WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. Due to community pressure, the Navajo Nation Council decided to put off voting on the Northeastern Arizona Indian Water Rights Settlement Agreement (NAIWRSA) and gave one week for public review but did not specify what that would look like. The Council is set to consider the legislation again on Friday, October 8th but the date is subject to change. Legislation No. 0422-10, also known as NAIWRSA, sponsored by Council Delegate George Arthur has faced increasing community criticism in the last few weeks. More than 160 concerned Dine (Navajo) marched, rallied and packed the council chambers to send the message for the council to VOTE NO! on the water rights settlement. Children, elders, parents, students and others from throughout the Navajo Nation joined together in chanting, Water is life! Save our Future! NAIWRSA was created by lawyers including a non-native with the Navajo Nation, Stanley Pollack, as an attempt to resolve water rights claims of the Navajo Nation and Hopi Tribe for water from the Little Colorado River and from the lower Colorado River. Dine community members have raised concerns that NAIWRSA gives the Navajo Nation only 31,000 acre-feet per year of 4th Priority Colorado River water, that would not be available in times of drought, and would require more than $500 million of new federal funding to pay for pipeline infrastructure to deliver water to communities in need. That money would have to be appropriated from U.S. Congress. One pipeline would be built to send Colorado River water from Lake Powell on the Arizona-Utah border to the reservation. During the special session Hope Macdonald, Council Delegate from Tuba City, raised concerns on the council floor regarding the document being out of order.” Specifically exhibit A not being located in the agreement and the issue of the agreement being distributed to delegates moments before the meeting. She motioned for the agenda item to be stricken but failed to gain votes. Delegate Amos Johnson motioned to table the legislation and give one week for council delegates to take the agreement back to their communities for review, 49 voted in support, 32 against with 7 not voting. It is appropriate for the Navajo Nation to consider Hogan level family s water rights and they have an obligation to do that, to take it to the communities for their input which has not been the case,” stated Milton Bluehouse Sr. former Navajo Nation President. The more informed the people are the better the decision will be made, with respect to their rights. “Why would we waive our rights to the water for just a promise of federal funding, when we know historically the appropriations have not come to Navajo?” said Hope Macdonald. Why was there no deliberate and detailed consultation with the affected Dine\’ communities? said R. Begay a concerned Dine\’. Why has this process been so secret? What does Stanley Pollack have to hide? This is an extension of colonialism. We will stand against this oppression. The most important thing to show our leaders is that we are watching them, we are making sure that they are accountable to their communities and what we hold sacred as Dine people, stated Kim Smith, resident of St. Michaels. Water is an essential part of our way of life, our ceremonies, our livestock and most importantly, it is our future. We are calling on all Dine people who value their future, their sacred water to join us when the council goes back into session and let them know we want them to VOTE NO! This movement to oppose the Arizona Water Settlement is about our children, and we will not waive their water rights, not now not ever,” stated Ron Milford, a concerned citizen for Dine Water Rights. Concerned citizens for Dine Water Rights along with organizations such as Dine Care, To Nizhoni Ani, Black Mesa Water Coalition, Council Advocating an Indigenous Manifesto, ECHOES, and others are calling for another rally and march at the next council session.
Ya\’a\’teh! Please forward far and wide! Dine\’ People can take action today: 1. Call, email, or talk face to face with your Council Delegates There is a great listing with contact info here: https://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=0AuTy0AwDkD80dG5lbHQ4OThQbUdPeGZ2VTQ3VnEyU1E&hl=en&single=true&gid=0&output=html 2. Write letters to the editors. Navajo Times: firstname.lastname@example.org Navajo-Hopi Observer ( http://www.navajohopiobserver.com/Formlayout.asp?formcall=userform&form=1) Gallup Independent: email@example.com 3. Sign the online petition to Protect Dine\’ Water Rights: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/dine-water-rights 4. Help spread the word! Educate your friends and relatives about this issue. Come to Window Rock for the next Council session!
