Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Challenges. Discussion »
PHOENIX In a letter dated May 2, the former president of the Navajo Nation and now an Arizona state representative, Albert A. Hale, endorsed the passage of the Navajo-Hopi Little Colorado River Water Rights Settlement Act of 2012, commonly referred to as Senate Bill 2109.
Former Navajo President Albert Hale
served as chairmanof the Navajo Nation
Water Rights Commission
Since its introduction by US Senator Jon Kyl, R - Arizona, on February 14, 2012, Senate Bill 2109 has met with large and voluminous opposition.
In Representative Hale's letter, addressed to Navajo Leaders and the Navajo People, he writes:
“We are better served by a water rights settlement that ensures water supplies for our lands in the Arizona Lower Basin and for our land to serve as a permanent homeland.”
He also cites the retirement of Senator Kyl from the US Senate at the end of his term as a reason to push for fast passage of the Little Colorado River Settlement. Kyl has chosen not to seek reelection. His term will end in January 2013.
“Once he retires, getting the LCR Settlement passed by the partisan and divided US Congress will be very difficult. We need to take advantage of the opportunity presented by Senator Kyl's leadership position,”
adds Hale in his letter.
Towards the end of his two and half page letter, Hale argues:
“If we do not approve and support the LCR Settlement, the alternative is more decades of fruitless litigation. We will spend more years sitting on the hill top watching the Little Colorado River flow off the Navajo Nation and saying 'all that water belongs to the Navajo People.' To me that is not acceptable.”
Hale served as the president of the Navajo Nation from 1995 to 1998. He also served as an assistant attorney general for the Navajo Nation and special counsel to the Navajo Nation Council. He is also the former president of the Navajo Nation Bar Association.
Hale served as chairman of the Navajo Nation Water Rights Commission, a commission established by the Navajo Nation Council to oversee and coordinate the Navajo Nation's water rights, litigation and negotiation efforts. He served as the Commission chairman during the Negotiation of the New Mexico and the Navajo Nation San Juan River Basin Water Right Settlement Agreement. The Settlement Agreement was signed on April 19, 2005.
View the Letter to Navajo Leaders and the Navajo People by former President Hale.
posted May 7, 2012 7:50 am edt