The Fort Lewis College Sociology Club has organized a caravan to Black Mesa in northern Arizona to benefit displaced indigenous peoples.
The purpose of the trip is to help families that have been relocated from their lands, Tomlyn Foran, a sociology club member, said.
The families relocated after the U.S. government seized their lands and livestock in the 1970s for strip mining of the rich coal deposits in the region, Foran said.
“I wanted to do this in order to support Black Mesa families,” she said.
One of the most important goals is to spread awareness about this issue and to try to prevent the exploitation of the Diné people, Dylan Rupe, a sociology club member, said.
The volunteers will be helping families with their daily work such as chopping wood and helping with sheep, Foran said. They will also help the families winterize their homes.
The caravan will officially leave on Nov. 22 and return on Nov. 29, but various cars will be going to and from the site throughout the week, she said.
“There is a lot of social injustice within a couple hours of us,” Raina Baldwin, a sociology club member, said.
Since this is a local issue, students have the ability to get involved.
“There are a lot of students on this campus that have had families relocated from their indigenous lands,” Baldwin said.
The caravan is meant to inspire current and future students to get involved inside and outside their communities, Baldwin said
“Everyone should care about it,” Rupe said.