BY EVO MORALES AYMA President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia Press Statement
Reflections of Injustice
SERIOUS RISK OF NAVAJO NATION WATER RIGHTS Article and photo by Calvin Johnson, Navajo, Leupp, Arizona NAVAJO NATION COUNCIL DELEGATES: DO NOT WAIVE THE TREATIES OF 1849, 1868 AND THE WINTERS DOCTRINE For the past few years, The Navajo Nation Government has been working on the Arizona Water Settlement for the Little Colorado River and the Lower Basin of the main stem Colorado River . Recently, Council Delegates and local leaders have been pushing for voters to approve resolutions in support of this settlement. On September 17, 2010 Speaker Lawrence T. Morgan announced a Special Session, set for September 29, 2010 at the Navajo Nation Council Chambers. The session is to start at 10 a.m. (DST) with water rights settlement as an action item listed under new business. The agenda lists Council Delegate George Arthur (T\’iistoh Bikaad/San Juan/Nenanezad), the current chairman of the Resources Committee, as the sponsor of Legislation No. 0422-10 Northeastern Arizona Indian Water Rights Settlement Agreement legislation and per Office of the Speaker press release states the settlement would settle the Navajo Nation s and Hopi Tribe s water rights claims in the lower basin of the Colorado River and Little Colorado River system. Preliminarily and from a grassroots point of view, the supposed Arizona water settlement is a huge scam and we as indigenous people who have been here for many generations will be losing our basic water rights for the sake of money, power and control. Recently at Tolani Lake Chapter meeting, Delegate Leonard Chee stated to the public that it was the fault of the people that the Navajo Nation will be only receiving 45,000 acre-feet/year total from the C-aquifer . It was they who were saying NO to water.” Well, with all due respect if Mr. Chee took the time to read all the agreements/settlement and spoke to activist who understand water rights, he would have read that Navajo water is NOT FOR ALL THE NAVAJO PEOPLE. Back in 2007, I wrote a statement about the infamous Mohave Generating Station negotiation agreement titled Mohave Mediation Memorandum of Recommended Non-Economic Terms.” In that agreement, the $600 million dollar lawsuit brought against the Federal Government would have been dismissed in exchange for giving away C-Aquifer water to the Blackmesa Project.” In the same agreement, we as a Nation would have waived and released any and all Claims against APS, Southern California Edison, Salt River Project, Nevada Power, Tucson Electric Power and LADWP, waived of certain natural resources damages claims, waived sovereign immunity. With the Arizona water settlement, we will have the same terms because the Treaties of 1849, 1868 and the Winters Doctrine (Winters v. United States, 1908) guarantees the Navajo People water rights to the Little Colorado River and the Lower Basin of the main stem Colorado River. In order for Navajo Nation to approve the Arizona Water Settlement for the Little Colorado River and the Lower Basin of the main stem Colorado River, the Navajo Nation must waive our rights to water such as the Winters Doctrine. I want to emphasis again, that the Treaties of 1849, 1868, and the Winters Doctrine entitles all the Navajo People as a nation water rights whether it s brown, clear or underground. Additional serious and grave concerns regarding the Little Colorado River and the Lower Basin of the main stem Colorado River Settlement are the lucrative terms such as: Allowing of non-Indian users to pump unlimited amounts of C-aquifer water from wells beyond 18 miles south of the Navajo Nation boundary; Allowing of non-Indian users unlimited amounts of C-aquifer water 18 miles south of the Navajo Nation boundary even though excessive pumping will reduce flows in the River and may bring more salty water to Navajo wells . Allowing of non-Indian water users to pump as much underground flow as they want without regard for impact on Navajo use of same aquifers. Waiving all Navajo priority and reserved water rights to the Little Colorado and Colorado Rivers for other uses forever . To all farmers, ranchers, sheep herders, elders, youth, the great people of the Navajo Nation please call the speaker s office at (928) 871-7160 or the Navajo Nation Council s Office at (928) 871-6380 and urge your local leaders, delegates to VOTE NO on the Arizona Water Settlement for the Little Colorado River and the Lower Basin of the main stem Colorado River. The Navajo Nation leaders should be fighting and defending the Treaties of 1849, 1868 and the Winters Doctrine. Every drop of what belongs to Navajo is will deserved, not by giving it away to greedy corporations or entities who in return do not help our nation. Also, a clarification of Mr. Chee s accusation of the residents of Canyon Diablo who were saying no water for Peabody was due to the fact that impacted residents were not to receive a single drop of water even if the pipeline was directly in front of their homes. Same goes for the Dilkon Water Project: Water will be piped to Dilkon but impacted residents living in front or directly of the line will NOT receive any water. Would you say yes to such a project if you were not to get water for 15 years down the road? Calvin Johnson Leupp, AZ firstname.lastname@example.org Disclaimer: The opinion expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions officially of my employer or the Leupp Schools Inc., its employees, staff and/or its board. Calvin Johnson PO Box 5527 Leupp, AZ 86035 Also see: Secret negotiations exposed on Navajo water rights Navajos urge Navajo Nation Council to vote \’No\’ on Sept. 29 to this settlement of Navajo water rights, a giveaway of Navajo water rights http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2010/09/secret-negotiations-released-on-navajo.html Download or print this document: http://www.scribd.com/doc/37688923/Navajo-water-rights-give-away-exposed