August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Peter MacDonald's Letter 'Navajo Water Rights'

By Peter MacDonald

Peter MacDonald's letter to Censored News: The loss of Navajo water rights and Winter's Doctrine

Hi Brenda,
So nice to have you write about the theft of Navajo Water Rights. What you wrote is 100% true. At the time of accusations and litigation (1987-90) few people knew what was really happening; including myself.
But looking back, I saw what has happened after I was sent to prison, I now know the real reason the feds were after me.
Brenda, you may or may not know but in the early part of my administration (1972) I, along with my one lawyer, George Vallasis, decided to challenge the so-called Colorado Water River Compact.
We, the Navajo Nation, did two things: 1. we appropriated several millions dollars and hired the west's foremost water experts (Williams Brothers of Tulsa, Okla.) to have a major water right study within the four corners region, the region covering the original Navajo Land (within the four Sacred Mountains). 2. We, Navajo Nation, challenged the state of New Mexico for their claim to water rights to San Juan, Animas, and Rio Grande rivers.
This challenge was filed in Federal District Court in Aztec, New Mexico. After New Mexico learned that we, the Navajo Nation, had retained water experts who were doing research for us, they, New Mexico, decided to postpone litigation in Aztec Federal Court.
Williams Brothers finished the study for us within three years time.
The next move was for us to file in Federal Court again using Winters Doctrine -- the most honored U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding Native American's rights to all waters within their land and jurisdictions. Mind you, this was in early and mid 1970s.
At the same time we asked William Brothers to design us a water transportation system (similar to CAP) that would make water available in large quantity (to all parts of the reservation) to meet our needs for today and in the far future where an additional 5 or 6 million acres or our reservation land can be put into irrigation farms.
After the Navajo water project was finished by William Brothers, we took it to Senator Pete Domenici and asked for federal funds to underwrite the Navajo Water Project.
Domenici was surprised to see all that we had done to claim our full share of the waters within the Four Sacred Mountains.
The project at that time was estimated to cost 250 to 300 million dollars.
Domenici asked if we could meet with the Bureau of Reclamation on this matter so the federal government could be informed as to the degree our proposed Navajo Water project is going to effect water claims within the area.
We told Domenici we, the Navajo Nation, were willing to go to court using Winters Doctrine as the basis of our claim.
We were right at the top of our water claim when I lost to Zah in 1982. When I came back in office in 1986, I learned that the Water Right studies were gathered (reams of dwgs, documents, researched materials, etc.) and put into a tribal warehouse and William Brothers fired.
The rest of the story is sad, sad, sad. What we have now is just a small fraction of what we, the Navajo Nation, is entitled to by Supreme Court ruling.
Worse yet, in all of the so-called Navajo Water rights settlements we waived our rights to use Winters Doctrine in the future.
I can't believe, anyone in his or her right mind can give away the rights they have to a billion dollars and settle for a couple of hundreds. And sign into the agreement that you will NOT forever raise your voice again for any addition water or claims you may have against the thieves.
Thank you  Brenda.

Peter MacDonald, Sr.

Copyright Peter MacDonald, Censored News

Previous article by Brenda Norrell, Censored News, 'US Theft of Water Rights and the Prosecution of Peter MacDonald'

Navajo Water Rights Give Away, 'The Road to Termination,' by Jack Utter

US Theft of Navajo Water Rights and the Prosecution of Peter MacDonald

Peter MacDonald in the 1980s
The Rest of the Story: Water rights and the United States prosecution of former Navajo Chairman Peter MacDonald

