August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Navajo Nation Council votes to waive Colorado River rights 'Forever'

Navajo Nation Council votes to waive Colorado River rights 'Forever'
By Dine' Water Rights
Navajo Protest Photo by Eric Hardy

WINDOW ROCK, NAVAJO NATION — On Thursday November 4th, 2010 the outgoing Navajo Nation Council Voted 51-24 to waive Diné Water Rights to the lower Colorado River ‘Forever’. 70 people marched to the council chambers and joined others in prayer to demonstrate concerns with the proposed Northeastern Arizona Water Settlement. Concerned Citizens for Diné Water Rights affirmed their commitment to stop the settlement.
You can contact Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley & urge him to VETO the NN Council water settlement vote:
Phone: (928) 871-7000

Statement by Ron Milford of Concerned Citizens for Diné Water Rights, “First of all, I want to thank all the people who planned, coordinated, marched, and provided support for our people’s water rights. I also want to thank the many supporters who couldn’t make it for lack of time, gas money, and other valid reasons. We completely understand. This truly was a grassroots movement of individuals and coalitions, uniting for a common cause–the water rights of our children and future generations.

I also want to give a heartfelt thank you to the twenty-four delegates who stood their ground despite the odds, which was very, very evident yesterday at the council chamber. We will need them in our fight ahead.

Finally, I want everyone to know this is absolutely not the end. There are other options we must pursue to try and stop this settlement. The Nation Nation is a three-branch government, and the legislative council is only a third of the triangle. We now need to concentrate all our efforts on the executive office and the courts. There is also the new council of twenty-four, that I understand can recall this legislation, particularly if new persuasive evidence is presented. My hope also is the new President and VP will open speak against the settlement in support of the 24. Everyone, hang your heads high. We were admirable, and no one can take that away from us. Thank you.”

Statement by Navajo Nation Council Delegate Hope Macdonald Lonetree, “I am saddened by the passage of this legislation. I read the document and have had numerous concerns about certain language and terms of the Agreement. It is wrong to connect he need for waterlines with any irreversible waiver of our water rights. There is no funding for these proposed pipelines. Yet we just agreed to give away our water to all the coyotes who have been stealing it from our people and Nation for years. As far as I’m concerned all the waters that flow off and within the Four Sacred Mountains is ours. We should never shortchange our future generations by leaving them no tools for survival. I further disagree with approving an agreement that will change after it leaves our chambers to conform to AZ State Legislation and then again to conform to Congressional legislation. I thank the 23 other delegates who voted no on a document that was written by and for non-Navajo interests.”

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