RDC subcommittee: We keep saying No to uranium and stay in rut

Navajo Council’s Subcommittee on Navajo-URI uranium agreement meeting in north conference room of Council chamber in Window Rock. It is now 4:34 pm

The conference is full. Several other Delegates are present because they are very concerned.

Delegate Russell Begaye notes that according to a legal opinion from Navajo Justice Department that mineral agreements go to Council for approval even though Legislation states that this for Right of Way. This legislation cites Demonstration Project for Extraction which is a mineral agreement and RDC reviews and recommends to Council for final approval. So by opening to other Delegates would be good for RDC.

Delegate L. Tsosie replies that he’s usually open with his comments.

Delegate Nelson Begaye says he has five resolutions from five of his chapters questioning what RDC did. I do have a lot of respect for RDC but I will be here to say my piece.

Delegate L. Tsosie suggests an advisory members and the four delegates that are present can participate.

The Four Delegates are Russell Begaye, Duane Tsinigine, Nelson Begay and Edmund Yazzie.

Delegate L. Tsosie says that his role will be to be Peacemaker and to reach a possible agreement. I already expressed my position. Some irresponsible activists accused me of taking bribes from URI and I didn’t. Most of my constituents want to take advantage of uranium on their allottments. And so I’m hoping that people at table will have maps and ingenious way of handling this controversial issues. He suggests that the next meeting be at the Navajo Department of Justice.


Delegate Edmund Yazzie suggests Council chamber which would accomodate as many people as possible.

Delegate Nelson Begay suggests larger room also, Navajo Museum with room with projector.

March 17, 10 am to 5 p.m.,

Carr notes that URI has report that URI does not want to share.

DELEGATE Russell Begaye asks for Attorney General Harrison Tsosie present at March 17 meeting or what does attorney general opinion mean?

Delegate L. Tsosie says I disagree with that. Attorney General Tsosie is not the court. YOu heard my comments about him during Water Rights Agreement. And I think that is going down the wrong road. RDC’s decision is about an agreement which is about 25 percent chance happens and 95 percent that it would go to RDC and if needed then it would go to Council. And the relevancy of Attorney General’s opinion is not relevant here. I just want to identify the questions. And say that with respect to you, Delegate R. Begaye.

Delegate R. Begaye replies that this opinion goes to the heart of the matter of whether this Legislation should have gone to Naabik’iyati also and then to Council.

Delegate L. Tsosie says it’ll eventually get there.

Delegate L. Pete says that his concern is negotiations. My biggest concern is we can fight over laws without considering five generations down the road. How will we survive. Right now we depend on federal government – 75 percent. That is my biggest concern. How will grandkids exist. If say no, will uranium be gone forever. WE just keep saying no and we stay in the rut.

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