|Navajo Council session today.|
Photos by Dine' Water Rights published with permission
at Censored News.
|Thanks to Dine' Water Rights for sharing the vote!|
The vote was 15 against, six in favor, and three abstentions!
By Brenda Norrell
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. -- The Navajo Nation Council voted down the Navajo-Hopi Little Colorado River Settlement Agreement on Thursday afternoon. The vote was 15 opposed, six in favor, and three abstentions.
Navajos opposed to the settlement say it is a scheme devised by Arizona senators, corrupt politicians and non-Indian attorneys to steal Navajo water rights for the Navajo Generating Station, one of the dirtiest coal-fired power plants in the US, and for non-Indians in Arizona to continue their lavish lifestyles.
Navajo Council Delegate Katherine Benally said, "I am speaking for the future generations. I have heard you my dear people. This settlement is the Genocide of our nation, and as a leader I will not allow that. As a women, I pray to water, I sit behind water and pray for it. I praise the efforts of my people and I ask you to support me, support us leaders as we move on. Let's take this negative document and make it a positive one. One that will rejuvenate our people."
Reporting from the council chambers, Dine' Water Rights said so far today, most council delegates have opposed the scheme. The scheme has been promoted by Arizona Senators Jon Kyl and John McCain, along with the Navajo Nation's non-Indian water rights attorney. The settlement would sever Navajos expansive water rights under the Winter's Doctrine.
Council Delegate Benally told the council,
The Navajo Council voted in favor of separate legislation further opposing the scheme. The council voted 15 to 1, with eight abstentions, in favor of legislation sponsored by Councilwoman Benally. In this legislation, the council voted opposition to the Navajo-Hopi Little Colorado River Settlement Agreement and the lease extension for the Navajo Generating Station, as stated in US Senate Bill 2109.
While many Navajos live without running water and electricity, they live with the pollution and disease from coal mining and coal fired power plants, along with oil and gas wells and unreclaimed uranium mining from the Cold War. Besides the disease and pollution, the land on Black Mesa has been devastated from coal mining, and already the water has been depleted in the springs and aquifer, in order for Peabody Coal and the Navajo Generating Station to produce electricity that flows away from Navajoland to cities in the Southwest.