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‘The richest tribe in the world’

‘The richest tribe in the world’

ABOVE: Navajo Nation Speaker Pro Tem LoRenzo Bates listens to community members’ suggestions of how the $554 million trust settlement could be spent on during a public hearing held in Window Rock on Tuesday. (Times photo – Donovan Quintero)


Public suggests use interest of $554 to improve quality of life for Navajos

WINDOW ROCK

At a public hearing held in Window Rock on how to use the $554 million settlement with the federal government, almost everyone was in agreement with one thing – put the money into trust and use only the interest to improve the quality of life on the reservation.

About 22 speakers spoke during the day-long hearing and they had differing ideas on how to use the interest – from capital improvement projects that would bring in additional revenue to providing courses in Navajo so that the young members oft the tribe would be able to learn their language and culture.

The hearing itself didn’t attract a lot of people – more showed up in the morning than in the afternoon and all less than 50 people showed up for all or part of the proceedings.

The general theme followed the early public hearings – the need is so great and that while $554 million is a lot of money, it will not be anywhere enough to meet all of the needs of the tens of thousands of Navajo people who are in need of water and electricity for their homes or money for tribal scholarships.

About The Author

Bill Donovan

Bill Donovan has been writing about the Navajo Nation government since 1971 and for the Navajo Times since 1976. He is currently semi-retired and is living in Torrance, California, and continues to report for the Navajo Times.

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