Here at Navajo Council 7:30 am meeting at Quality Inn in Window Rock on Resources and development committee’s legislation creating subcommittee on uranium.
DELEGATE NELSON BEGAYE
What does Edmund Yazzie’s legislation really do? And I believe that the Resources and Development Committee’s legislation to create subcommittee to draft agreement with URI should have gone to Naabik’iyati Committee and Council.
Like Delegate Simpson said we need to make decision today.
And I don’t like threatening each other.
So what are we doing? Yazzie’s legislation says “rescinding.” And we do have responsibility to entire Navajo Nation.
At one time, then Navajo President Albert Hale said Navajo owned the san juan river but here we are back in court over that.
And then there is the uranium mining clean up.
Delegate danny simpson
Again, acknowledging URI right of way is only done by Council. All we are saying is Tsosie needs to take this to Council. If council passes it then so be it, go on with negotiations. Yes RDC approves certain rights of way, utility lines, but again we are getting into issues of uranium.
Speaker pro tem bates said we don’t want to go down that route.
And I think some threats being made about 42,000 acres.
TRIBAL LEGISLATIVE ATTORNEY MARIANA KAHN
Acknowledges but words “allow URI to do its work” is problematic, which tribal justice department concerned about. And there are two laws – uranium ban and transportation of hazardous material – that take position on uranium, which was approved by Council. And then there is agreement between tribal justice department and URI. so there are three major issues that need to be decided by Council and whether waive.
DELEGATE LEONARD TSOSIE
URI bought its rights to minerals on land that was Santa Fe Railroad. I did tour of Crownpoint facilities and found out that URI/HRI set up itself to process uranium. but here they are willing to take it out and not do it here. so only change was add Delegate Tsosie and Pete to work with tribal justice department on agreement with URI.
The two acts have not been violated and to say they are being violated, I take exception to. if those laws are to be waived or amended, then the RDC subcommittee will take those to the RDC which will take to Council.
And there was federal court decision that makes land west of Church Rock out of jurisdiction of Navajo. And the proposed land exchange offered by Crownpoint is a guarantee that URI will not conduct uranium process and that would be in exchange for URI access to their land near Church Rock for in-situ uranium mining and transportation. I also support relocation of Navajo people from Red Water Pond community with federal funding from Electronics.