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freezes in 1882 reservation and 1934 Bennett Freeze area. For too long these areas have been denied even the most basic human needs. The needs are great and can only be met with a commitment of Federal assistance.
We are fully prepared to work cooperatively with this committee and Congress to address these concerns. We do not believe that any of them present insurmountable obstacles to the adoption of this bill. This is particularly true in the view of our belief that the bill contains all of the basic elements of a fair and comprehensive solution.
It is our belief that a solution to these disputes will only come about through congressional action. We have reached this conclusion with great reluctance. During the last 3 years we have had at least 40 meetings with the Hopis where we have made proposals and sought to negotiate. With few exceptions, the Hopis have consistently refused to either present formal proposal or to negotiate in good faith.
The exceptions involve a suggestion for a partial settlement which was made 2 years by the Hopi attorney, John Paul Kennedy. Mr. Kennedy sought to exchange part of the Big Mountain area for surface right over Peabody coal so that the Hopi Tribe can impose a coal severance tax.
We responded to this suggestion and sought to negotiate on it in good faith. The Hopis rejected all of our counteroffers and broke off discussions after a few months.
This past February, Chairman Sidney stated to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior that Mr. Kennedy's suggestion was not a Hopi offer to settle a dispute and that there has never been an authorized offer of settlement from the Hopi Tribe.
During 1985 Judge Clark and Richard Morris attempted for several months to bring about negotiations. We submitted several settlement concepts to Mr. Morris, along with a specific proposal.
Following months of intensive effort to get negotiations underway, Judge Clark finally requested a meeting with Chairman Sidney and myself at the White House in August 1985. Prior to the meeting, Judge Clark requested that we consult with our respective tribal councils and be prepared to negotiate.
I sought and obtained a unanimous resolution from the Navajo Tribal Council authorizing me to negotiate a settlement. Unfortunately, after 5 hours of discussion at the White House, when it was time to sign a Memorandum of Agreement on General Principles for Negotiated Settlement, Chairman Sidney revealed that he did not have the authorization from his tribal council. Indeed, Mr. Sidney had not come prepared as requested by Judge Clark to present a formal proposal for settlement.
In fact, he told Judge Clark that he had not read the letter requesting the meeting and the submission of settlement proposal. The last chance for Navajos and Hopis to negotiate a timely end to this dispute on our own terms and without resort to court or Congress died because of the Hopis refusal to even make an attempt to negotiate with us.
The Navajo Nation left no stones unturned in our efforts to get Hopis to the negotiating table. I think that you will agree that our proposal clearly demonstrates that we are serious about finding a fair solution and that we have consistently acted in good faith.
Judge Clark, in his final report to the President, stated that "Navajos were and remain ready to negotiate." The Navajo proposal, and I quote again:
Were within range of what we, Judge Clark, and Richard Morris, would have deemed to be adequate and given the flexibility which the Navajo demonstrated throughout our discussion. We saw their proposal at least state in negotiable position.
In their concluding remarks on the attempt to negotiate, Mr. Morris and Judge Clark said, and I quote, “That there were two bases for negotiation designed to relieve the burden of relocation, land exchange and permissible living arrangement for Navajo on Hopi lands." The Hopi have made it abundantly clear that at this time neither concept is negotiable.
The failure of the Hopi to cooperate and President Reagan's sincere effort to find workable alternatives to the relocation program leaves only one other course of action. The Congress must develop and implement a comprehensive settlement that is fair and humane to both sides.
In the words of Richard Morris and Judge Clark: Time constraints demand that the responsible agencies of Government now undertake whatever action they deem appropriate to solve inter-tribal issues.
If action is to be taken, it is hoped that the whole range of issues and not just today's relocation problem be addressed. Unless a comprehensive settlement land is thoroughly developed and put in place, fundamental tribal dispute may persist for still another century.
After long and careful review of the facts in this situation, you also have come to that conclusion by the introduction of H.R. 4281. Your bill contains all of the necessary ingredients of a fair and just compromise, the comprehensive settlement of all claims, reduction of the relocation to an absolute minimal, and the payment of compensation.
