the primary destroyer of Hopi and Navajo aquifer water, the Mojave Generating Station, in Laughlin Nevada. A 240 mile coal slurry line had decimated the aquifer. BOTH those actions can be directly attributed to our work.
SOL also spent considerable time locating uranium contamination in and around both Navajo and Hopi reservations. We also assisted in the security for Elder travel as well as arranged travel, housing and events for Elders in the LA area. These events included humanitarian award ceremonies (The House of Blues in West Hollywood), protests at Southern California Edison, Spiritual ceremonies and many occasions where events allowed the selling of Native craft such as the beautiful Dine’ / Navajo rugs, which were often entrusted in our care. For enhanced security, SOL worked hand in hand with the American Indian Movement, LA chapter and the Native American security force known as the Harmony Keepers.
It is impossible to list the accomplishments of SOL during this time. Many, private and highly secure operations took place in which Native Elders entrusted SOL with specific tasks. SOL moved hundreds of vehicles and personnel during those caravans and never lost a vehicle or had a person injured.