Opinion

Nikke Alex: Water settlement not good for Navajo Nation





"Last week both Arizona Senators visited the Navajo Nation to persuade tribal officials that they should agree to waive most of Navajo claims to the Lower Colorado River in order to receive $350 million worth in water development project. During their visit they ensured the Navajo Nation president and council that there was no trickery involved and that they are negotiating this agreement in “good faith.”

But when two esteemed Republican Senators take time out of their busy schedules to visit the Navajo Nation in order to persuade tribal leadership with millions of dollars worth of development aide and other goodies, one has to assume something else is happening. In fact, a lot is happening here, and it is important that the Navajo people understand some of the larger issues influencing this settlement.

In this editorial, I offer four critiques of the settlement: 1) this is a poorly planned settlement; 2) it fails to address climate change; 3) it is the product of political and economic blackmail; and 4) scale, sustainability and planning for future water are not considered in this settlement."

Get the Story:
Nikke Alex: Letter to the Editor Regarding Navajo Water Rights (Indian Country Today 4/17)

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