FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 26, 2012
Re-opening of the Hopi Tribe’s Newspaper, the Hopi Tutuveni
“This has been the wishes of the Hopi and Tewa people and I am thankful to
the Tribal Council that they listened to the people and funded the Tutuveni”
KYKOTSMOVI, Ariz. – After several years without operations of the Hopi Tutuveni, the Hopi Tribe is pleased to announce the hiring of a managing Editor. After nearly a year of recruitment, a candidate has accepted the position.
In 2010 the Hopi Tribal Council appropriated funding to re-establish the newspaper.
“My executive staff has worked diligently with the department of Human Resources and our Public Relations firm (HMA) to advertise and recruit for a new editor. Although this was a long process, we are excited to have an experienced editor and look forward to working closely with the new staff. This has been the wishes of the Hopi and Tewa people and I am thankful to the Tribal Council that they listened to the people and funded the Hopi Tutuveni.” said Chairman Shingoitewa.
Chairman’s Chief of Staff, Curtis Honanie remarked “This is another step forward in serving the Hopi and Tewa people. We are very happy that our team was able to successfully accomplish another project under the leadership of Chairman Shingoitewa. The foundation of this success was put in place over a year ago with a coordinated recruiting effort by our team.”
A formal public re-opening celebration is being planned by the Office of the Chairman for the latter part of February.
Public Information Office
Phone: (928) 734-3104
Fax: (928) 734-6665
Click here to download official news release.
This just in from the Gallup Independent…
Forum to focus on Navajo-Hopi coal, water issues
By Kathy Helms
WINDOW ROCK – The people of the Navajo Nation and the Hopi Tribe are at a crossroads, according to former Hopi Tribal Chairman Ben Nuvamsa. The dilemma hinges on whether to continue accepting pennies on the dollar for their resources from outside entities, or take the bull by the horns and create “economic sovereignty” for themselves.
A public forum sponsored by the Inter-Tribal COALition to address tribal water, coal, environmental, cultural and economic issues affecting the tribes will be held at 6 p.m. Sept. 30 on the sixth floor of the Native American Community Building, 4520 N. Central Ave., Phoenix.
Presenters include Daniel Higgins, Ph.D., Sean Gnant of the Brewer Law Firm, Milton Bluehouse Sr., and Nuvamsa. Navajo Nation Council delegates, Hopi Tribal Council members, and interested members of both tribes are asked to attend the forum to learn more about their common issues.
“We believe that we are at the crossroads. Many of these entities are after our water and our coal. We kind of stand, so to speak, at the headwaters of all these resources,” Nuvamsa said.
Coal from the tribes is used to generate electricity so the people in southern Arizona, southern California and Nevada will have electricity in their homes. The massive Central Arizona Project depends on power from Navajo Generating Station so the federal government can deliver surface water to tribes and municipalities in southern Arizona, he said.
“The sad part is that these entities that are using these resources to provide these services to the people and generate profits are not paying us at the fair market value for our water and our coal,” while the tribal councils are prematurely agreeing to settlements without properly informing their people, he said.
“For example, the lease reopener that’s before the Hopi Council – there ought to be increased royalties. Instead of one-time bonuses, there ought to be annual bonuses. There ought to be higher scholarships – $85,000 (for Hopi) is nothing.”
In addition, provisions in the proposed Northeastern Arizona Indian Water Rights Settlement could hold Peabody Energy and others harmless for all past, present and future damages to the water quality. “I think these are the kinds of things that people need to know, that our tribal councils are agreeing to these things,” he said, adding that the companies should be held accountable for damages and the federal government should be held accountable for not enforcing the rules.
“Both nations ought to be able to say, ‘OK, we have this precious resource, we’re going to take all bidders,’ and be able to go out and compete for higher prices, not have it handed to Peabody Coal. We ought to be able to make those decisions ourselves. I call that economic sovereignty,” Nuvamsa said.
During last week’s meeting with U.S. Department of the Interior Deputy Assistant Secretary David Hayes on the proposed water rights settlement – which many have linked to the future survival of NGS and the Central Arizona Project – Shiprock Delegate Russell Begaye said a change of policy may be in order in terms of the use of Navajo resources by outside entities such as Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tucson and Los Angeles.
Begaye said Navajo historically has focused on “outsourcing” its minerals and water resources rather than looking inward to see how they can be used to benefit the Navajo people. He proposed that Navajo look at developing local community-based generating plants which produce up to 10 megawatts of electricity.
“The town of Shiprock where I’m the delegate – about 18,000 folks – we can probably use 2 to 3 megawatts to run the whole community, and the rest we could outsource and sell to outside entities or other communities on our land, using a combination of coal, wind and solar.”
Rather than building mega-plants to power up electricity in other places, if a company said, “’We want to come alongside you and develop those resources to light up your communities on the reservation, to give water to homes on your land, and be able to do it in such a way that these communities can start selling these sources to outside entities,’ then we’re really talking about a trust responsibility that builds the Nation first,” Begaye said.