By Brenda Norrell
copyright Brenda Norrell

After years of covering the tribal and federal trials of former Navajo Chairman Peter MacDonald as a news reporter for AP and other news organizations, I realized in 1990 that something was very wrong.
It became clear that MacDonald never received millions from the flip sale of the Big Boquillas Ranch. It was a hoax. It was clear that the US wanted to silence MacDonald for another reason.
It was in Prescott, Arizona, federal court, when a Navajo businessman told me, "It is about the water."
At that time, few people were talking about Navajo water rights. 
Soon after, during federal court in Phoenix, real estate broker Byron "Bud" Brown admitted that he never gave Peter MacDonald the $4 million for the flip sale of the Big Boquillas Ranch, for which MacDonald was charged. 
A federal prosecutor told me, privately in federal court, that Brown could not be prosecuted for lying under oath, because the federal government had given Brown immunity from prosecution in exchange for his testimony. Brown received immunity in exchange for sending Peter MacDonald to prison. 
The prosecutor said Brown put those millions in Brown's foreign island account. 
Brown did pause on leaving federal court one day, and said to me, "I want to tell you the truth." 
However, I never heard from Brown again.
Peter MacDonald spent ten years in jail and prison, shackled during a heart attack. There were very few news organizations that published the rest of the story.
After his release, MacDonald wrote about the Winter's Doctrine and how it guaranteed the Navajo Nation, and other Indian Nations, the water for their future needs.
Currently, Indian Nations across the west are being pressured to sign the so-called water rights settlements. Those settlements waive Indian water rights under the Winter's Doctrine. Most often the Indian Nations rely on their hired non-Indian water rights attorneys, who are intent on giving Indian water rights to cities, states and the US government.
The Navajo businessman who tipped me off 25 years ago in Prescott federal court was right.
A pattern emerged. 
The non-Indian attorneys employed by the Navajo Nation in the 1980s, and responsible for removing Peter MacDonald from office, left the Navajo Nation and went to work for other Arizona Indian Nations. There, those attorneys worked on the so-called "water rights settlements." One of the attorneys who had worked for the Navajo Nation and helped remove MacDonald went to work in Washington DC for the US Interior's department of water rights. 
As a news reporter, I often crossed their paths.
The Navajo Nation has employed the same non-Indian water rights attorney since the 1980s.
Through the years, more truth was revealed about the depletion of aquifer water on Black Mesa for use by Peabody Coal, and the coal-fired power plant Navajo Generating Station, one of the dirtiest coal fired power plants in the world.
Peabody Coal's seizure of Black Mesa for coal was the real reason for the so-called Navajo Hopi land dispute. The media spin and corruption resulted in the relocation of more than 14,000 Navajos. The electricity produced by the twin monsters of Peabody Coal and Navajo Generating Station now lights up Phoenix and Tucson, while many Navajos continue to haul their water and live without electricity.
Peabody Coal's attorney and Arizona Congressman orchestrated this siege of terror.
Navajos resisting relocation at Big Mountain have survived for 40 years.
Today, it is about water rights and the future of the Navajo Nation.
Censored News shares with you today the details of the ongoing attempts to give away, and steal, Navajo water rights, written by Dr. Jack Utter.

Dr. Jack Utter: 'Navajo Water Rights Give Away: The Road to Termination."

Peter MacDonald responds, letter to Censored News: Loss of Winter's Doctrine water rights

Navajo Water Rights Give Away: The Road to Termination by Jack Utter

The Navajo Nation Is Well On Its Way to Termination
Reproduced and modestly improved from an e-mail to Ed Becenti from Jack Utter, November 21, 2015
C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\My Documents\JU\Drawing11.jpgA parody by Jack Ahasteen.

Dear Ed . . . shijéí nayiiłná.

I read with great concern the climate change and declining Colorado River snowpack article you recently circulated.  My wife, who is from Leupp, has also read the article (and similar ones in the New York Times and elsewhere), and asked that I also send along her appreciation. 

Sadly, the Navajo Nation, under current leadership and the termination-promoting policies of certain lawyers in Navajo Nation Department of Justice, is out of touch with what has gone on and is going on regarding climate change impacts, or the Navajo Nation water rights reductions by Department of Justice; and that the Navajo Nation is headed right toward the "cliff" of termination: that is, if the Navajo Nation does not promptly do a 180 degree turnaround in the giveaway- and reduction-oriented water rights policy long-promoted in Window Rock, and that has been firmly in place since roughly about 1998.

