The Hopi Tribe Fact Sheet and FAQ on Navajo-Hopi Little Colorado River Water Rights Settlement Agreement

Thanks to Micah Loma’omvaya, Chief of Staff for the Hopi Tribe, for sending me the following documents to post on BEYOND THE MESAS. Click images to download.

The Hopi Tribe Fact Sheet on LCR Settlement Agreement, July 10, 2012- Click image to download (2 pages)

Hopi Tribe LCR Settlement Agreement FAQ, May 1, 2012 – Click image to download (9 pages)

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2 Responses to “The Hopi Tribe Fact Sheet and FAQ on Navajo-Hopi Little Colorado River Water Rights Settlement Agreement”


  1. 1 ngasta siva pahaana July 12, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    unfortunately the “fact” sheet leaves out the fact that quantified water goes to the navajo generating station on the amount of 34,100 AFY (acre feet per year) to use in their operations and “all other purposes related to such operations including coal transportation”. sounds like another coal slurry line is in the works using what is rightfully valuable hopi and navajo drinking water to slurry coal. that free water which navajo generating station uses will then be cleaned and sold for 1,500 per acre foot to the next user just like peabody coal did with N-aquifer water.
    the settlement also gives peabody coal the right to impound as much water as it needs ” when needed for mining” until their new contract, courtesy of the settlement, runs out in 2044. while this is happening, the small amount of 1,500 AFY will be set aside to meet any “future settlement of the claims of the hopi tribe to lower colorado water”. and ,by the way, this water will come from arizona’s central arizona project fourth priority water from the colorado river. as anyone who reads the newspaper knows, the colorado river is already over allocated and arizona as a fourth priority user will be forced to reduce their intake of colorado river water sooner rather than later.
    in addition to giving peabody coal and the navajo generating station quantified free water it also indemnifies peabody coal against any claims for past, current, or future damage to the N-aquifer water.
    there is much more but basically this settlement is all about guaranteeing and quantifying the water rights of peabody coal, navajo generating, the central arizona project, and other non indian water users while promising the hopis a pipeline from somewhere, carrying an un-quantified amount of water with no funds allocated to make this happen and hence no guarantee that it will happen. it also requires the hopi and navajos to give up their aboriginal and winter’s doctrine water rights!
    this settlement is a way to keep the hopis out of court where their superior aboriginal water rights and winter’s doctrine water rights give them a much better chance of a fair water settlement. it’s a way to legislate around the winter’s doctrine supreme court decision because the state of arizona, the C.A.P., and NGS have been here before and have lost indian water rights court cases as a result of aboriginal and winter’s doctrine rights.
    this so called “fact” sheet is nothing more than a cynical attempt to sell this bill of goods to the hopi public and the public at large and ignore the wishes of the hopi people. every single hopi village sent letters to the tribal council saying that they do not support this settlement and the bill that would make it law. four former chairmen, four former vice-chairman, a former chief judge of the hopi courts, and all the village chiefs and other religious society chiefs from the villages who do not have representatives on the council have testified against this settlement/bill. the vast majority of hopi villagers are against it as well as was demonstrated at the packed tribal council meeting where not one person spoke in it’s favor.
    so, what”s going on here? the chairman of the hopi tribe, his staff, and the few councilman that support this either have not read the settlement/bill, don’t understand it, or they’re just taking the word of the white guys in suits. when a bunch of white guys in suits come to the rez and say, “we’ve got a water deal for you, this is the best you’re going to get, sign here”, anyone who remembers american history knows to stop, step back, and read the fine print. the few tribal politicians and bureaucrats who support this have evidently forgotten their history.


  1. 1 Criticism over distribution of Hopi Tribe LCR Settlement Agreement “Fact Sheet” « Beyond the Mesas Trackback on July 14, 2012 at 9:43 am

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© Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert and BEYOND THE MESAS, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert and BEYOND THE MESAS with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About the author

Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert is enrolled with the Hopi Tribe from the village of Upper Moencopi in northeastern Arizona. He is an associate professor of American Indian Studies & History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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