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Holding Her Ground

NOT LEAVING: Pauline Whitesinger is one of the last Navajo remaining on this land after Congress drew a boundary through a 1.8 million acre area between the Hopi and Navajo tribe in 1974. (Gail Fisher / LAT)
‘RESISTER’: Whitesinger is among eight Navajo families — with 22 adults — that remain on this land in Arizona after one of the largest forced migrations in the U.S. since the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. (Gail Fisher / LAT)
AS HER ANCESTORS LIVED: Pauline Whitesinger lives in a hogan with no electricity or running water on the Hopi reservation in Arizona. “I know if I relocate, I will die of loneliness,” she says. (Gail Fisher / LAT)
LIVING OFF THE LAND: Pauline Whitesinger believes that land cannot belong to one person. Instead, a person belongs to the land on which they were born. (Gail Fisher / LAT)
THREE DECADES LATER: Whitesinger, who has resisted relocation since 1974, says: “It is like floating down a river. Each year passes by, and it’s just another season of winter, and time goes on.” (Gail Fisher / LAT)
DEEP ROOTS: The U.S. has forced 12,000 Navajos from land that was returned to the Hopis in 1974, but Pauline Whitesinger won’t go. (Gail Fisher / LAT)