C:\Users\Jack\Pictures\Cartoon Carpetbaggers (1).jpg

Here is a two-part example of that policy, one that many grassroots Navajos are already very familiar with: 

First, there was the proposed giveaway of every drop of Navajo reserved water rights claims to the Little Colorado River surface waters through the now dormant (but re-rising) S. 2109 of 2012 (i.e., former Senator Jon Kyl's Senate Bill S. 2109).  That S. 2019 giveaway effort is what certain Department of Justice lawyers did by violating Navajo Nation sovereignty and the American Bar Association's, State's, and Navajo Nation's rules for lawyers' professional conduct when they purposely did not inform their main "client," the Navajo Nation Council (or any of the rank-and-file Navajo citizens), of the detailed truth of the proposed settlement.  As many thousands of grassroots Navajos loudly declared in 2012 (and as did many in the Council), that purposeful Department of Justice failure regarding the truth was a gross violation of the People's rights to free, prior, and informed consent: now recognized in the United Nations Declaration on Indigenous Rights. 

Second, the same S. 2109 Department of Justice lawyers--and without official Navajo Nation authorization--actually negotiated away, and then effectively signed away on their own (for immediate purposes), all Navajo Nation reserved water rights claims to the 3.5 billion dollars worth of Lower Colorado River surface water.  This helped Senator Kyl in his, thankfully, soon-failed efforts to try to give his so-called "valentine and birthday present" of S. 2109 to the state of Arizona on its 100th birthday (Valentines day of 2012, Feb 14). 

There was no NN Council vote on S. 2109 at that time and no public signoff by the President.  It was merely two non-Navajo/non-Indian Department of Justice lawyers (with much "moral" support from certain Navajo lawyers and Navajo Nation government staff) who signed an approval document for Kyl concerning S. 2109, and thereby effectively signed away (as was thought by outside interests at the time) massive reserved water rights claims belonging to all the Navajo People (but without the People's or their government's proper approval). 

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\My Documents\JU\Drawing6.jpgBy Jack Ahasteen
[Diné coal and stolen and given-away water save the Phoenix and Tucson regions from economic ruin and depopulation, while the Navajo Nation wallows in poverty: controlled by and tricked out of its future by outside interests and their Navajo and non-Navajo agents in the Navajo government.]

If the surrounding states had lawyers working for them who did to them what the Navajo Nation lawyers did to the Nation and its People for S. 2109, the states would not only have fired them, they would have disbarred them, and perhaps prosecuted them.  What did the Navajo Nation govt. do, even in light of the massive Navajo public outcry against what was going on?  It did nothing; not under the Shelley Administration and not under the new one.  In fact, the new one has put a barrier of protection around the same lawyers, and all those who are helping them deprive the People of their future as a Native Nation. 

The termination-promoting corruption of the past has not left the Navajo Nation at all.  Consider, for example, that there are water staff in the Navajo Nation who actually support the concept of focusing almost exclusively on "faucet" water rights, and letting nearly all claimable Navajo Nation reserved water rights in Arizona and Utah go down to Phoenix, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Tucson, etc., without claiming those rights.  Those water staff have, in effect, said that it doesn't matter, and that most Navajos are going to move away to those kinds of places any way--so the water should go there.

That kind of talk is, in fact, termination talk.  Termination means ending the legal existence of the Navajo Nation and the Navajo Reservation, so all Navajos would no longer be members of a federally-recognized Indian tribe.  They would not be recognized as having rights to general services under federal Indian law.  That includes scholarships, and eventually Indian Health Service, educational, and many other services.  The Reservation land would be terminated and distributed as the federal govt. sees fit, after government-determined compensation to the Navajo Nation: just like happened to the 109 tribes that were terminated in the 1950s and early '60s. 

You and I and many others have individually stood against this kind of very dangerous termination attitude and activity for many years.  It is amazing how the greatest threat of termination against the Navajo Nation comes from within the central Navajo Nation government in and around Window Rock.

Very similar misbehaviors to S. 2109 have gone on with the Utah settlement--through which the same Department of Justice lawyers, and those Navajos they have tricked and/or bought off, are using the same techniques as with S. 2109.  Department of Justice's actions have already "waived," by doing nothing, Navajo reserved rights claims to roughly $500,000,000 dollars' worth (i.e., half a billion dollars' worth) of San Juan River and Colorado River water rights in Utah without complaint and without informing the leadership or the People of the truth.  And that's just the amount of giveaway we know of in Utah.  What else have they hidden from the People and the leadership, like they have so often hidden the truth before?

