Shiprock debating Authorizing Chili Yazzie to file injunction against BHP coal mine purchase

Still here at Shiprock, NM, chapter meeting…

SHIPROCK CHAPTER PRESIDENT DUANE “CHILI” YAZZIE
And now we need to address and vote on resolution that authorizes “Duane H. Yazzie to file a petition for injunction on the Navajo Nation purchase of the BHP mine in Shiprock District Court.”

Here is an example, if your car stall on you, you are compensated. When the coal mine burns coal, chemicals are used and the what is left, the coal ash, is buried in the ground and it contaminates the underground water. This contamination spreads to us and affects our liver. BHP says it is liable. If they ruin our water, what are we to do? BHP not worried; they are counting their money somewhere. The doctors recommend that people living coal mines and power plant should move but we live here, we have always lived here. And our sovereignty was protecting us.

What are we buying? But the mine already belongs to us. And then BHP tells the tribe that it will loan the tribe the money to buy its coal mining operation. It’s like a car dealer selling an old car and you say you don’t have money to buy car and so car dealer says he’ll loan you the money to buy his old car.

And it’s true that the coal mine provides jobs and a lot of money. But from my point of view, we need to sit all down together and understand that there are other options. But we are just following what the corporations tell us. It’s embarrassing. For that reason, when you approve this resolution, when you tell me to do this, I will take this to the court. From my point of view, as a private person, as a farmer, as a grandfather, I will use my Navajo language and my Navajo laws and it will stop the purchase. It seems like we are just doing things I the dark.

You talk about jobs and there is a way to save the jobs but the corporations uses the jobs against us. We better take a good look at this coal mine purchase. That is the purpose for this resolution. I’m not educated about all the laws. I will tell the Attorney General Harrison Tsosie and judge that we will sit down and talk about it. It’s possible. Let’s test it out. Let’s see. That is what I am asking of you.

Some pple say we need $5,000 to hire a lawyer but we only need to speak up for ourselves and make it clear what we want.

FANNIE ETCITTY MAKES MOTION
Navajo Council Delegate Russell Begaye is our eyes and ears and we told to follow our laws. So are we getting rid of our chapter president Chili Yazzie. We support our president. Should he be doing this as our chapter president?

CHiLI YAZZIE
I said I wud take off my chapter president hat. How more simple can I say that.

FANNIE ETCITTY
But you have a job here. Who are you going to assign your presidency? This is going to take a long time. How will the voters resolve this? We should work this out first.

CHILI YAZZIE
According to the laws, I have a job to do and I will submit paperwork to do that during that time. when I appear before the judge, I can delegate my duties.

COUNCIL DELEGATE RUSSELL BEGAYE
First of all, I made a motion during the Council debate to not waive all liabilities for BHP and Navajo Transitional Energy Company. And the Council voted it down and waived all liabilities. This resolution is authorizing, not supporting. Shiprock is only authorizing.

FANNIE ETCITTY
I am asking how long are we asking Chapter President Chili Yazzie to step down?

DELEGATE RUSSELL BEGAYE
Any individual has authority to file injunction and not step down. As chapter president, he also has right to do this.

CHAPTER PRESIDENT CHILI YAZZIE
These laws are overlapping. It seems like what she is talking is laws that were contricting. When I was in Window Rock, we talked about the laws of outside governments and those were used to modify Navajo laws and so those laws are not our laws. Our laws are stronger and for that reason, the overlapping laws of Navajo and non-Navajos is what I will use regarding BHP coal mine purchase and uranium mining. I will point that out. It probably is very complicated as I talk about it and you wonder. So I am asking for the authority to speak up for you based on our Fundamental Navajo Laws. I’m not relying on written laws of non-Navajos. Let’s see what happens. Right now everything is in chaos all the way to Window Rock. We tied ourselves up with non-Navajo laws. Let’s untangle ourselves. They violated laws when they approved uranium laws.

I value veterans. they protected our land.

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