NAVAJO NATION COUNCIL DEBATING LEGISLATION 0131-14: RELATING TO EMERGENCY; APPROVING THE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE NAVAJO NATION AND THE UNITED STATES, AND AUTHORIZING THE NAVAJO NATION PRESIDENT, ATTORNEY GENERAL, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL AND THE ATTORNEYS OF RECORD TO EXECUTE THE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT.
DELEGATE LEONARD TSOSIE
Eloluise Cobell brought lawsuit. She was from another tribe but Navajo benefited so bless her soul.
There is threat and called U.S. Supreme Court and federal Appeals Court. We went thru threat with Peabody case that was overturned by U.S. Supreme Court and federal courts.
This is non-binding until we put signature and there is limited timeframe so there is urgency and we will jeopardize if we prolong.
This is not sure thing until we sign and get transfer of funds so services, housing and law enforcement will cease. That is what I am worried about and I take that as threat so I ask council for move forward with this.
Until check in hand I won’t worry.
Yes we have five day public comment period but we know how federal government breaks promises and withdraws agreements.
I beg you to adopt by unanimous vote.
DELEGATE KATHERINE BENALLY
How will this proposed settlement impact individual Navajo allottees? And again, there needs to be transparerncy.
DELEGATE MEL BEGAY
this is political move by many of my colleagues who are running for office. this is alarming. as we heard discussion yesterday, our people don’t need to kow what we are doing and that was said in executive session. we have responsibliity to be transparent. this will impact lives of people. we don’t need to give ourselve blackeyes because of what federal government is offering us. we have legislative process to allow people and community members to know what this settlement is about. it will take a little more time and it’s not going to jeopardize this settlement and this settlement will stand forever and so we need to keep that mind.
DELEGATE EDMUND YAZZIE
like i said, we’ll always get beat up and get blackeyes no matter what we do. but this settlment is about allowing federal government to continue trample over us. the Fort Wingate issue involves federal government’s decision to give our ancestral land to Zuni Pueblo.
I understand urgency and economy at all time low, this is strong opportunity to move forward. we can use this money in a good way.
the federal government said give 110 percent in medical treatment to our people. the gallup, nm, area is in dire need of new hospital and where is federal government in honoring its promise to provide health services to navajo people.
and how does this impact other tribes? this settlement wud set precedent for them?
DELEGATE LEONARD TSOSIE
we were shown how many other tribes litigating and some are ahead of us, such as Jicarilla which went to Supreme Court. and if court rules against Jicarilla then that will impact this settlement.
we are following protocol and not running over process. but i know i can’t convince others for a number of reasons. but what is so wrong from allowing attorneys to go back and secure funds. and we are all talking in public here. and we all signed non-disclosure statement to keep certain things confidential and that’s law. i hope my constituents understand that.
if someone is out there talking at public meeting and federal judge views as violation of non-disclosure statement. and prior council did trample over me. but what we need to focus on is what is in the best interest of navajo people.
and how wud we explain to people that we had this settlement but we took too long to make decision so we went into litigation and lost.
i beg u to vote Yes.
DELGATE JONATHAN NEZ
i want to thank attorneys and Trust Mismanagement Task Force. And we had Peabody Task Force which brot in more money. And $554 million is huge sum.