So, grassroots Navajo citizens very often ask me, what's really going on?

To begin with, I say look at the hold-over staff (some very corrupt) and appointments in the current govt. and the current policies or lack thereof.  Not much different than before, and key positions in the new administration were among those filled by the Department of Justice lawyers of S. 2109 and similar fame, or are among Navajo Nation staff who strongly supported them--against the will and rights of the People.  I won't list them now, but many Navajo Nation citizens know exactly who they are and the positions they are in. 

There is no avoiding the reality that--in light of climate change, reduced Colorado Basin snow packs, reduced precipitation in general, reduced available water, millions more non-Indians in the West to compete with, Jon Kyl's continuing influences, and purposely reduced water rights and claims to disadvantage the Navajo Nation -- the overall Navajo Nation Department of Justice water rights policy since about 1998, collectively and effectively, is one of a huge giveaway of reserved rights and seniority of rights and therefore promotion of eventual termination of the Navajo Nation to serve outside interests, i.e., to serve the people and economies of the surrounding states at the cost of the long-term survival of the Navajo Nation.

C:\Users\Jack\Pictures\Cartoon Rock Monster.png See McCain & Kyl on Monster's forearms.

The outside interests do not want to have to contend with a strong and more sovereign Navajo Nation.  That's why Navajo Nation water rights policy in Arizona and Utah is focused almost exclusively on what the grassroots people have long referred to as "faucet water."  Even the so-called "Water Rights Commission" has publicly declared they are now focused almost solely on faucet water. They are little more than the personal commission of certain Department of Justice lawyers and their supporters. 

Use of faucet water in the Intermountain states of the American West accounts for only about 5% or less of the water used.  A private family can easily get along on faucet water to their home, because that's all they need; except they have to have jobs and an economy surrounding them (including, like the states, an agricultural economy) that will keep them going.  Maximized Reserved Surface Water Rights, not minimal and mostly faucet water/groundwater rights, are the key to a Navajo Nation sustainable economy and the future survival of the Navajo Nation.

The states know they have to get and keep as much extra water (i.e., the 95% of water above and beyond faucet water) to survive.  But the Navajo Nation does not know this, because certain lawyers and staff have misled the Navajo Nation, and misled the past and current leadership, the Water Commission, and most of the People.  Remember when President Shelley told people the Navajo-Gallup pipeline is bringing agricultural water to the people?  It is not doing that.  There is no agricultural water allocation for the Navajo-Gallup pipeline.  That's why the Navajo Gallup pipeline has a capacity of only a relatively small volume of water compared to, say, the NIIP/NAPI canals.  (The Department of Justice lawyers at issue also agreed to reduce Navajo Nation NIIP irrigation waters rights in the San Juan River New Mexico Settlement by almost $2 billion worth without explaining it to the Navajo People or the leadership.)

Again, the states know the truth and that the key to their survival is the 95% water beyond the 5% faucet water, and as much as they can claim and keep of it.  That's why they have been working to take away and/or significantly reduce Navajo Nation surface water rights, priority dates, and truthful information (with the significant help of certain Department of Justice and other lawyers) every chance they get.  The Navajo Nation cannot survive without what the states have, and without maximizing its water rights, and without the truth.  The NN needs the truth in order  to claim and keep its hundreds of thousands of acre feet of reserved water rights to surface water in the states of Arizona and Utah, combined, that are absolutely necessary for an economy; and therefore necessary for survival of the Navajo Nation as a Native Nation on into the future for our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

In light of all the negative factors weighing on the NN right now, from within the NN and from the outside, if there is no immediate 180 degree change from the faucet water-focused path that Department of Justice, Window Rock, and outside interests have put it on, I predict that the Navajo Nation will begin to make its own official moves toward termination in perhaps 25 years, or maybe 50 years at the outside.  That's because it cannot sustain an economy or sustain itself as a Native Nation without maximizing its water rights as far beyond faucet water as it can.  With the Navajo People unable to survive economically as a Native Nation, and as a result of what's  happened under past and current S. 2109-like water rights policies, there will be no other economic choice given to them (if things don't drastically change now).  That is the effective plan of the Jon Kyl's of the world and their supporters in WR and other places.

