August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Calvin Johnson: Correcting Shelly's spin from Leupp on water rights


By Calvin Johnson
Posted at Censored News

The Navajo Nation President issued a press release regarding the Lower Colorado River Settlement Forum held in Leupp on April 24, 2012. The press release is one-sided (biased).

The Navajo Nation President’s press release states, “Though many people have spoken against the settlement through the five meetings, solutions and alternatives aren’t being presented.” This is false. The president failed to mention that all the speakers spoke against the legislation being offered. The president also failed to mention the speakers provided numerous solutions and alternatives. One such solution and alternative presented was to have the Navajo people draft up their own settlement agreement. Another one was to eliminate languages in the bill that threatens the Nations ability to retain it’s inherit rights. Another was to skip the negotiations and keep litigating and fight it through the judicial system.

These are good solutions and alternatives as requested by the president but the president is ignoring the people’s voices and concerns.

Radmilla Cody a Leupp resident and voter ask the Navajo Nation Water Rights Commission, “What are the disadvantages of the bill/settlement since you are presenting only the benefits?” No response was made to Ms. Cody’s question.

At one point during the presentation Water Commissioner Ray Gilmore stated that the Hopi’s are fighting this in court saying they (Hopi) have “time and immemorial….what does that mean?”. Mr. Gilmore continued and peppered his presentation with statements like “a claim does not mean rights." Another speaker responded and said the people and our leaders need to seriously understand the terminology of “claims” which also mean “rights” in legal terms.

These are important factual statements made by the citizens of the Navajo Nation which the President and his Director of Communications left out of his press release. The president is not being fair and not accurately reporting to the people the true events that are happening at the forums.

Continue to voice your concerns to our leaders in opposition to SB2109 and HR 4067.

Calvin Johnson
Leupp, Arizona


President Shelly Supports LCR Settlement Education

Contact: Erny Zah. Director of Communications
Cell: (928) 380-0771
For Immediate Release
April 25, 2012

LEUPP, Ariz. – Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly reaffirmed he is listening to the opinion of the Navajo people about the Little Colorado River Water Settlement.

President Shelly stated his position last night at the Leupp chapter house. The meeting was the fifth in a series of seven scheduled meetings about the Little Colorado Water Settlement Agreement and Sen. Jon Kyl’s senate bill 2109.

“I support the education from the water commission,” President Shelly said before an audience of about 130 people.

In an eight minute closing statement after a five-hour meeting, President Shelly spoke nearly entirely in Navajo.

President Shelly said he hasn’t signed anything regarding the Little Colorado Water Settlement and that he wants the people to be educated about the settlement. He added that he is offering more education to the Navajo people than what was offered than in 2010 when the Navajo Nation approved the Northeastern Arizona Indian Water Rights Settlement Agreement, which was never ratified by Congress.

Vice President Rex Lee Jim attended the meeting too and spoke to the audience mostly in Navajo.

Vice President Jim said the language of the settlement is difficult to understand because its written in complicated legal terms, but that people needed to understand the proposed settlement.

The meetings were set in areas and chapters that would be directly affected by the proposed settlement that has been negotiated for more than 30 years.

Leupp, a community of about 1,000 people, would be one of the communities directly affected by the proposed water settlement.

Part of the settlement would be money to build a ground water project and a water pipeline between Leupp and Dilkon, which is about 40 miles away.

The project would cost about $100 million and would allow access to nearly 5,000 acrefeet of drinkable water per year. Currently, the communities use about 441 acre-feet per year of water.

Though many people have spoken against the settlement through the five meetings, solutions and alternatives aren’t being presented.

According to the power point presentation at the meetings, if the Navajo Nation doesn’t settle claims to the Little Colorado River, potentially an Arizona state judge could decide the fate of Navajo claims to the water.

