Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

June 27, 2012

Lazy media aids Hopi Navajo water theft scheme

Media aids scheme to steal Hopi and Navajo water rights by not checking the facts, or reporting the news

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
French translation:

June 27, 2012
Warriors Kris and Carlos walking and running to Window Rock
to defend Navajo water rights. The Navajo Council announced
Wednesday's council session to vote on water rights settlement
is cancelled. Photo Next Indigenous Generation.
The media has published false reports that the Hopi Tribe passed the Little Colorado River settlement, which is aimed at giving Hopi and Navajo water to non-Indians in Arizona, along with the coal fired power plant, Navajo Generating Station, one of the dirtiest in the US, and Peabody Coal.
The bill, devised by Arizona Senators Jon Kyl and John McCain and non-Indian attorneys, would require Hopi and Navajo to give up their aboriginal water rights. The water rights theft scheme is aided by paid armchair journalists and online aggregators who do not check the facts of what they are posting.
Kris Barney, Dine', arriving in Window Rock today, after walking and running from western Navajoland to defend sacred water, said, "We must remain strong and in unity, with our sacred thoughts, prayers and the gift of water through rain from above. They do not own life, they should not have the power to sell, trade or barter our lives, futures. The people have spoken. And Lightning flashes in the dark all across this Window Rock ..."
Three former Hopi Tribal Chairmen responded to false reports in the media and to false reporting by Hopi Chairman Shingoitewa concerning Senate Bill 2109, Navajo-Hopi Little Colorado River Water Rights Settlement Act of 2012.
Meanwhile, at the last minute, the Navajo Council announced that a Navajo Nation Council session today, Wednesday, June 27, to vote on the water settlement, is cancelled.
In a statement, the three former Hopi chairmen said that Hopi Tribal Chairman LeRoy Shingoitewa and Council Representative George Mase gave out false information that the Hopi Tribe approved the water settlement, when in fact, the Hopi Tribal Council, by a vote of 11 for, 4 against, and 0 abstentions, rejected the Kyl bill on June 15, 2012. Over 100 tribal members witnessed the event.
“Representatives from the Hopi villages, traditional leaders, allottees, and tribal members provided overwhelming objection to, and rejecting Senate Bill 2109 through written and oral testimony in a packed Hotevilla Elderly Center. Senate Bill 2109 favors non-Indian parties including owners of the Navajo Generating Station and the Peabody Coal Company; requires waiver of Hopi aboriginal and federal reserved water rights to the Little Colorado River; and waives any future claims for damages done to the Navajo Aquifer and sacred springs by Peabody Coal Company and owners of the Navajo Generating Station.”
“After hearing the people’s testimony, the Hopi Tribal Council passed Resolution No. H-072-2012 rejecting Arizona Senator Jon Kyl’s Senate Bill 2109. But, Shingoitewa has refused to sign this resolution forcing the former elected tribal leaders to file a formal complaint to the Hopi Tribal Council and demanding Shingoitewa’s immediate removal.
“Hopi Council Resolution H-072-2012 not only rejects Senate Bill 2109, it also prohibits Shingoitewa, the Water and Energy Team and the Hopi Tribal Council from further negotiations on Senate Bill 2109, including the Settlement Agreement. It also requires Hopi Chairman Shingoitewa to report the official position of the Hopi Tribe to Senator Kyl and the Department of Interior on the formal rejection of Senate Bill 2109.”
The official position of the Hopi Tribe is embodied in Resolution H-072-2012 which rejects Senate Bill 2109 and the proposed Settlement Agreement.
Read complete statement:

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