Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

November 2, 2012

Dine' Haswood and Bluehouse: 'Foreigners' Control Us

'Foreigners' Control Us

By Tulley Haswood, Dine'                               
Milton Bluehouse, Dine'
Censored News

We have to appreciate our youths of today. They have developed analytical, technological, and other skills equal to and sometimes surpassing the dominant society of America. Our old methods of operation in our Navajo government appear to be slowly changing to what will be a better, fairer, and more democratic way for our Navajo society.
When Arizona Senator Kyl presented the Senate Bill 2109 to congress in February 14, 2012, the Navajo people stood up and shouted NO!!! It was at this time the Navajo college youth took notice, came forward with advice and state-of-the-art communications, and spread the word back and forth, with our generation about the fraud against us and unfair dealings.
The older and younger generations thus came together and caused the Navajo Nation Council to understand our concepts of SB-2109 and vote the Bill down. What a victory for the Navajo people. It wasn’t just these Navajo generations coming together; the grassroots Hopi-Tewa people were also included.
Something came to mind via what some of the youths were saying; what our Navajo government terms “Intergovernmental Relations” the youth refer to as “Foreign Affairs.” This comes from teaching about tribal sovereignty in their Native American Studies courses. When a Sovereign deals with outside governments through treaties, agreements, settlements, etc., it is called “foreign affairs.” So, when Indian Tribes do the same thing, this too is foreign affairs. We, for example, have had foreign affairs with other tribes over many centuries, and we have also had treaties (foreign affairs”) with Spain, Mexico, and the United States since European arrival in the Southwest.
With this we ask, why do we have “foreigners” running three of the most important programs in our tribal government? Our water rights program in the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Department of Water Resources (DWR), and the Minerals Department (Minerals) are managed by “foreigners”.
In DOJ our chief water attorney describes himself as Anglo/Jewish. He is Stanley Pollack, from Michigan, and he has been the water attorney for 25 years. He has notoriously betrayed Navajo with the infamous SB-2109, the Little Colorado River Water Rights Settlement. He has also betrayed us and allottees in the San Juan Settlement in New Mexico. There is little doubt he has done it, as well, in the Utah San Juan Settlement, and that he is working on it with our Colorado River Settlements.
Pollack schemed with Senators Kyl and McCain to plan a major loss for Navajo by allowing the two Senators to take away Navajo surface water rights worth billions of dollars. Many rights and protections were waived “forever.” He and they also put in SB-2109 a lease extension for Navajo Generating Station. And Peabody Coal was getting unfettered groundwater use as well as pollution cleanup waivers for their retention ponds. In Pollack’s and Kyl’s SB-2109 Navajo was to continue to hold the losing end of the stick, not just for a few years but forever.
Although Council voted down SB-2109; Kyl, with help from Pollack, is right now trying to revive it. Two other Anglo attorneys, Katherine Hoover, from Georgia, and Dana Bobroff, from Arizona, have also been part of Pollack’s backdoor dealings with Kyl. These are part of interior Secretary Salazar’s invitation to Navajo and Hopi to meet with him for 4 hours on November 14, 2012 to quickly work out some SB-2109 issues and get it passed in Congress’s “lame duck” session after the election. And again President Ben Shelly is already sucked into the idea and standing by with a pen in hand ready to sign. All this is against the wishes of the Navajo people.
              Pollack and the two lady lawyers have a Navajo figurehead, Harrison Tsosie, who listens and goes along with Pollack and the other two. Pollack’s water rights deceptions, with the help of the two lady lawyers, are destroying our future by causing the Nation to lose billions of dollars in water, land, and resources revenues.
For the DWR; it is managed by a naturalized Pakistani immigrant, Najam Tariq, who is another turncoat against Navajo, working with Pollack. Tariq has also been employed with Navajo for 25 years. He too has a Navajo figurehead, alleged “Department Director” Ray Benally, also a collaborator with Pollack and his two lady lawyers.
After 25 years of operations with the Navajo Nation, Tariq feels settled in his position and abuses, bribes with treatment, and intimidates his Navajo employees. He has even taken over the jobs of Navajo managers, against the Navajo Preference in Employment Act. He has also made veiled threats, to use against those who might push him, his professed connections with the Las Vegas underworld. We see in a local paper the huge headline “Court Upholds Navajo Preference in Peabody Case”. Why can’t that Navajo law be implemented in our own back yard in dealing with people, as Tariq who is abusive to our Navajo employees?
Then there is Aktar Zaman, another naturalized Pakistani, who also has been employed with the Navajo Nation for 25 years, and is Director of the Minerals Department. His Navajo figurehead is Fred White, Director for Division of Natural Resources. Aktar has worked against the people’s best interest in endorsing giveaways to Navajo Generating Station (NGS) and Peabody.
NGS could be paying hundreds of millions of dollars annually to Navajo with all the free water Navajo is giving to NGS, not to mention free rights-of-way for power lines and the coal railroad. Likewise with Peabody who only pays Navajo a mere 12.5% royalties when Peabody could be paying 50% worth over $150 million annually.
Again the same people come into play with Aktar, and Tariq; Pollack, Hoover, and Bobroff. We have asked the Council members “When are you going to see through these people and get rid of them”. These “foreigners” mentioned above are costing the Navajo people Billions of dollars by the manner they operate, which is in support of the outside interest.
Now, again, we ask why are we allowing these people to continue operating as they do while paying them high dollars and while they add to their nice pension that’s coming out of Navajo pockets. This baffles us and bothers us to no end. And, again, we say get rid of them, for crying out loud!
            Our youths, we mentioned earlier, are just as confused about this preference against us and for foreigners as we are. They are ones to take the helm of leadership in the not too far future. They are questioning our past and present leadership, to say; “Have our Navajo leaders lost their minds, and don’t they realize what our Navajo people, especially the elders, are denied, how much they could’ve had with lost revenues; simple things as water, electricity, and good roads to their homes?”
But we have to appreciate our present council leadership; as they have begun to listen to those of us grass roots activists, and have begun to take charge of Pollack and others who have cheated Navajo for so long. The people are raising their voices to say; get rid of these people before we lose everything.

Tulley Haswood                               
Rock Springs, NM     
Milton Bluehouse
Ganado, Ariz.                       


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