The proposed settlement would:
• Provide the Navajo Nation unlimited right to N-Aquifer ground water for domestic and municipal uses (homes, hospitals, schools and others)
• Provide the Navajo Nation with the right to pump as much groundwater as it wants from the C-Aquifer, while placing limits on the amounts that non-Navajos (including the Hopi Tribe) can pump near the Navajo Reservation
• Protect the right to use all unappropriated surface water from the Little Colorado River
• Prohibit the construction of new reservoirs anywhere in the LCR basin without the consent of the Navajo Nation
• Prohibit new surface water irrigation by any party, except the Navajo Nation
• Recognize all historic and existing irrigation on the reservation
• Fund the critical infrastructure projects in Leupp-Dilkon and Ganado (and provide for operation and maintenance funding of these projects)

The settlement does not include resolve or waive Navajo claims to the larger Colorado River.

Halt copper mining water contamination for Gila River O'otham

Destructive copper mining in
southern Arizona at Bisbee
Protect Gila River Indian lands from water contamination from copper mining, south of Phoenix

By Lori Riddle
Censored News

GILA RIVER INDIAN COMMUNITY, Ariz. -- A threat to my Community, we just won a long battle water rights court battle and now we have to fight to support the protection of it from contaminants. Please help by contacting the agencies at the bottom and tell them to leave the water alone, no In-Situ mining! Your support is greatly appreciated!

Summary on the Curis Copper Mining Project (Florence, Arizona)
- A company is currently trying to obtain permits to mine an area in Florence that has a southern boundary of the Gila River and is just southeast of the Eastern most boundary of the Gila River community.

- This proposed Florence Copper Project is proposing to pump more than 10 billion pounds of toxic sulfuric acid into the ground - at the height of it's 20 year operation more than one million pounds a day!!

- The flow of the water, both above and below ground, is from the mine site towards the Gila River community's Eastern boundary.

- The proposal is being fronted by a Canadian owned mining company Curis Resources, which has never owned or operated a mine of any type in its short history and is merely a penny stock on the Toronto Stock exchange.

- The type of mining they propose to conduct is called In-Situ mining. There are no commercial In-Situ copper mines anywhere in North America - this would be the first mine of its type.

- The In-Situ process has been used to mine Uranium across North America with disastrous consequences. Independent study by United States Geological Survey (USGS) concluded that no In-Situ mine has ever restored groundwater to pre-mining conditions.

- EPA published report in 1999 resulting from a study and samples on the Florence Copper Project, concluding that in-situ leach mining releases radioactive chemicals into the groundwater.

- Previous mining operator BHP conducted a test pilot project in 1997 for 100 days. Since that time, there have been more than 26 separate exceedances of water quality standards for constituents such as radiochemicals, magnesium, sulfates, total dissolved solids, adjusted gross alpha, and radium. In other words there is more than a decade of significant evidence showing that this operation contaminated the groundwater.

- On Jan 23, 2012, Curis reported to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), groundwater exceedances on one of their monitoring wells of contaminants such as sulfate, total dissolved solids, and magnesium ranging from three (3) times to twelve (12) times the allowable levels.

- The proposed acidic solution is NOT akin to vinegar, as claimed by Curis. This acidic solution dissolves arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, radiochemicals and other pollutants into the groundwater. In addition, Curis proposes to re-acidify and re-inject this contaminated solution into the aquifer multiple times.

- Natural Geology of Site Does Not Prevent Movement of Water Between Zones - The ore body into which Curis proposes injecting acidic solution is naturally highly fractured which makes movement of injected acidic solution and groundwater unpredictable and difficult to control.

- After nearly two years of studying this project, the Town of Florence Council rejected Curis' proposed land use change to allow for mining in Dec 2011 by a unanimous 7-0 vote.

- Following the denial of Curis' application, after Curis indicated they would go ahead and just mine on some neighboring land owned by the Arizona State Land Department, the Florence Town Council enacted a subsequent Resolution urging "all federal, state, and county agencies involved in the permitting process for the Florence Copper Project to recognize that approving such a project along the Gila River, in close proximity to populated areas and vital aquifer is ill advised.... The Mayor and Council further urge agencies to deny any and all permit applications for the Florence Copper Project.

