Talk of getting water to Navajo is hogwash

FROM THE READERS, April 5, 2012

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T he talk of getting water to the Navajo Nation is hogwash. What I mean by that is the politicians want the Diné people to support and approve the Little Colorado River Settlement plus certain liabilities to C-aquifer and N-aquifer such as "waive, release, and retentions of all claims" of any rights from "time immemorial and thereafter, forever."

Don't be fooled by Navajo Nation politicians saying that we are against Navajo Nation getting water and "where is your plan?"

Our voices are being ignored by the terms and conditions of the settlement. The main purpose of Senate Bill 2109 is to "resolve litigation against the United States concerning Colorado River operations affecting the states of California, Arizona, and Nevada, and for other purposes."

It's a bill basically limiting and stealing Navajo Nation water forever. This includes modifying any and all leases and agreements made between NGS and Peabody. Why do you think President Ben Shelly is supporting it?

Outside interests want the money, water and electricity forever while we waive our inherited aboriginal rights for only a few hundred acre feet of water. This is not misinformation if the language is coming directly from SB2109 legislation.

If you don't believe me, read the bill. As for the questions of having a plan, we do have a plan. That plan is to have the nation support a clean bill with guaranteed funding without languages like "waive, release, time immemorial, injury, quality, bureau of reclamation, resolve, Peabody, Navajo Generating Station, Arizona Public Service, Department of Water and Power of the City of Los Angeles, Nevada Power Company, Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District, CAP, leases, coal, railways," etc.

To all my aboriginal brothers and sisters, keep up the good work of standing up for our precious sacred water. I may not be there during your marches but I am there in spirit. Continue to encourage your elected officials to vote against land and water grabbing legislations.

Calvin Johnson
Leupp, Ariz.

McCain is not a friend, do no trust him

McCain is no friend to the Diné Nation, and should never be trusted. Numerous non-educated Diné leaders in office have been played but this generation is alert, ready, and on their toes.

McCain is a double talker. McCain uses the Bible, and calls himself a Baptist believer. He does not have one ounce of Bible in him, no compassion, no love, no justice, and not a care for anyone but himself.

God will judge his dark soul. Any man who uses the Bible for gain is going to face the wrath of God.

Jon Kyl, he is a real idiot only out for himself. This guy cannot be trusted in any way. This individual is only out to fill his pockets, and acquire riches by any means.

Preying on non-educated Diné leaders is over. I say no more to non-educated Diné leaders in office.

Ben Shelly should not have ever attended the meeting in the first place with these thieves. Why did you give ear to these liars? What kind of leader gives ears to such terms, which hurt our sovereign rights to our land (home), natural resources, and freedom?

The United States of America owe the Diné Nation billions for the resources they took from our land. We should be the wealthiest tribal nation in America. We got taken, and let's not have this come to pass yet again.

One white Mormon individual received $1 million for his work at Peabody coal years ago. What did Diné Nation get? Nothing!

We have men in sheep's clothing wanting to hurt our rights, freedom, and land. We need to trust no one outside our beloved Dine Nation.

This is our land, our history, our traditions, our pride, and our ancestors' land. This land belongs to our future Diné young people.

Redhorse Benally
Sausalito, Calif.

Doing what water lawyer said turns into disaster

President Shelly can see how doing what water lawyer Stanley Pollack tells him to can turn into disaster. I refer to the political disaster that took place in Tuba City during Navajo leaders' closed meetings with senators Kyl and McCain.

Well, if we let (Stanley) Pollack stay around and call the shots on water rights, we're going to reap a long-term tribal survival disaster.

Also, I've no doubt approval of the current water rights bill, S. 2109, or even the previous terrible one that S. 2109 replaced, will result in eventual termination of western Navajo.

Many blame the Tuba City disaster on Kyl, McCain, or Shelly, but many know better. Pollack has hijacked our government over the past 20 years. There's no doubt in my mind the Tuba City meeting was ultimately Pollack's idea.

We believe, too, Pollack worked it out with Kyl beforehand to insure the people are ignored, as Pollack always does. Pollack's plan, as so many see it, was to intimidate the Navajo leadership into sealing the deal for S. 2109.

I have a copy of Senator Kyl's Feb. 17, 2012, letter to Arizona's Water Resource Department. Kyl says normally he would not introduce a bill without a tribe's elected leaders officially approving it. But he had "verbal assurances" from representatives of those leaders that a "conceptual agreement" was reached.

