Could Environmental groups be preparing for a massive protest?
By: NP staff | The Navajo Post | May 21
Will this be another McDonald riot?
Window Rock, AZ – On April 5,, it was a day that divided the Navajo Nation, when Sen. John McCain and Jon Kyl brought Navajo-Hopi Water Settlement before Tribal officials.
According to insiders of Environmental groups that have been rallying against S.B. 2109, say they may organize a peaceful protest, if Navajo Leaders do not vote against S.B. 2109.
“Navajo Leaders already know our message, they know how we feel, we said what we needed to, yet our voices are not being heard” said a protest organizer, who wished to remain anonymous, adding “if Navajo leaders fail to listen, we will take our voice to Window Rock.”
We could not confirm, how much of a impact the protesters will have nor if they even have the capability to organize at such a large scale.
On May 14, Navajo Attorney General sent a letter to the Navajo Nation Speaker, Johnny Naize, throwing his support behind the Navajo Hopi Little Colorado water Rights Settlement, expressing a strong ‘Navajo interest.’
“The Settlement Agreement offers certainty and finality, and includes many benefits that could not be obtained through litigation,” Tsosie wrote. “I urge you to do everything in your power to make the introduction of legislation to approve the Settlement Agreement a high priority for the Council.”
Mr. Tsosie tried to give a boost of confidence to the Navajo communities, he said in his letter, the settlement guarantees that generations of Navajo citizens will have clean, reliable drinking water, and there will be additional water to develop in communities with businesses, hospitals, and schools.
According to the Navajo Water Commission report, approving S.B.2109 will help bring drinking water to Navajo homes that currently don’t have this ‘lifeline’.
The report also said, it will provide hundreds of millions of dollars to fund the construction of wells and pipelines, so the Navajo Nation can access groundwater.
But opposition of the water bill, say it’s a sell out of Navajo Water rights. “I truly believe our Tribal leaders are getting into bed with Corporate America, big oil companies, people that do not have an interest in our well being, but their bank accounts- we should not let this stand.” said the organizer.
Navajo President Shelly held town halls that reassured the community on S.B.2109 and the Legislative branch has not taken a position, but remains under Title II.
Currently, the issue is still being debated- no doubt the Political firestorm is just beginning.