Where are the Navajo elders? Why aren’t they protesting?

The Navajo Council’s Naabik’iyati Committee has started, but not officially because they do not have a quorum. But it was decided that the committee would begin listening to reports.

The first report if from the “Save the Confluence” families.

Land is sacred and it is true. as we have looked at this and we were among first ones that were approached by Mr. Whitmore. He fed us breakfast in Phoenix, Ariz. He showed us map of proposed project and then he came up with this beautiful brouchure. Albert Hale also included. We’ve been told that this project is going to happpen, not matter what, even if umbillacord buried there. The number regarding land size ranges between 420 acres to 3,000 acres, which is grazing permit land, and Memo of Understanding open ended and only phase one.

“Circumventing of red tape” that hamstrings business development and that local chapters would receive taxes but Bodaway-Gap Chapter not eligible because Bodaway-Gap has not adopted alternative government, which would allow chapter to collect taxes.

The proposed Escalade Project is about 20 years old. i have met with professional architects and lawyers about proposed Escalade Project, which continues to grow with addition of nationally known businesses, such as Staples.

And President Shelly said he was deeply concerned about proposed Esclade Project but what is he really doing.

I went to visit Walapai people, which has Sky Walk, and they support our opposition but they cannot share because of litigation with developers of Sky Walk Visitor Center.

We have resolutions of support from Navajo Medicine people, Cameron and other chapters and our Hopi neighbors.

If anyone is to build in the area, then it should be our Navajo children and there are numerous Navajo graduates from Northern Arizona University that are qualified.

Hopi Chairman Honanie given two minutes to speak by Speaker Pro Temp LoRenzo Bates
Honorable Speaker Bates and Committee, thank you for giving me time to speak. I am member of Tobacco clan. Hopi leaders and people are very concerned. Hopi Council approved resolution opposing proposed Escalade Project at urging of traditional ceremonial leaders. Of great concern is Salt Trail and other sacred sites but entire Grand Canyon is scared. And for any development of this natural wonder is disrespect to religion of Indigenous people. I wanted Hopi cultural specialist to also speak but I understand the need to allow the Navajo presenters to speak. It’s gong to mar one of the great wonders of the world and Hopi spirituality. we stand firmly that nay development of grand canyon is scariliouls. we should not give in to corporation and that almight dollar will rule. we shud stand united and oppose the Confluence.

why is it that we, as Indian people, hold land scared but we trash it? so we should dedicate selves to cleaning. so when hear pple say that land is sacred and they trash it then it leads little credence to their statements.

i’ve been reading about Sky Walk and the Walapai people allowed. it’s in dispute but they allowed. so how is that different from Navajo Nation wanting to do same thing. and i have found that over 500 tribes in U.S. that have relations with U.S. And many Pueblos who lobbied against Navajo development. How do we deal with that? if they had some form of respect they would come to us and tell us that they have these concerns, like Hopi Chairman. But NM Pueblos ran to NM legislators and lobbied against Navajo Nation Gaming Compact.

And there is also issues regarding Hopi officials tearing down our signs for Twin Arrows Casino & Resort. Navajo Nation deserves the right to do economic development.

what interesting is i look to what elders have done and if elders so against economic development, why didn’t they protest then? and development has occured on San Francisco Peaks and Grand Canyon. If elders didn’t protest and today I have heard none, no evidence. but if elders did protest then those things wouldn’t have happened. but it didn’t happen. but what i find is young western educated students protesting. this has happened with solar development, power plant development so we try to look, i try to look at subjectively. and i have spoken in support of this project. and i think we can get better deal so try not to count us out and say this developer will exploit us. and if i see one exploitation then i’ll vote against. when received due diligence about Navajo Mine and I questioned, i opposed.

this proposed Escalade Project is over at President Shelly’s office and when it comes here, we’ll go over it in detail. and this came to Resources and Development Committee and we asked how to deal with this when one group supports and another opposes. RDC Chairperson Katherine Benally recommended that there be a referendum in the area. but we need to look at different views. we have been trashed for unemployment but how deal with? it’s thru economic development and projects like this. hope don’t get extreme. but sacred sites have been developed and all i can do is ask for forgiveness. but we have been blessed with economic opportunities so matter of balance. and i’ve read about Bodaway-Gap and if traditional and respectful, you would sit in circle and talk. but meetings has become show and how many people are trucked in.

aND I hear someone speaking behind my back which shows disrepect. (Elder Navajo woman sitting in Council gallery comments as Delegate Tsosie speaks. She does not support his comments. But when Tsosie starts talking in Navajo about what the RDC has been doing.)

I hope that I’ll have meeting with Hopi over eagles, Twin Arrows Casino signs, rights-of-ways. I know there are inter-marriages and we are related.

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