6/13/2012 Angela Marie Davis Re: Navajo Hopi CO River legislation 0230-12

Thought I’d share my comments in a letter. It took a lot of patience to be polite: Yah’at’eeh Executive Director, Speaker Naize, and the 22nd Navajo Nation Council,My name is Angela Marie Davis. I am a granddaughter of the late Navajo code talker, Jimmie Apache from T’iistoh Sikaad, NM. I am writing you to urgently request you stop the legislation 0230- and withdraw your support of S. 2109 and HR4067 with the accompanying “Navajo-Hopi Colorado River Water Rights Settlement” introduced by Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl on February 14, 2012

In my opinion, S.2109 dangerously undermines our tribal sovereignty by nullifying the past two treaties between the United States and the Navajo Nation. We have treaty-guaranteed aboriginal priority water rights by the 1908 Winter’s Doctrine. S.2109 voids our priority water rights and guarantees only the bare minimal amount of drinking water to a handful of the Navajo. I would also like to note that it is the responsibility of the Indian Health Service to provide irrigation and developing water supplies through the Snyder Act of November 2, 1921. Also, guaranteeing Peabody Coal and Navajo Generating Station continued operation leases is clearly a conflict of interest. If the settlement is in the best interest of the people, then why are they allowed to operate with impunity?

Another dangerous aspect of S.2109 is that it waives our right to claim injury to water if non-Indian users damage Navajo or Hopi water from the past or the future forever. Our water has already been damaged severely by uranium and coal mining. Uranium has a half-life of four and one-half billion years. Radiation poisoning is extremely dangerous and permanent. To waive our rights to sue for damages to our water from it is a human rights violation to our people and environment; in fact, it is genocidal.

In conclusion, I’d like to express my surprise and outrage over the fact that the 22nd Navajo Nation Council announced its approval S. 2109 on a Saturday and allowing only a five day hold from then to remark on the decision. The Navajo people deserve at least a period of five business days to make our remarks. I am disappointed that chapter meetings are being held on the weekend with little or no public notice. I am also upset that I did not receive any notification of the proceedings regarding it, despite my request to be notified by my delegate. I appreciate your time to consider my request again and look forward to hearing from you.

Respectfully,

Angela Marie Davis
Artist
Writer
Musician

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