Navajo Council Delegate Tsosie tells student to be glad she has bus to ride

Rocky Ridge community member Marshall Johnson pleads with Navajo Council Resources and Development Committee to approve agreement for study to pave remote bus route. His daughter, Mikayla Johnson, 10, tells committee about how her brother fell off bus seat when bus hit rocky portion of road.  RDC was meeting in Council chambers in Window Rock, Ariz., on July 8, 2014. Photo by Marley Shebala. (Please provide proper photo credit when reusing photo.)

Rocky Ridge community member Marshall Johnson pleads with Navajo Council Resources and Development Committee to approve agreement for study to pave remote bus route. His daughter, Mikayla Johnson, 10, tells committee about how her brother fell off bus seat when bus hit rocky portion of road. RDC was meeting in Council chambers in Window Rock, Ariz., on July 8, 2014. Photo by Marley Shebala. (Please provide proper photo credit when reusing photo.)

RDC now on LEGISLATION 0162-14: An Action relating to Resources and Development, Naabiki’yati Committees; authorizing the Navajo Division of Transportation to enter into a revocable permit, approved by the Hopi Tribe, to conduct preliminary studies for design and construction of N8031 access road and
bridge, and supporting the preservation of planning funds allocated to the BIA Navajo Region for necessary studies, surveys and design related to N8031
Sponsor: Hon. Dwight Witherspoon, Council Delegate

RDC CHAIRPERSON KATHERINE BENALLY
doesn’t RDC have final authority over revocable permits?

LEGISLATIVE ATTORNEY MARIANA KAHN
This is an agreement with another government entity, Hope Tribe.

RDC CHAIRPERSON BENALLY
Please read entire Legislation 0162-14 into record.

SPONSOR, DELGATE DWIGHT WITHERSPOON
introduces community people that are at meeting to support 0162-14, which includes Marshall Johnson, co-founder of Toh Nizhoni Ani.
It took a lot of work to get Hopi Tribe to approve revocable permit for access road. Initially, Hopi disapproved. And I understand your concern about Hopi changing it’s decisions. But Hopi agreed because it’s in the best interest of student. Rocky Ridge uses route to pick up students. Hopi students use route to get to Hopi High School. Pinon Unified School District uses route. Black Mesa Community School, Headstart, food service from west, sporting events use route. The road is significantly used.

And I remembered why worked so hard. There was cloud burst and it made it very muddy. If you don’t stay in routes you cud slid off road and get stuck.

I ask for one of young persons to speak.

HARD ROCK CHAPTER PRESIDENT
i’m speaking not for Hard Rock, all our roads cross Hopi. I live on Hopi Partition Lands.

RDC CHAIRPERSON KATHERINE BENALLY CALLS FOR QUESTION

When RDC member Delegate Leonard Tsosie raises his hand, RDC Chairperson Benally tells him, how can you question this.

COMMUNITY MEMBER MARSHALL JOHNSON
This road is used by students and when it gets muddy, it’s impassable for school bus to transport children to schools and so students miss school.

YOUNG FEMALE STUDENT
we were riding bus, me and auntie’s daughter and brother, frederick, fell asleep and we hit a bump and Frederick fell off bus chair. We want paved road so no more injuries.

RDC MEMBER DELEGATE LEONARD TSOSIE
When i was young, I had to walk miles and miles so be glad you have bus. We were not wealthy and when it got muddy, we had to push truck for 30 miles.
I hope she understand that Hopi tears down our signs, they object to our economic development, they’re taking us to arbitration over eaglets. Navajos are peaceful.
We just go done with approving right-of-way for NM and this is Hopi Tribe giving revocable permit, which they could easily, maybe way I looked at them, rescind them. I understand design cost about million dollars and spend that amount on non-sure thing. How do we work with that? You are asking us to spend money on non-sure thing and expect us to approve with her testimony.
And the Hopis put conditions on revocable permit in “Resolve” clause so this sets bad precedent.
Maybe you could go back and work with Hopi Tribal Council to get consent for construction and then it’s workable and a sure thing.
I understand the plea and progress for paved roads and provides certain quality of life of people living in area. Hope you understand that there are these side issues.
This is not promoting Navajo sovereignty. This is giving in. We should not kneel down. Maybe we should negotiate again and Hopi should contribute and also make revocable permit for 40 years instead of 10 years. Navajo has been nicest tribe.
I understand what Delegate Pete saying that if we send back that Hopi might say no. But I feel very uneasy and if lose whole thing, $40 million, in ten years then why not build around Hopis.

RDC MEMBER DELEGATE LEONARD PETE
We need estimate of cost to go through Hopi country and I understand that not all of $40 million will go into Hopi portion of road. A portion of $40 million will go to Navajo portion of road.

RDC CHAIRPERSON BENALLY
We are agreeing to the use of Navajo funds allocated to Navajo Nation to preform preliminary work on N-8038. Permit will be issued to BIA Navajo Transportation.
On page 3, they will include the bridge. There is no construction money here for bridge but they will include bridge.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.