Navajo Area Bureau of Indian Affairs Eastern Agency Director Lester Tsosie and Navajo Area BIA Director Sharon Pinto address Council in Council chambers at Window Rock, Ariz., on April 21, 2014.[/caption]HERE AT NAVAJO COUNCIL SPRING SESSION AT COUNCIL CHAMBER IN WINDOW ROCK, ARIZ. THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR NAVAJO AREA BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS IS NOW GIVING THEIR REPORT. PRESENTERS ARE NAVAJO AREA BIA DIRECTOR SHARON PINTO AND EASTERN NAVAJO BIA AGENCY DIRECTOR LESTER TSOSIE. AFTER THE BIA VERBAL REPORT, THE COUNCIL DELEGATES ARE GIVEN TIME TO MAKE COMMENTS AND ASK QUESTIONS.
DELGATE LEONARD TSOSIE
I ask that the BIA be more involved during the Comment period of this oil and gas leasing and drilling. And we need to communicate to Interior Department and President Obama about the unique situation of these Navajo allotees regarding bonus payments for signing.
And I am asking the BIA for assistance regarding proposed Rangeland Improvement Act, even though President Shelly is threatening to veto it.
DELEGATE NELSON BEGAYE
We talk about Earth Day and I wonder where BIA is. We clean up BIA roads where trash. And there is concern about condition of land. We really need the support of BIA regarding Rangeland Improvement Act.
DELEGATE WALTER PHELPS
Little Singer School got $82,000 for school reconstruction but BIA looking at document, 100 Year Flood. The Albuquerque Bureau of Education is looking at alternatives. I talked with Army Corp of Engineer and they said they never completed flood delineation along Colorado River so does BIA do its own Flood Delineation? I want to know why BIA saying the school cannot do renovations on flood area.
Area Conservation Planning: Thur state USDA director, i was told we need support of BIA. So we need ur support.
DELEGATE DANNY SIMPSON
You talked about Environmental Statement for proposed oil and gas drilling in Eastern part of Reservation and that they are available on internet and Crownpoint office but there are Navajo elders out there.
SPEAKER PRO TEMP LORENZO BATES
Excuse me, Mr. Simpson, but we may have lost a quorum.
we have to go six hours before any of the Council delegates get paid for today’s Council meeting.
AT 2:14 PM, Speaker Pro Temp Bates calls for a Roll Call. There are 13 delegates present.
But the ones that are really impacted are not getting information. BIA needs to work with Bureau of Land Management to educate people out there. Majority of elders don’t have internet or transportation to go to Crownpoint, NM. The EIS needs to be translated into Navajo. There is proposal for 16,000 drilling sites so there will be more truck traffic. We are talking safety issues which is biggest concern being discussed out there. Truckers going 50-60 miles per hour in 20 mph zone. WE have to address these issues. WE cannot have BLM dictate to us. All this oil and gas drilling is happening in specific chapters. We have non-Navajos out there with no respect for our elders. Our elders drive slow but these truckers are driving them off the road. and the elders are the ones that own livestock. The truckers are not out there 24/7. But the elders are life long residents. The residents that will be impacted really need to be educated in their language. WE don’t want to hear that any of elders were hurt. If that happens, we are coming for the federal government.
I am meeting with Navajo Transportation about why Nageezi road was #4 and now #18 on 4/29/14 at 8 am. So I ask that you, Ms. Pinto, and Mr. Lester attend.
And the old BIA roads need stripping and everyone driving where they want. Huerfano roads has no stripping.
N-36 has one area, going west from Four Corner Power Plant where people speed to a point that vehicles can go air-born. It’s been like that for past ten years.