« AnteriorContinuar »
tribe's "good faith" intention in preventing and discouraging violence.
We are conce med by the misinformation that has been poured out by
various Navajo support groups on this matter and wish to clear the record.
We feel the American public should be told the truth.
First of all, the
American Public should be informed that this hearing is being held solely
as a media event with the underlying motive of electioneering at the cost
of thousands of dollars, to the American taxpayer.
The American public should also know that the Hopi people are a
caring society and we have continuouslly demonstrated our compassion for
the Navajo people.
We are saddened that the Hopi people are being exploited
for the sake of expedient politics and the almighty dollar.
The test of
time has proven the Hopi people are, as best said by Abraham Lincoln, "with
malice towards none and charity for all."
Today, the Navajo Chairman will tell you about the millions of dol
lars relocation is costing.
He will not tell you these costs increase year
by year as the Navajo Tribe stonewalls and attempts to thwart the law.
will he offer to rectify the situation by paying for the cost of relocating
Navajo people out of the millions of dollars of revenue they will acqui re
from the development of resources (such as coal) from Parragon Ranch, an
asset of the American Public which was given to the Navajos free as part of
the compensation for relocation.
Thus far, the Navajo Tribe has received
eighty-five million dollars in direct benefits and hundreds of thousands of
acres of free public lands as compensation for the hardships of relocation.
The Navajo Chairman will probably bring with him new figures which
will be presented as fact regarding the number of Navajo families still
awaiting rolocation from Hopi partitioned lands.
He will not point out
that the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the relocation Commisssion and the Hopi
Tribe do not agree with his figures and that none of those agencies were
involved in conducting the survey.
We wish to point out that during our
meeting at the White House with Presidential Emissary William Clark the
Navajo Chairman reported as the Albuquerque Joumal says "a patriotig sounding 1,776 Navajo families" on Hopi partitioned lands. The Navajo Tribe
has failed to prove these figures.
Several months ago before the Interior's
Appropriation Committee the Navajo Chairman inisted there were 1,000 Navajo families remaining an Hopi lands. on the other hand Assistant Secretary of
Interior Ross Swimmer disagreed with those figures as well. Today we will
discover the Navajo Tribe has an independent study showing there are 500
Navajo families occupying Hopi lands.
At this rato by July 6th this problem
should be resolved.
The numbers seem to indicate these families are moving
on their own.
We concur with the latest Bureau of Indian figures which enumerate
238 Navajo families present occupy Hopi partitioned lands.
of these families have already applied and signed contracts for voluntary
It is interesting to note that at the time the 1974 Navajo Hopi Settle
ment Act was passed an enumeration undertaken by the Navajo Tribe and the
Bureau of Indian Affairs enumerated only 680 Navajo families were occupying the affected area. At thsi same time U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater personally undertook a survey of the area and through aerial photography identified the
number of Navajo homes in the area.
To date the Relocation Commission has relocated over 900 Navajo fami
Yet, the Navajo Chairman insists there are thousands more still an
The Hopi people have time and time again demonstrated their compas
sion for the Navajo relocatees.
The Hopis have taken to the Navajo leadar
ship proposal after proposal which would allow Navajos to stay on Hopi lands
only to have all our offers rejected as wacceptable by the Navajos.
The Hopi offered "life estates" in 1974 and increased the "life estates"
to 120 in 1980 as well as offered a land exchange. Yet, the Navajos time
and time again rejected the Hopi offers.
This leads us to believe that
the Navajo have only one goal in mind--taking all of the Hopi lands which
would cause the ensuing demise of the Hopi civilization.
The committee will hear today of the hardships being caused by reloca
What you will not hear is that the Navajas themselves have done nothing
to alleviate those hardships.
In fact, the Navajo Tribal Council in 1974
passed a resolution prohibiting the relocation of their own people to the
present day Navajo reservation thereby forcing Nava to familles to move to off reservation communities such as Flagstaff and Winslow. Thus, t'argeting
the relocation program for failure.
Today, the Navajo leadership continues to harp on the hardships being caused by relocation. Yet, it appears he has found no conflict of conscience
when in October of 1985 staff were sent to meet with Parragon Ranch residents
to inform them they must begin to prepare to move from their ancestral homes
in order to make room for mining of the area.
The Navajo administration will tell you that the Hopi and Navajo have
always been good friends and neighbors and will attempt to convince you that
relocation is a conspiracy among Congress, Big Business and lawyers, which
they will alledge is caused by a greed for minerals--mainly coal.
no trth in these statements.
A property dispute is the basis of conflict
between the two tribes.
The Navajos encroached on Hopi land and through
'squattors rights" acquired almost all the Hopi traditional lands to the
point that the Navajo Reservation today totally surrounds the Hopi.
Hopi society 1s small in numbers and our land base compared to
Navajo is miniscule.
Our people need their land in order to continue to
grow and survive as a society.
We believe that right will prevail and we
have not wavered from that promise.
we cannot and will not continue to tolerate the taking of our lands
nor can we allow our reservation to be split in half as proposed by this
We ask this distinguished body not to undo what has taken 40 years
in the courts and Congress to achieve.
Our democracy is based on laws which help bring order to this civili
recognize that there will always be some who will not obey the law.
question then must be answered: If a small minority of people (even a small minority of Navajos) adamantly refuse to obey the law do you then change the law just for them and do you change the law so they continue a shameful
herorhage of public dollars as a "reward" for plain obstinancy.
We believe the July 6th deadline will finally bring order to an
otherwise disorderly situation created by the Navajo Nation to fulfill
thier own hidden agendas.
As Chairman of the Hopi Tribe I am only trying to preserve the existence
of a civilization while the Navajo leadership is seeking to expand his already multi-million acre reservation.
Thank you for listening to our position.
Peabody Coal Company ("Peabody") understands that a hearing is being held on Thursday, May 8, 1986, by your committee for the purpose of receiving limited testimony on H.R. 4281, the proposed Navajo-Hopi Land Exchange Act of 1986. Inasmuch as the royalty payments made by Peabody on the Black Mesa lease located within the Former Navajo-Hopi Joint Use Area comprise a significant portion of the tribal income for the Navajo Tribe, I would like to provide your committee with Peabody's initial written comments concerning Section 7 of the bill. That Section relates directly to Peabody and its present leases with the Navajo Tribe.
In the past, allegations have been made that the Navajo-Hopi land dispute has been fostered by energy companies, such as Peabody, seeking access to the mineral resources of the Former Joint Use Area. I can state unequivocally that Peabody has never played any role in the development of the governmental policies, judicial decisions and congressional legislation dealing with the land dispute. Thus, it is with some reluctance and considerable caution that Peabody chooses to submit these limited comments relative to Section 7 of H.R. 4281.
Section 7 provides that, as part of the consideration flowing from the Navajo Tribe to the Hopi Tribe in the proposed land exchange, the bill transfers to the Hopi Tribe 50 percent of the Navajo royalties from Peabody Lease 14-20-0603-9910 with the Navajo Tribe and 12.5 percent of the Navajo royalties from Peabody Lease 14-20-0603-8580 with the Navajo Tribe up to a sum of Two Hundred Million Dollars ($200,000,000).
This provision, on its face, is not objectionable to Peabody, in that the provision places the resulting economic burden on the Navajo Tribe. However, Peabody is concerned that, within the current legal framework applicable to our operations on those leases, the economic burden could be unfairly transferred from the Navajo Tribe to Peabody and its customers through the imposition of increased royalties and/or taxes.
At the present time, Peabody and the Navajo Tribe are involved in renegotiations of the leases referred to in Section 7. Those renegotiations