Navajo Speaker weighing all options on SB2109
By: NP staff | The Navajo Post | May 26
Window Rock, Ariz. – The Navajo Legislative Branch is seeking ‘due diligence assessments’ for water and water rights issues, Officials say they are meeting with award winning Attorneys in Phoenix this week to get an update for the Council members.
Speaker Johnny Naize informed Council Delegates during the Naa’bik’iyati’ Committee meeting, that its annual litigation update from the Navajo Nation Department of Justice would take place on May 30-31. Recently, Navajo DOJ chief sent a letter to the speaker urging quick action to pass the Water Bill.
The two-day litigation update session for the members of the Navajo Nation Council will take place at Lewis and Roca, LLP in Phoenix. The litigation update session will also include a water rights litigation’s update and a review of the Little Colorado River water rights settlement.
The inclusion of the water rights topic in the two-day session is for the Navajo Nation Council Delegates to gain a greater understanding of the settlement and litigation’s before proceeding with public hearings.
If the Council were to vote against the settlement, the alternative would be to continue with pending litigation. The Water Rights Task force and Speaker Naize wanted to ensure that Council was informed of all options.
Although the session is not open to the public, since confidential legal information will be discussed, Speaker Naize wanted the Diné public to be aware that such a meeting was taking place and to be assured that no decisions would be made on water rights.
Speaker Naize, in previous statements, has assured the public that all decisions regarding the water rights settlement would be open to the public with full transparency. The Council currently does not have an official position on S.2109, companion bill H.R. 4067, and the settlement.
In order for the Navajo Nation Council to take an official position on the water rights settlement it will have to occur through the legislative process as mandated by Title II.