The Navajo Nation is already on an unofficial path to termination under certain Department of Justice lawyers' current and mostly "faucet water" water rights policies, and under the active appeasement of outside interests that is going on at the expense of the Navajo People.  Unfortunately, so far it's only the most active Navajo grassroots organization members, and a few others, who seem to realize the full impact of this because the truth is almost always withheld from the People.
C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\My Documents\JU\Drawing5.jpg By Jack Ahasteen
[NOTE: All the images were drawn by or modified by the renowned Jack Ahasteen, and appear here under fair use for educational purposes.]

With Department of Justice controlling the president's office, legislative offices, and DNR, and now moving to morph the Navajo Nation Supreme Court―plus the Navajo Nation government's unwise purchase of an economically ill-fated coal mine, the taking of a huge loan to pay off a huge loan, the recent betrayal of people and party by a legislator who joins a now dangerously anti-minority political party, and the nonresponsive media -- I see little or no free, prior, and informed consent, no government by the people, and the figurative termination train already leaving the station.

Nááná, shijéí nayiiłná.  . . .  Jack

Jack Utter, Ph. D., J. D., St. Michaels, Arizona

Mohawk Nation News 'Ranata'kaias'



Please post & distribute.
MNN. Nov. 26, 2015. Ranata’kaias, is our name for the office of the President of the United States. It came from an executive order that George Washington made to annihilate us. It means “a rabid dog who attacks and murders meaninglessly and destroys without any thought whatsoever!” george washington
After 92 years of conflict, we defeated the French. They begged for peace. The 1701 Great Peace of Montreal gave the newcomers a right to cohabit on our land with conditions. In 1710 we sent our chiefs to London to the first conference on world peace. The CROWN was alarmed. The kaia’nereh:kowa, the Great Peace, and the Iroquois stood in the way of the CROWN’s plans to dominate the world.
In 1779 US General George Washington set up the republic of war, the US corporation. He issued the executive order to annihilate the rotino’shonni [Iroquois], carried out by Maj. Gen. John Sullivan and Gen. James Clinton. They were, “not merely to overrun, but destroy” the Iroquois nations. Without exception every president since has a duty to implement this order to destroy us and all onkwe’hon:weh nations. genocide indians
Sullivan, Clinton, Monroe and other generals were given Iroquois land for their dastardly need. New York State counties were named after these marauders, giving them an enormous land base to underly the rise of the American bloodline [Rockefeller faction].
This order was never recinded. The rotini’shonni [Iroquois] were targeted for “the total destruction and devastation of [the Indian] settlements and capture as many prisoners as possible”. Kill all the children! He called them “lice”, who would grow up to be adults and procreate. They want to wipe out all physical evidence of our ever having existed. The military was ordered, “You will not listen to any overture of peace before the total ruinment of their settlements is effected.”
In a short time dozens of rotinoshonni towns and villages and most of their food supply were destroyed. Many of our people were murdered or perished in the harsh winter that followed. US war numbers
We did not ally ourselves with the Americans or the British in the revolution, which was actually a pretend war between two brothers and the US first false flag. The Confederacy was never divided. We had blood relatives on both sides of the artificial borders they placed. The Grand Council said that no one would represent the Confederacy but act as individuals to protect their families.
Operation Gallant Piper, INDIAN Detail, the attack at Onondaga and others were the continued implementation of this executive order. They were to “lay waste to all the settlements, in the most effectual manner, that they would not be merely overrun, but destroyed”. 
They continue to try to kill us. As an elder said, “It’s all a pigment of their imagination!”
At the forthcoming trial in Syracuse in January 2016, we want all those responsible for attacking us on May 18, 1997, to be held accountable. This 20-year old case might be hiding the unspeakable. The victims have been offered peanuts for our silence. Finally, this order to kill us has to be recinded.
FF sent in to stop trial!
FF sent in to stop trial!
As John Fogarty sings: “Some folks are born, made to wave the flag. Ooo. That red, white and blue. When the band plays “Hail to the chief”, they point the cannon at you. It ain’t me. it ain’t me. I ain’t no senator’s son. It ain’t me. It ain’t me. I ain’t no fortunate one.”[Prodigal Son: Credence Clearwater].

