Here at Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock where Meeting of Dine’ Minds is hosting a people’s public forum, “Restoring Communication and Understanding Within OUr Nation.”
DELEGATE LORENZO CURLEY
When Council didn’t support $220 million Bond/Loan for local community economic development, it showed lack of support for community.
DELEGATE RUSSELL BEGAYE
Why is Council involved in business? We shouldn’t. Council shud support local credit unions. And what are qualifications of Council and President to manage business. We have but that is not our expertise. Why we depend on Navajo Oil and Gas and board and board should be selected on qualifications, not chapter representation. We need highly qualified people to sit on board. Navajo Nation shouldn’t be business owners. When ou sit down with business person, they come up with so many ideas. We need bonifide chamber of commerce. And why doesn’t Council want to reform? Most important commission is Government Development Commission. We are operating as temporary government. Council created Government Reform Committee to go out and talk to people. At beginning when first attended, I was impressed and excited but then they lost their focus. We gave almost million dollars to make happen. And regarding leadership, Speaker Naize should step down cuz it’s a matter of character and he should do right thing for people.
ALLOWING QUESTIONS FROM AUDIENCE
How much of annual tribal budget actually goes to direct services? Does Council have right to waive sovereign immunity? Knowing uranium value based on spot market, how can Council estimate profitability of uranium especially when cleanup and health issues more costly than profit? Sign agreements 50 years, so where do you see reservation in 30 years. To Jonathan Nez, you said you support NTEC which is ligitimate way to kill people. Do any of you have conscience? These are killing people, wildlife. Who really knows cuz no studies.
DELEGATE LORENZO BATES
The Navajo Nation has two sources of revenues: general fund dollars come from leases, taxes, anything generated from reservation. Other external comes from federal, states, etc. Navajo Nation operates off general funds, $200 million to $220 million included $65 million from BHP and Four Corners Power Plant. Use $225 million and $70 million part and leaves $150 million gross revenue and subtract set asides, PTF, Land Acquisition, Veterans, etc and that is net to operate government. This year $175 million for Navajo Nation so impacts central government; it has ripple effect down to local level. No public hearings because never came up. I went to chapters and explained facts. Will they get land back? Yes, land has gone thru reclamation and passed requirements. Now returning lands to Nenahnezad which decides how to use land. Are permit holders still around to use for livestock or develop lands. How involved nation? Will nation/central government keep land? No, it returns to local government. It’s a process that’s being talked about and will be decided.