Mr. Chairman, before concluding my remarks today, I want to take a few more minutes to address the new lands selection. The Navajo Tribe has fully complied with every deadline relating to the new lands. Our first choice, the land in Arizona, strip known as House Rock Valley, was selected in July 1975. For 5 years our selection underwent Federal review and was then removed from eligibility by Congress.
Subsequent selections have been timely made and then entangled in litigation or delay caused by outside parties. The private ranches in Arizona new lands were only acquired by United States and placed in trust in January of this year. With this recent fulfillment of the Federal duty for land acquisition, the Navajo Tribal Council has now authorized the transfer of Bar N and Chambers Tribal Ranches for use under the 1974 act.
This action by the Navajo Tribal Council is consistent with our longstanding promise to Congress and the Relocation Commission. I request that a copy of the resolution of the tribal council be made a part of this hearing.
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection.
[EDITOR'S NOTE.—The above-mentioned resolution of the Navajo Tribal Council and chapters may be found in the appendix. See table of contents for page number.]
Mr. Zah. I also want to set the record straight with respect to several non-Navajo individuals and groups who we understand claim to represent the Navajo people on this issue.
It has come to our attention that these non-Navajo individuals are presenting themselves to Members of Congress, congressional staff and others, as the only legitimate spokesman for Navajo relocatees. This fact is disturbing in itself, since Congress, the courts, the President and many, many others have long ago recognized that the Navajo Tribal government, through its council and chapters is the only duly elected legitimate representative of the Navajo people.
We also understand that these non-Navajo representatives are engaged in a campaign of misinformation with respect to H.R. 4281. The nature of the land dispute and the personal integrity of the tribal and Federal officials and Members of Congress. We want to make it clear that we are not and will not be associated with these activities.
Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, we are here today out of a desire to see a fair and permanent solution to these disputes. We are ready to work closely with you toward that end. We seek no advantage over anyone. We seek only a balanced solution. Toward that end, I want to announce today that the Navajo Nation is prepared to welcome the Hopi relocatees back to their former homes on what is now the Navajo reservation.
I have seen the anguish of not only Navajo families but also that being suffered by the Hopi families over the loss of their former homes. I am familiar with some of their complaints about the manner in which they have been treated by the Relocation Commission. We are willing to allow these Hopi families to return to their former homes as part of the comprehensive settlement proposed in H.R. 4281.
This concludes my presentation. I will be pleased to entertain any questions that any of the members of the committee may have. We request that the hearing record remain open for a period of 10 days to allow us to supplement the record. We also request that all witnesses, as well as other interested parties, be permitted to submit statements for the record over the course of the next 10 days.
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection we will leave the record open for 10 days and members, as well as witnesses can supplement their testimony.
Mr. Zah. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you for a fine and comprehensive statement. If you will move back to the chairs you occupied over there earlier, I am going to put Mr. Sidney on and then we will have questions for both of you.
Let me say publicly to you, Mr. Sidney, that I think your tribe and your people are in good fortune to have you as their leader at this critical time. You have displayed great intelligence. You are articulate and you have shown a good deal of courage and initiative in coming before us in trying to help solve these very difficult problems. I am happy to welcome you here before the committee again, and we would be glad to hear from you. [Prepared statement of Ivan Sidney may be found in the appen
STATEMENT OF IVAN SIDNEY, CHAIRMAN, HOPI TRIBE Mr. SIDNEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee.
Thank you for allowing me to speak in behalf of the Hopi people.
Mr. Chairman, I believe that we have already submitted a written statement. We want to submit that for the record and I will speak from my heart today. I don't have any notes before me because the 4 years of the leadership for my people, I have been involved so much in Navajo land disputes that we have been talking about the same issues over and over that I don't need notes any more.
It may be, some day, that I will be here for betterment of my people, education, economic development to attain our self-sufficiency that we once had before.
Before I get into the statement on H.R. 4281, I want to begin by asking a statement or later that could responded to, but I feel that every time Hopi has been here in all the years of the history of this country, that the Hopis have been overridden for many years.