In Tuba City Mr. Shelly and others announced, "it was the attorney who entered into an agreement in principal." That's how this whole S. 2109 thing happened.

So boldfaced, arrogant and confident of his control over our government is Pollack that he does not have to get the people or our government's approval to make Navajo deals. He just does it himself with support from sadly deceived Navajos like the Water Rights Commission. Then he manipulates leaders and even our lawyers to go along with him.

Why would they do that? Well, people are often lazy about difficult things, including intellectually lazy. Pollack is a master of taking advantage of this. All he needs is the votes of 13 delegates and the signature of the president.

I've seen yearly where people say Pollack is not truthful, is reducing rights, and reducing our economic values. Then who do the leaders ask if Pollack is being dishonest? Pollack! And his buddies. When Pollack, et al., say everything is OK, the leaders stop. That's dangerous.

Not a single trained professional who advocates for maximizing Navajo rights as much as possible - and who advocates obtaining full water rights value - has ever been allowed to present freely to the Council.

Pollack has (1) thrown out our 1849 treaty; (2) thrown out our 1868 treaty; (3) thrown out our Winters reserved rights (potentially huge and hugely valuable); (4) thrown out the canons of construction or court rules of interpretation that say when an issue can go either way between Indians and non-Indians find in favor of the Indians; (5) thrown out our ability to generate substantial water revenues like other Arizona tribes do; (6) tricked the Council into endorsing minimizing Indian water rights (under the Arizona Supreme Court's fabrication - in the Gila River decision - which treats Indians as non-human, specifically saying Indians get too much water and their rights should be made "minimal" like those of fish and forests.

Pollack also says he doesn't do anything without Navajo input because he's got the Water Rights Commission. That's true, he has got the commission right in his pocket.

He has complete control over the water rights minds and information of the commissioners. Each is hand-picked by Pollack and supporters to insure Pollack's controls what they think and do on water rights. He does not tell them the full truth about Indian water rights or the nation having the largest claims of any tribe.

Over 15 years ago he would say he "could not see a claim of less than 5 million acre feet" of Colorado River and tributary surface water, but he changed.

Pollack has hijacked our leaders, our water rights, the water commission, our government's political brainpower, and our economic and political future.

Rock Springs Chapter President Tulley Haswood recently told the Council Stanley Pollack reminded him of a con man car salesman he ran into when living in Chicago.

That's what Pollack is, the best con man I've ever seen. His credibility on Navajo is draining, and his career of cheating us should be mercifully ended.

It would take only about six months to replace him with maximized rights advocates, and another six months to get us on the correct water negotiating track.

We are the largest single tribe in the Western hemisphere, and Pollack is settling for tiny rights for half the reservation, rights that are what tiny tribes get.

He needs to go.

Wallace Hanley
Window Rock, Ariz.

Don't agree with way meeting was conducted

About 9:30 a.m., April 5, I walked to the front entrance of Legacy Inn to attend a meeting of Hopi leaders with senators Kyl and McCain on S. 2109.

Three Tuba City police in their black uniforms met me. They asked who I was. I identified myself as Col. Johnson. One of them looked at a sheet of paper and said my name was not on it. They said I will not enter Legacy Inn.

I asked for the chairman to come out. The chief of staff and a ranger came to the entrance. The chief of staff showed me the list of names on a sheet of paper and I was not on it.

I decided that rather than push this any further I would call Senator Kyl's office. I walked to my car and called and filed a complaint on the way this meeting was conducted.

When I met the police at the entrance to Legacy Inn, I did not recognize the black uniform so I asked one of them where they were from. He said they were Navajo Tuba City Police. I wondered why these Navajo police were providing security on the Hopi Reservation.

When I realized that this was a closed meeting for only those who were on the list, it gave me the impression that here was going to take place something behind closed doors.

When Leroy (Shingoitewa) was running for chairman of the Hopi Tribe he said he would have an open administration. Now, here he was having a meeting with these senators in a closed session.

In my complaint to Senator Kyl, I said it was a wrong way to conduct a meeting and I was disappointed that these senators would tolerate this type of meeting. I also told his staff that if S. 2109 remains, there will not be a Republican left on the Navajo and Hopi reservations. We would all vote to replace him with a Democrat.

I have read S. 2109 several times and I do absolutely disagree with the waiver of our rights and claims to the Colorado River. This river has been the property of the Hopi people since time immemorial, based on aboriginal occupancy of the canyon and river and in my opinion forever.

