Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Challenges. Discussion »
WINDOW ROCK, ARIZONA Late last month, Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission passed a resolution to voice its opposition to the Navajo-Hopi Little Colorado River Water Rights Settlement Act of 2012, commonly referred to as S 2109.
The Little Colorado River
The proposed S 2109 was introduced in the US Senate by Senator Jon Kyl, R-Arizona, February 14, 2012. Since that time, the proposed legislation has resulted in an onslaught of opposition by grassroots groups within the Navajo Nation.
In just over three pages, the Commission's resolution cites how the Navajo Nation and the Diné people advocated for the rights of indigenous peoples at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland on the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
“The Navajo Nation advocated for 15 years before the United Nations that the Diné people have the right to the protection and preservation of lands, territories and resources, and that the resources belong to the Diné people ”
read one section of the resolution.
“Water is a Navajo natural resource,”
the document continues.
The resolution takes task specifically with a provision of the S 2109
“stating that the Navajo Nation will forever waive any other water claims. The Navajo people were not informed of the proposed settlement until April 2012 when the Navajo Nation Water Rights Commission conducted several public meetings only on the Arizona side of the Navajo Nation.”
The Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission maintained in the resolution:
“that the Navajo-Hope Little Colorado River Water Rights Settlement Act of 2012 directly violates the human rights of the Diné people as the Diné people did not have a direct voice and exercise their right to participate in the final decision regarding Diné water resources and other resources under negotiation.”
The Navajo Nation Council is expected to vote on the proposed legislation by the end of this month.
posted June 4, 2012 6:50 am edt
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