I question somehow, Congressman McCain, your former staff and now a campaign manager for you, his relationship with the Navajo Tribe. I understand they hired him to do public relations, at an alleged $10,000 a week. And somehow I feel the question of why we are here today.
I also want to say, Mr. Chairman, that it is not the Government that is to be blamed here today. The Navajo have been blaming the Government for several years. I believe we are at the time now that the question will have to be asked by Members of Congress, this administration, be asking the Navajos, when are you going to accept the responsibility over your people?
All we have been hearing is hardships, numbers, the publicity, but never had we heard them say what they are going to do to put the responsibility over their own people. That is the question that I have here.
What Mr. Zah didn't say to you today is what are they willing to do to help their own people? In 1974 when this law was passed, the Navajo Tribe and the Bureau of Indian Affairs enumerated 690 families. Today, you have heard Mr. Swimmer testify that the Relocation Commission have relocated over 900 families.
They are talking today of 1,200 numbers. Their numbers have escalated. Whose responsibility is that? That is the question. From the beginning in 1974, the Hopi Tribe acknowledged and accepted the life estates in that law. Only when Navajo applied, that one Navajo is still around somewhere today, the 1-year life time of that law has expired today.
Mr. Zah referred to the ranch that was selected in 1976. They selected a ranch that was a potential political hot spot so that the non-Indian ranchers can support them in the repeal of the 1974 act.
Why did the Navajos settle in the nearby urban towns? Because at that time in 1974 and soon after, the tribal council passed a resolution forbidding Navajos to move on to their own land so they can do exactly what they are doing today, saying that their traditional people cannot leave off the reservation.
A recent article said the Federal Relocation botched, but it did not say why they botched, because the Navajo Tribe did not assist their people. We all face relocation one time or another. When you were elected, Mr. Chairman, by your constituents, it was a hardship to move here. My people have migrated to where we are today. But it takes the arm around the people to help your people to resolve the hardships.
Today, the Navajos are being held hostage by their own people, telling them not to move. I have Navajos coming to me and saying, “Mr. Chairman, we want to move. Our tribal officials tell us that we should not move because of the Udall-McCain bill will permit us to stay and if we chose to move, that we will be traitors to our people." That is what they are not telling you today.
Members of the committee, let me show you something here. I have photographs here. Since 1868, look what happened to my people. Look what happened to our land. We started off with over 15 million acres of aboriginal lands. Look where we are today. Our people's tears are lost today. We no longer can shed tears.
The H.R. 4281 is going to take additional Hopi lands away. Mr. Chairman, I have a resolution with me that I want to submit to the record, that the tribal council oppose H.R. 4281. I want to submit that for the record, Mr. Chairman.
The Chairman. We will be glad to have it for the official record.
[EDITOR'S NOTE. -At time of printing Mr. Sidney had not yet supplied the above-mentioned resolution. When received, that resolution will be placed in the committee's files of today's hearing.]
Mr. SIDNEY, I want to also tell the committee here that one of the basis I was told of the submitting of your bill, what Mr. Zah referred to at the White House meeting.
I also want to clarify a point. How about the friendship of Chairman Sidney and Chairman Zah? I respect traditional friendship. But you saw what that friendship represents here today. Traditionally, we agreed to eliminate lawyers, but look who was sitting here with him at the table today; attorney general of the Navajo Nation, Eric Eberhardt, who is an attorney and a lobbyist in Washington, IX We don't have an office in Washington, DC. We only rely on the American form of justice, and that justice has reached us here toxlay
A respectable Senator Goldwater said, "Someone has to have the courge to tell the Navajos that they are not above the law.” We are looking for who would replace him, to be a statesman, to profet the rights of all the people, whether they have 60,000 regisferryi vures or not. That is the issue here today.
There is an eletion going on. This land dispute has elected many tritual leaders many congressional people, but I agree with you; I would like to see this land issue resolvadi.
l'emple talk about violence. That is not the Hopi way. I have calist on p*tiple who were advocating violence. I have called them for my racen. I fell you today, what more can we do? All we