It is my understanding that Ben Shelly, president of the Navajo Nation, and Leroy Shingoitewa are for S. 2109. If they do not wake up, they should be thrown out of office as soon as possible by the Navajo and Hopi people because they do not represent the best interests of their tribes.

If these so-called leaders do not and will not protect our interests, then we have to do it ourselves.

Caleb H. Johnson
Kykotsmovi, Ariz.

Water issue is an opportunity to do business

I was listening to a talk show on the radio last Wednesday evening about the Navajo Indian water rights bill, S. 2109. I was unable to call from my location, so I am writing to express my views about the Navajo water rights.

To me this is an opportunity for the Navajo Nation to do business and we as the Navajo Nation have the resources.

My understanding from the talk show is that there is a great concern that the Navajo would lose their water rights through this settlement, and I agree that there is possibility that the Navajo Nation could lose their rights by accepting this settlement.

If you really are serious and want to make this a business opportunity, and you do not have a water right association, then now is the time to organize one with a board complete with a president, directors and delegates. It needs to be credible and legal with the rights to make decisions on behalf of the Navajo Nation.

If you do have a water rights association, then we need to build upon it and make it so that it is credible and has the legal right make decisions.

This association must be separate and independent of the Navajo Nation president, with the legal right to operate and make decisions without fear of being overridden by the president of the Navajo Nation at his discretion.

The association must have a separate account and be able to conduct all business transactions, including contracts.

I believe one man cannot run all the programs for the nation. When one person runs all the programs, that person is so easily open to bribery, lobbying and corruption, including land opportunities, vehicles, money, etc.

This association will need to handle all the sales and marketing and funding in the account and this responsibility must not be handed over to the president of the Navajo Nation. If this money is given to the Navajo Nation they spend it as they please and the water rights will be sold to the highest bidder.

The association must be allowed to collect all the funding, and then have the power to use these funds to rebuild retention dams, drill water wells, or design an irrigation system for the Navajo people to use. These are some of the ways the association can use the water rights and funding to benefit the Navajo people, not just the presidency of the Navajo Nation.

I understand that taking $800 million sounds wonderful right now, but without any water rights the nation will eventually cease to exist. The nation must have water to exist and that $800 million can easily be in spent three years, leaving the people to depend on rain to survive.

Without any water rights, the people cannot build retention dams, drill wells, or any way collect the run off from any of the rivers or streams to irrigate crops, water their animals, or have drinking water or water in their homes, without then paying for that water.

If you are very serious about developing a plan we cannot, I mean we cannot sell our water rights, we need to keep our water right and then lease some of the water rights to outside individuals and manage these resources well. We can make the $800 million in three to four years and still have water resources.

In order for this to work, you must consider that the president of the association must be honest and have integrity, not open to bribery and dishonesty, not easily intimidated by the government, the United States or the Navajo Nation government.

He must be the master diplomacy, promote the program, know how to make policy and understand the articles of incorporation, and understand the reason for bylaws in the association, and how to correctly incorporate policies, management and contracts for the association.

Byron Allen
Richfield, Utah

Disturbed at cost charged for workshop

To Miss Navajo Council, Inc.: I am quite disturbed and concerned about your workshop on the White Shell Woman, March 31, in Farmington. It reads "$10 per participant."

I believe and I maintain the sacredness, and the divine creation of our White Shell Woman. In our Navajo Blessing Way, sacred songs and prayers along with a creation story is connected to our White Shell Woman. A patient is there during the blessing way in order to report on White Shell Woman.

In respect to the proper teaching, songs, prayers of White Shell Woman, I do not appreciate the contents of your advertisement in soliciting workshop on White Shell Woman at a cost. You are minimizing the Navajo Blessing Way ceremonies and jeopardizing its sacred healing elements.

Because I have spent more than seven years learning our Navajo Blessing Way, and I have been performing Blessing Way healing ceremonies for over 20 years.

The people I have seen and those that reported to me express questions, concerns, and has asked me if your advertisement of your workshop on White Shell Woman is proper?

I just wanted to say, we should at least have respect and honor to where we came from. And devote that respect to our White Shell Woman. I would suggest review of your workshops on White Shell Woman and on other sacred topics.

This letter is mine. And I will be honored to meet with Miss Navajo Council, Inc.

Richard Anderson Sr.
Borrego Pass, N.M.

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