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Navajo councilwoman challenges Congress over relocation bill


I am watching this with some excitement. My grandmother's family is from the Big Mountain area and my husband Joe and I Sundanced there in support of the Big Mountain resistors right to remain on the land and prevent coal stripmining of the area and the use of some of the last drinking water in the Southwest for transporting the coal.

This councilwoman is the daughter of a former Navajo Chairman Peter MacDonald. He is a relative of my grandmother's and was sent to prison for taking kickbacks. Others contend that it was his desire to demand proper payment for energy resources and to end mineral rights giveaways by the BIA to corporations that led to his targeting by the U.S. government. Probably, a little of both.

ICT [2006/07/10] Navajo councilwoman challenges Congress over relocation bill>
"TUBA CITY, Ariz. - Speaking out against the Navajo Hopi Land Settlement Act of 2005, known also as Senate Bill 1003, Navajo councilman Hope MacDonald-LoneTree said the U.S. government is treating Navajos the same way Iraqi are treated, with disregard to rebuilding nations that have been devastated.
''The job ahead is bigger than trying to rebuild Iraq after bombing the entire infrastructure and disrupting their way of life. The federal government cannot just walk off and complain about the amount of federal monies expended,'' said LoneTree, Navajo council delegate for Tuba City and daughter of former Navajo Chairman Peter MacDonald.
''Money can be recouped, but lives lost and ruination of lives is far more devastating and morally wrong and cannot be recouped. The government needs to apologize and fix the mess they created,'' LoneTree told Indian Country Today. She said a study is necessary to determine exactly where funds should and need to go.
Sponsored by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the bill would bring about the closure of the Office of Navajo and Hopi Indian Relocation.
Even after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, LoneTree said, residents were given the opportunity of a study to determine the damages and needs.
Further, she said U.S. congressmen should visit Navajo families in the affected area and see what misery Navajos have been forced to live with.
''I can't imagine anyone who would be so heartless to sponsor such a bill and yet not visit these areas and people to see the devastation they have endured for years. As well, those who are supporting this bill are not willing to have a study done to show the negative affects on the region and people. Even after Hiroshima, a study was made to avoid similar human tragedy.''
LoneTree said congressmen have dealt recklessly with the lives of people about whom they know little or nothing.
Jacqueline Keeler
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