August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Hopi Tribe Protecting Water Rights on Little Colorado River

Photo Edward Curtis 1906 'Hopi water girls'


“For too long, our water rights claims have sat dormant, while our water is used by others. We want wet water for our people, not just the paper water rights we have claimed for so long." Water and Energy Team Chairman Norman Honanie

By Hopi Tribe
Censored News
May 12, 2016

PHOENIX, Arizona – Hopi Tribal Council members met this week in Phoenix to discuss ways to protect the Hopi Tribe’s water rights. In a special joint meeting of the Hopi Tribal Council’s Land Commission and Water and Energy Committee, tribal leaders came together to discuss strategy for tribal participation in the Little Colorado River adjudication and in upcoming water settlement negotiations.

“The Hopi Tribe is looking for ways to aggressively assert and protect the Hopi Tribe’s water rights,” explained Water/Energy Team Chairman Norman Honanie.

“Land and water are vital resources for the Hopi Tribe,” added Land Commission Chairman Lamar Keevama. 

“Our team is making great progress working together to develop our strategy,” explained Chairman Keevama. Participants in the joint meeting included Tribal Council Chairman Herman Honanie, Vice Chairman Alfred Lomahquahu, Jr., and members of the Hopi Tribal Council’s Land Commission and Water and Energy Task Team. These include Water and Energy Task Team Chairman Norman Honanie and Council members Malinda Andrews, Bruce Fredericks, Rosa Honani, Lamar Keevama and Wallace Youvella.

The Hopi Tribe’s Land Commission include Chairman Lamar Keevama and Council members LeRoy Shingoitewa, Annette Talayumptewa, Dale Sinquah, and Antone Honanie. The Hopi team was assisted by Hopi Water Resource Program Director Lionel Puhuyesva and other tribal staff, and tribal attorneys.

The Hopi Tribe also is reaching out to potentially-competing claimants in the Little Colorado River adjudication in an effort to coordinate their water supply efforts, including the Navajo Nation and the cities of Flagstaff and Winslow.

“We are interested in regional solutions to a variety of water rights issues,” explained Tribal Chairman Herman Honanie.

“We are looking for ways to work together to bring to Northeast Arizona its fair share of the region’s water resources,” noted Chairman Honanie.

To that end, Hopi Tribal Council members are meeting regularly with a water team appointed by the Navajo Nation to reconcile competing positions on water settlement issues. Both tribes have agreed to move forward with negotiations, as “Two Nations, One Voice.” 

Discussions between the two tribes are ongoing. The Hopi Tribe holds time immemorial water rights, meaning that they are senior to all other claims to the Colorado River, the Little Colorado River, and on-reservation washes, springs, and groundwater.

“For too long, our water rights claims have sat dormant, while our water is used by others. We want wet water for our people, not just the paper water rights we have claimed for so long,” explained Water and Energy Team Chairman Norman Honanie.

The Hopi Tribe is a party to the long-running Little Colorado River Water Rights adjudication. The case was filed in Apache County Superior Court in 1978 and involves nearly 2,000 claimants, including the United States, the Hopi Tribe, the Navajo Nation, the cities of Flagstaff, Winslow and Holbrook, and farmers and ranchers throughout the Little Colorado River Basin.

Recently, federal and state elected officials contacted the tribes to request their participation in water negotiations. Their request resulted in a meeting on March 30, 2016, including Governor Douglas A. Ducey and Senators John S. McCain and Jeff Flake.

On March 25, 2016, both tribes wrote a joint letter informing the state parties that they would agree to meet, but not until they met together. Another meeting may take place later this summer.

Big Oil spent $25 million lobbying 2015 -- 2016

WSPA meme courtesy of Stop Fooling California.

Big Oil has spent $25 million lobbying during 2015-16 legislative session!

by Dan Bacher
Censored News
Underneath California’s veneer as a “green leader” is a dark and oily reality — the state is the third largest petroleum producer in the nation and the oil industry is California’s largest and most powerful political lobby. 
In fact, last year’s oil industry “gusher” of lobbying expenses ensured that no environmental bill opposed by Big Oil was able to make out of the Legislature unless it was amended, as in the case of SB 350, the green energy bill. The oil lobby broke its prior spending record, spending $22 million over the past year.

VIDEO Harry Walters, Diné College Museum Director, Living History

This documentary film was researched, photographed, edited and produced by students of Winona State University (Winona, Minnesota) and Diné College (Tsaile, Arizona, Navajo Nation) during summer 2009. It contains stories Harry Walters of Cove, Arizona, told the students during several hours of interviews about his life. This documentary film is archived at the Navajo Nation Museum, Navajo Nation Library, Winona State University Library, and Diné College Library, and will be archived at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian. The film is part of the Navajo Oral History project, a multi-year collaboration between the Winona State University Mass Communication Department and Diné College-- The official Tribal College of the Navajo Nation.

OREGON: Molalla Tribe Sacred Site in Danger of Mine Project

Charlie Tufti
Demers: Desecration or Development?

Molalla Tribe Sacred Site in Danger of Mine Project

By Kayla Godowa-Tufti
Censored News

May 17, 2016
OAKRIDGE, Oregon -- An article published by the Eugene Weekly February 11, 2016 stated, "Old Hazeldell Quarry, an investment of Ed King of King Estate Winery, has applied to Lane County to change the zoning of the hillside, currently zoned F1 and F2 forestlands, to allow for quarry mining. This area is known by residents of Oakridge as "TV Butte."

Phil Donovan, a spokesman for the quarry, says the area was a quarry before current zoning was put in place in the 1970s. Donovan also clarifies that Greg Demers and the McDougal Brothers, who have been involved in a number of controversial resource extraction projects such as the mining of Parvin Butte in Dexter, are not involved in Old Hazeldell."

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