Thursday, September 20, 2007

Double standard and injustice against the Navajo people

Double Standard and injustice against the Navajo People
By Calvin Johnson, Navajo from Leupp, Ariz.
September 19, 2007

The recent ruling U.S. Appeals Court who ruled in the Navajo Nation’s favor of the $600 million coal royalties claim was a tremendously triumphant ruling for Navajo.

A press release was issued by Joe Shirley Jr., Navajo Nation President, who was quoted saying he’s ecstatic for his people and the injustices that was done all along. He goes on to say that it was his hope all along and in hopes they will hear the cry from Navajoland.

What?! This President of the Navajo Nation over a year ago was ready to abolish the lawsuit. The spring of 2006 was an intense time for C-Aquifer for Dine’ because the Navajo Nation including Joe Shirley, Attorney General Louis Denetsosie and other officials secretly developed an agreement titled “Mohave Mediation Memorandum of Recommended Non-Economic Terms” (attached). In the agreement, the $600 million dollar lawsuit would have been dismissed in exchange for giving C-Aquifer water to the “Blackmesa Project”. The Navajo president himself fully supported the agreement to dismiss the lawsuit against Peabody Coal. He was doing injustice to his own people then and is doing it today with Desert Rock Project.

A lot of this information was not divulged then. I’m sick of my own leaders and officials stabbing their own people in the back in the best interest of investors and corporate greed.

This is the very reason why we need new leaders in the upcoming 2008 elections who will listen and protect our Navajo people and our land. I am vocal against closed door meetings that result in shady deals by people who we elected to speak for us. My vocal stance against such shenanigans got me labeled as a radical young punk in the community of Leupp because I am looking out for the best interest of my people. I voice my concerns so we would not be injustly fleeced by corporations or entities who want our natural resources. After the companies are gone we are left with contaminated waste putting the health of our people in jeopardy with no funds to neither clean up the waste nor remedy the health problems.

This is also the very reason why I am against the Desert Rock Project, North Central Arizona Water Supply Project and the Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Flagstaff to give away Navajo holdings to C-Aquifer which the Navajo Nation is ready to sign. All these projects are funded by corporations just to get to the Navajo resources for cheap prices. These projects will not and does not benefit the local Navajo people who are affected by it.

Our leaders have to stop the double standard; the hypocrisy and protect our land, our people and our future generations to come.

Calvin Johnson
Leupp, AZ
Calvin Johnson
PO Box 5527
Leupp, AZ 86035

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Censored News is published by censored journalist Brenda Norrell. A journalist for 27 years, Brenda lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, writing for Navajo Times, AP, USA Today, Lakota Times and other American Indian publications. After being censored and then terminated by Indian Country Today in 2006, she began the Censored Blog to document the most censored issues. She currently serves as human rights editor for the U.N. OBSERVER & International Report at the Hague and contributor to Sri Lanka Guardian, Narco News and CounterPunch. She was cohost of the 5-month Longest Walk Talk Radio across America, with Earthcycles Producer Govinda Dalton in 2008:
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