Syrian boy crying for food and water.
NOTE: The constitution of the United States was written in secret by the founding fathers and was never present to the colonists for a vote. Surely, any document as important as this demanded the approval of the people it governed! Well, it wasn’t presented for a vote because the constitution wasn’t created for “q the people”. it was created by and for the founding fat hers, their families, heirs and their posterity! The constitution is a business plan, and any reference within it that appears to be the safeguard of a “right” is there because none of the founding fathers trusted each other. the safeguards were intended to prevent anyone or group of them from cutting out the others! Proving that: “there’s no honor among thieves”. *** the matrix and the US Constitution.
MNN Mohawk Nation News or more news, to donate and sign up for MNN newsletters, go to More stories at MNN Archives. Address: Box 991, Kahnawake [Quebec, Canada] J0L for original Mohawk music visit

Leonard Peltier 'Day of Mourning'

Leonard counts on supporters like you! Make a Donation Online / Pledge to Donate Monthly Mail donations to ILPDC, PO Box 24, Hillsboro, OR 97123 No
November 26, 2015 - Day of Mourning
Brothers and Sisters,
It makes my heart happy to know so many of you are keeping this Day of Mourning event going.
I hear there is going to be a National Geographic movie this month called "Saints and Strangers" about the REAL Thanksgiving. I want you to know that I believe… I KNOW this has only come about from your continued protest and determination to expose what really happened. But, damn, huh has it ever taken so long! :( Let's hope this film DOES tell the truth. I, for one, thank you very much, as this is what it was and is all about—getting the real history told about the genocide that was committed against us as a race of people and against our Nations. If we don't do this, then it can and will happen again until we have all been exterminated.
I'm so proud of you young People out there too, all over the country, standing up for our Nations and taking over because some of us can no longer get out there to stand by your sides—or to stand there with you and shake your hands.
February 6, 2016, will make it 40 straight years in here. Under the laws I was indicted with, a life term was seven years. I have served over six life sentences! As you know, I was sentenced to only two. To Native Peoples this is also not surprising. In fact, this is something that happens on a regular basis throughout Indian Country. And, as always, this is not acceptable to us. So we protest, and we protest some more.
Over the last four decades, I have been supported by people of all backgrounds, races, and religions. As we approach the one-year mark on President Obama's remaining time in office, it is crucial for my survival that everyone who has ever supported my release to please contact my official Committee that works on my behalf, and coordinate and organize with them.
In 2008, when asked about my case, then Senator Obama supposedly said, "Show me the support." If all of you dedicate some of your time in 2016 to support my bid for clemency, I believe this President has the courage to do the right thing and let me go home.
Remember, too, that we have brothers and sisters who are themselves wrongfully incarcerated, and I ask that we all coordinate to put an end to these injustices.
I wish I could lie to you and tell you I'm doing O.K., but that would not be fair to you. Today, I have another call out to the prison clinic. I guess some of the results must have come back from my last blood work. I know I'm not feeling very well. It seems as if there are so many things wrong with me… I don't know what to do or say to you, or even where to start. Hell, I cannot even sit for any length of time. When I get up my plexis area hurts so bad, I cannot walk but very slowly and while hanging on to someone for support. But after a few steps I'm O.K. So I move right along with the crowd. :) But those first few steps are awfully painful. I asked for a cushion, but was told they don't have any here—and to make one myself from a blanket. Well, news flash. I did this and every time I did they took it away. Yep, for some reason this is illegal. Then I have to deal with the other medical problems. So, yeah, this is my Sundance. But you know what? You're all worth it and I would not hesitate to suffer for any of you again and again.
Well, I better end this before you get bored with me. :) So, again, thank you—all of you—for being decent loving human beings.
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse…
Leonard Peltier

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