Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

October 10, 2011

Navajo Council's alarming proposal for San Francisco Peaks

By Klee Benally
Censored News
Translation in French:

The Navajo Nation has previously taken very serious stands to protect the Holy San Francisco Peaks with numerous resolutions including one in 1998 calling for the dismantling of the ski area and litigation.
It would be contrary to all previous positions that the Navajo Nation has taken to now support use of groundwater for snowmaking on the Holy San Francisco Peaks.
The proposed legislation sends the message that desecration of Dook'o'oosliid is approved by the Navajo Nation.
Additionally, supporting groundwater snowmaking at this time would threaten to UNDERMINE two current legal cases; the Save the Peaks Coaltion v. Forest Service and the Hopi Tribe v. City of Flagstaff.
This is a serious consequence that the Navajo Nation should consider prior to any decisions regarding this proposed legislation.
The writers of this legislation did not consult or engage in dialogue with litigants, NGOs and individuals who have long been actively engaged in the issue.
At minimum the Navajo Nation Council should convene a meeting with these stakeholders prior to considering an action of this nature.
This proposed legislation further demonstrates that the sponsors and writers are out of touch with the grassroots people who have been working on this issue for more than a decade.
There are a number of alternative means that the Navajo Nation Council can use to effectively address desecration of Dook'o'oosliid that do not include supporting a piece of legislation that: 1. supports Snowbowl's further desecration of Dook'o'oosliid. 2. undermines two current legal cases. 3. ignores and undermines grassroots work and strategies. 4. betrays previously held unified positions with other tribal entities.
Ahe' hee',
Klee Benally - Protect the Peaks Activist
Forest Lake Chapter
Legislation 0420-11 An Action Relating To Resources And Development And NAABIK’IYATI’; Supporting The Use Of Groundwater For Snowmaking On Dook’o’oosliid (San Francisco Peaks).

Also see:
Hopi Tribal Council does not support Navajo's proposal to use groundwater for snowmaking on Nuvatukyaovi

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