I just wanted to share my weekly news update that I presented on tonight’s Politics on the Navajo Nation, which is a weekly blog talk radio show produced by my good fren, Cal Nez, who is also a small business owner. Cal Nez Design is located in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Cal’s blog talk radio show primarily focuses on business, especially small business. But he manages to intertwine business and tribal politics.
Tonight’s show featured community organizers/groups that are working on alternative energy businesses. Cal’s guests were Toh’ Nishoni’ Ani’ founder Nicole Horseherder, Dine’ CARE representative Colleen Cooley, Hard Rocks, Ariz., and community leader Percy Deal. Navajo Post owner Alex Chamber was invited to present commentary.
The archive of tonight’s show can be found at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/calnez and there are other archived shows . Politics on the Navajo Nation is also on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/politicsonnavajonation/).
Politics on the Navajo Nation is aired every Wednesday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. MST. You can listen to the weekly show by calling 347-989-0048 or going to the Politics on the Navajo Nation Facebook page and clicking on the graphic.
And so here’s my news report that I made on tonight’s blog talk radio show:
It’s a really busy week here at the Navajo Nation Capitol, Window Rock, Ariz. The Navajo Nation council is having a special session on April 4, Friday, at the council chamber in Window Rock.
The sole agenda item is Legislation for the removal of council delegate Johnny naize as speaker.
And when this legislation initially went before the Naabik’iyati committee a couple of weeks ago, the committee didn’t take any action because a quorum was loss after Delegate Charles Damon II walked out of the meeting during the reading of the legislation.
I asked Mr. Damon why he walked out and his only answer was No Comment.
And so the legislation went back before the committee last week and the Committee voted 10 in favor, 1 opposed to send it to the Council for final action. Among the 10 delegates voting Yes was Delegate Charles Damon II.
The sole opposing vote was Delegate Walter Phelps and I asked Mr. Phelps today why he voted no. He answered, “I don’t wanna comment.”
And today the Council’s Health, Education and Human Services Committee heard public comments from several Navajo community groups and Navajo individuals concerned about the Council’s Resources and Development Committee’s decision to create a subcommittee to develop an agreement between Uranium Resources Inc. and the Navajo Nation for URI to establish a demonstration project that would involve In-Situ uranium mining near Church Rock, N.M., even though tribal attorneys have advised the RDC that their actions violate the Dine’ Resources Protection Act and the Radioactive materials transportation act.
The DRPA bans uranium mining and the RMTA is self explanatory but it’s cited because URI proposes to transport the uranium it mines over Navajo land. And the Navajo Nation lacks a hazardous materials emergency response team in the event that URI has an accident involving the transportation of uranium.
Tribal attorneys also advised the RDC that URI had signed an agreement with the Navajo Nation to clean up a portion of the land near Church rock where it had already conducted uranium mining before the tribe would even start talking with URI about new uranium mining.
The groups and individuals also noted that URI is pushing the RDC for weaker clean up regulations.
By the end of today’s Health, Education and Human Services Committee, the committee had aligned itself with the presenters in supporting new Council legislation to rescind, repeal and nullify the RDC’s legislation.
I must mention that the RDC subcommittee chairperson Delegate Leonard Tsosie wrote a lengthy letter to the editor that the Navajo Times published last week, in which Mr. Tsosie criticized the tribal attorneys, pointed out that the Navajo Nation is sitting on 75 million pounds of uranium that is worth $5 billion, and that Church Rock passed legislation supporting URI. Mr. Tsosie predicted that if the tribe says no to URI that URI will sue the tribe and that URI will win.
And before I go I feel obligated, as a small business owner, to say that I support entrepeneurship but that it needs to be done responsibly. I do not support any business that throws people out of their homes, which happened when Peabody coal, BHP Billiton and Four Corner Power Plant opened for business on the Navajo Reservation. I also do not support businesses that contaminate Mother Earth, the air and water with poison.