- Opposition to this project is widespread - 8 separate private landowners owning more than 18,000 acres in the surrounding area, two private water utility companies, thousands of local residents, Pulte Homes, and the Town of Florence have all expressed the opposition to the project because of the grave environmental risk.

- Curis indicates the intend to inject more acid in the next several months. If you want to voice your concern to those in the Arizona State Government who will be making that decision shortly, you should immediately contact:

Governor Jan Brewer

Nancy Rumrill
U.S. EPA Region 9

Henry Darwin
Director ADEQ

Maria Baier
Arizona State Land
Department Commissioner

KKK carved on blind Lakota elder in Rapid City hospital



Blind, 68-year-old Lakota elder Vern Traversie has KKK carved into his torso while recovering from open heart surgery at Rapid City Regional Hospital on a referral from the Indian Health Service.
After 7 months of waiting for justice, Cheyenne River Sioux Nation tribal member Vern Traversie goes public with an appeal for justice.

Censored News
Update July 17, 2012:
Vern Traversie files lawsuit against hospital:

Vern Traversie Justice Rally and March
Rally and March photos in left column at Censored News
Rapid City, South Dakota USA May 21, 2012 (11am – 4pm MST)
Rally underway, began at 11:00 AM MST at Memorial Park, south side of Rushmore Civic Center, Rapid City, South Dakota. The Justice for Vern March continued southbound on 5th Street to the Rapid City Regional Hospital.The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe is supporting VERN TRAVERSIE.

New Navajo water rights theft documents: 'Pollack fear document'

New Navajo whistleblower documents on theft of Navajo water rights

Navajos respond to discrimination at water rights hearings; and the 'fear' document from Navajo Nation water attorney Stanley Pollack, see two original documents below

By Dine' Hada Asidi
Posted at Censored News

Dear Elders, Youth, Children, Brothers, Sisters, Aunties, Uncles, Sons and Daughters
Here is a summary document with great background research information, showing just some of the untruths, misrepresentations, and deliberate omission of information being to by Pollack, to the President, Water Commission, and Pollack's other supporters. 
The attached document was prepared in response to the Navajo Nations lawyer Stanley Pollack's "FEAR" document. The research contained in this document is meant to educate and develop informed questions when attending Water Workshops, Conferences, Hearings, and Forums.
Some of the falsehoods they spread are beyond shocking.  The falsehoods are clearly violations of informed consent, human rights, and legal ethics applied to lawyers. We have a team working on these issues in another paper.
Also, the English use limitations in Tuba were violations of the Navajo Bill of Rights "freedom of speech" provision.  Any county officers aiding this, or if any of this takes place in a county or state school building, it is a violation of our U.S. Constitutional rights. 
They (Shelly, Pollack's supporters, etc.)  did not impose that English limit in Ganado so that Theresa Showa, a non speaker of Navajo and a big Pollack supporter, could speak and speak longer than just about anyone else.  That's also a violation of the equal treatment provision in the Navajo Bill of Rights.
These hearings are discriminatory, rigged, and violations of our rights by our own People.   Now we know how tribal people felt in the 1800s when the Army recruited scouts from their own members to help hunt them down.
Then there is age discrimination.  The youth were excluded from Pinon.  It's their future we're discussing.  What kind of example is this for the youth.
Also, the BIA/BIE schools are prohibiting student and faculty free speech on the S. 2109 or any water rights issue.   Those are the kinds of schools Pollack's supporters must have gone to.
This Has Been Prepared For The People and By The People
Thank you six final writers/editors who labored on the attached all afternoon and part of tonight.

Hada' Asidi Response to Pollack Memo to Naize
. Pollack's Memo to Naize Apr 16 (2)