Here at Meeting of Dine’ Minds “Restoring Communication and Underestanding Within Our Nation.”
DELEGATE LEONARD TSOSIE
Name of game is shale oil and my communities are having to deal with it. And one thing for sure, none of you is jumping on horses. You’ll flip on your lights. You’ll use natural gas or electricity to keep warm. And who is going to pay for it? That’s where companies and government pushing each other around saying they have best plans and why grid across country. No one has thanked Council and NTUA for getting hydro-sources, which is cheapest source of power to NTUA customers. But impacts salmon. So should we go back to using horses? Maybe we should have referendum. And where are we going to be in 30 years? If we stymie development…we admire other tribes’ casinos, glass walkways. I keep going back to balancing – how do we take care of pple, environment, future.
BECENTI CHAPTER VICE PRESIDENT JONATHAN PERRY
How much do we know about global uranium market. The global shift impacts market and how much of that was included in decision by Council’s Resources & Development Committee. Markets go up and down. But when have trends that shows nothing happening then don’t go in. And when think Green Energy think clean coal but confusing. We have to clarify what is green energy to make more informed decisions and look at globally markets. For uranium, need $75 to make profit and now $35. What influencing to make it go higher? But Navajo Nation tends to be cautious and so don’t develop as fast and that leads to outdated information and sharing information. But we have to look globally before invest in uranium and other industries.
DELEGATE LORENZO CURLEY
28 years is the life of coal. In 30 years, can we sustain natural resource extraction? lot of revenues come from extraction. What we do with money will decide how reservation looks. We need to diversify navajo economy otherwise we won’t have revenues. We don’t have an alternative base for revenues. Once minerals go down, what will we have. Extreme scenario is return to 40s when BIA operated Navajo government. Do we want to be there? BIA had control over land and resources. BIA can displace you. Resources are limited so dollars get from them should be treated like last dollars receiving. All three branches need to put together a Diversification Plan to put money to use to develop alternative economic base. Should have happened yesterday. The current situation doesn’t allow healthy discussion cuz of divested interests. Navajo Nation acts as guanantor of loans for chapters. That is an option. Stop relying 100 percent on coal and minerals. Otherwise 30 years from now, we will be under BIA.
DELEGATE JONATHAN NEZ
Thank folks putting on forum, good job. This is what looking for to talk to constituents. Regarding what I see in 30 years, I believe in each and everyone of you. Navajos are resilient people. And recognize Becenti Chapter Vice President Perry. I challenge youth to run for office if want capacity built at local level cuz not moving with who is in office now. Don’t just ask questions, bark at us and leave. Take the bull by the horns. Right now there is pollution cuz outside pple operate mines. NTEC is there to transition into energy independence and capitalize on our young pple. I didn’t support waiver sovereign immunity. But to be honest I supported NTEC to be energy independent. Can’t just stop, have to transition.
Like frmr Prez Bluehouse question of when will power return to pple. I’m sponsoring legislation for power to be with pple. Please let delegates know that it is important bill.
Bates explained money coming in. $3 million for regionalization/decentralization that reflects 24 delegates instead of telling pple to go to your agency.
Why is chapter misusing funds? Local Governance Centers not monitoring. Regionalization wud bring accountants, regional planners. Powerlines and waterlines doesn’t stop at chapter boundaries. Pitch for colleagues.
Thank each of you. God bless you.
DELEGATE LORENZO BATES
Appreciate being invited. Regarding 30 years, you are all familiar with Scottsdale and Pima Road where there is mall srip and tribe is right there. They waived their sovereign immunity. They went to state court if any disputes but look at what able to do – create mall. It’s a decision we make. If choose not to go down that path then look at resources. And resources takes money. We have over billion dollars and if want to develop in nation for jobs, it’s up to you again as pple to decide to go into principal of Permanent Trust Fund which is excess of $600 million. If nation chooses one or the other then it will get to where it wants to be using one or the other. Without decisions we will be in same place. So you young pple will decide. They are tough decisions that have to be made and where I see nation going 30 years from now.
DELEGATE RUSSELL BEGAYE
Navajo Naion has great deal of power when talking natural resources. WE hold light switches to Phx, Flagstaff and other towns that use Navajo power, including Nevada. And we’ve never really used it as leverage to do things we need on reservation such as electricity and water. The owner of a industry, business holds all authority, power. If have house, then power over renter. We’re owner of coal, oil, all resources that go out. What does NAPi use? They use water pumps, etc. Where do they buy? Enterprises make enough money to develop manufacturing plants, such as NAPI. Could develop flour mill. Those are small examples of what Navajo Nation cud do so in 30 years have what we need without selling out to corporations.
DELEGATE LEONARD TSOSIE
When have dialogue, find out where certain sector coming from and at same time lot of issues come up. Look at history, numbers. Some of us try to seek that. We talk local empowerment but look at article of confederation versus constitution. Why articles failed and constitution succeeded is lesson. I agree that former leaders made bad decisions such as Navajo Generating Station, Peabody Coal. We all know we have different interests but bigger issue is how to consolidate issues. You all need to know how to talk with Navajo elders and then we have limited time so how do we convey messages. If truly Navajo, we wud say heck with 5 p.m. Our power is ability to vote but only small percentage of Navajo people vote in state, county, tribal elections.