“I think the focus needs to turn from Phoenix to the Navajo Nation, from Los Angeles to the Navajo Nation. That policy change, if it takes place, will resolve a lot of our issues. We are sitting on gold mines, but those gold mines are being used by outside entities.”
Navajos travel to major cities across the West and “dream about the days when we may have those stores and those manufacturing plants,” Begaye said, all the while knowing it is Navajo resources which made those developments possible. “Why not let’s turn that inward? Let’s change the policy of outsourcing, to using those resources to build a nation.” He asked Interior to help Navajo in that endeavor.
After Interior officials left, the work session turned from water to NGS and despite efforts by Duane Tsinigine and Nelson Begaye to keep the session open to the public, Nabiki’yati’ Committee voted to go into executive session.
Adella Begaye of Wheatfields, a member of Dine Care, said, “This is very sad because there is no accountability, there is no transparency. All these decisions are made without our consent, without our concern. We have been concerned about the water settlement because 36,000 acre feet is not enough for our Nation, and they are now even trying to settle for $400 million – which is nothing.”
She said it was wrong for Navajo and Interior officials to try to push through the settlement by saying there is just a small window of opportunity because Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., will retire next year and chances for a settlement after that are not likely. “Kyl is for Phoenix to get all the water they can. They’re not for the Navajo Nation.”
Tsinigine left the meeting when it went to executive session. “It’s only fair that all delegates are here to hear these issues, and some of these issues, in general, should be made public. In LeChee, Coppermine and Kaibeto, the majority of the men and women work at Navajo Generating Station and they want to be updated and make sure that the people hear what is at the negotiating table,” he said afterward.
“We’re leaving 75 percent of the Council out of it,” because they were given abrupt notice of the meeting and many had prior commitments, he said. “That’s not fair.”
Marshall Johnson of To Nizhoni Ani, or Beautiful Water Speaks, said the Interior’s visit to discuss their water rights was “like you see on television – a drive-by” that took in the president’s office, Legislative and the Hopi Tribe, but the people, “the original stakeholders,” were left out.
The state of Arizona is the beneficiary of any proposed settlement, he said. During a May hearing in Washington, Shelly and Hopi Tribal Chairman LeRoy Shingoitewa stressed the importance of NGS to the tribes. Johnson, who testified along with Black Mesa Trust Director Vernon Masayesva, opposed extending the lease.
“We told Central Arizona Project it’s about time they get self-sufficient. We’ve been feeding them. They have a $3.5 billion operation in industrial agriculture. We made it available for them. Navajo resources made it possible to push water 3,000 feet elevation uphill. They plant three times a year,” he said. “We have no net benefit from this operation.”
A message from The Inter-Tribal COALition Sponsers…
Hopi and Navajo coal and water are a precious commodity that are the envy of the State of Arizona, Southern California, Nevada, federal government, Peabody Coal Company, Salt River Project, owners of the Navajo Generating Station, cities and towns in the Southwest, and the southern Arizona Indian tribes, among others. These entities have competing and conflicting interests in our precious natural resources, yet they have not been willing to compensate our tribal nations for mining and pumping of our resources at fair market value. We are at a critical “Cross Roads” and time is ripe for us to exercise our sovereign rights to seek economic and environmental justice, yet our tribal councils have been agreeing to the demands of the federal government, Peabody Coal, Salt River Project, et. al., while compromising any leverage we may have to maximize economic benefits for our people, promote and require environmentally and culturally relevant operations in generating electricity.
Our resources make it possible for the federal government to meet its obligations with tribes in Southern Arizona under their water rights settlements. Our coal and water make it possible to generate electricity for lift stations along the massive Central Arizona Project water delivery systems so that the tribes and municipalities can receive their surface water needs. Our coal makes it possible for families in Arizona, Nevada and Southern California to enjoy the conveniences of having electric power in their homes.
Recently both Navajo and Hopi tribes agreed to settle the RICO lawsuits with the federal government, Southern Cal Edison and Peabody Coal (and hold them harmless for past violations) without consulting with tribal members. A huge proposed water rights settlement agreement is now before the tribes for consideration. There have been numerous lease violations at Black Mesa by the Peabody Coal Company which have gone unaddressed for years. Recently, President Obama withdrew EPA’s proposed air emissions standards that would have affected the Navajo Generating Station and other coal powered power plants. And while the federal government and Peabody Coal Company have been asserting that there are no damages to the N-Aquifer from Peabody’s excessive withdrawals of the N-Aquifer, there is a recent study that challenges these claims.
We invite you to come to this forum to learn about these issues and talk about what we, as tribal members and tribal nations, can do to address these issues. Knowledge is power. Learn about these complex issues so that you can hold your council members accountable for making informed decisions on your behalf. Special invitations go out to Hopi and Navajo tribal members (reservation and off-reservation), and council members/delegates from both tribes. Spread the word.
The Inter-Tribal COALition Sponsers