Posted by on Jun 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

Navajo Grassroots Push Council to Take Final Step in Opposing the Water Settlement, Council will soon make a decision on the Navajo-Hopi Little Colorado River Water Rights Settlement Agreement

By  :  Jihan Gearon Contact: Ron Milford, Dine Water Rights Committee (928) 401-8707 Jihan Gearon, Black Mesa Water Coalition (928) 380-6684 Window Rock, AZ – Last week the Naa’bik’iyati’ Committee of the 22nd Navajo Nation Council voted 13-0 to approve Councilwoman Katherine Benally’s legislation to oppose the Navajo-Hopi Little Colorado River Water Rights Settlement Act of 2012, also known as S2109 and HR4067. A movement of Navajo grassroots organizations and individuals opposing the settlement and calling themselves the Dine Water Rights Committee were overjoyed to see their Council take a step in the right direction but know the battle is not over. S2109 was introduced to Congress by Arizona Senator Jon Kyl in February and since then has been fast tracked for approval by the Navajo Nation and Hopi Tribal Councils. The Navajo Nation Council is set to make their final decision on the settlement next Wednesday, June 27th. “I want to express my gratitude to our leaders that stayed late last Friday, listened to their people and voted no on...

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Posted by on Jun 15, 2012 in Press Release

Navajo Grassroots Overwhelmingly Oppose Water Settlement

By  :  Jihan Gearon FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Council will soon make a decision on the Navajo-Hopi Little Colorado River Water Rights Settlement Agreement Contact: Ron Milford, Dine Water Rights Committee (928) 401-8707 Marshall Johnson, To Nizhoni Ani (928) 675-1852 Window Rock, AZ – Since the Navajo-Hopi Little Colorado River Water Rights Settlement Act and Agreement were first proposed in February, opponents and proponents of the settlement have been engaged in a David and Goliath-like battle over the waters of the Navajo Nation. Opponents of the bill include a movement of various grassroots Navajo organizations and individuals, collectively calling themselves the Dine Water Rights Committee. Proponents of the bill include Arizona Senator Jon Kyl, and the Navajo Nation tribal government’s Executive and Judicial branches led by President Ben Shelly and Attorney General Harrison Tsosie. The final decision lies with the Navajo Nation Legislative Branch’s 24 Tribal Council Delegates who will be voting within the next week and potentially as early as this Friday. “It’s obvious that the grassroots people of the Navajo Nation...

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Posted by on Jun 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

Last Real Indian Givers Part Naaki: An Update on the Navajo-Hopi Little Colorado River Settlement

By:  Jihan Gearon The last piece I wrote for lastrealindians was entitled Last Real Indian Givers, and laid out a few key arguments against the Navajo-Hopi Little Colorado River Water Settlement Agreement and Act of 2012.  Back then, the settlement was on the fast track with the goal of being signed, sealed and delivered to Congress by the end of May.  Thanks to the collective efforts of many Navajo and Hopi grassroots organizations and people, the decision has been taken out of AZ Senator Jon Kyl’s retirement timeline, but is still potentially fast approaching.  I’m proud of all the folks who have been asking questions and researching the settlement, educating themselves and others, and taking action to stop the settlement.  As we enter June, we may be entering a pivotal moment on this issue, as well as for energy and water issues in the southwest.  So I’d like to take this time to check in and share my thoughts about where we stand now: When and how will the...

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Posted by on Apr 6, 2012 in Uncategorized

Last Real Indian Givers

By:  Jihan Gearon  Last weekend I traveled to Phoenix to visit my brother and friends, do some shopping, bask in the warm weather and basically, get away.  When I was young the only time I went to Phoenix was for the state track meet or for a summer science program.  It was so exciting.  The big city!  Bright and shiny.  Hot.  Fun.  Full of current music and cute boys.  Aaaah Phoenix, the life giving oasis.  It was where I saw myself living one day when I “got away” from my boring and opportunity-less existence on the reservation.  Today I still own remnants of that adolescent Phoenix State of Mind.  I was excited about going to Phoenix last weekend.  Besides the airport, I hadn’t spent any time there for quite awhile.  Family, friends, shopping, warmth, cute boys…c’mon, I couldn’t wait! Well friends, it was not what I expected- or rather, I was not what I expected.  Instead of seeing just the shiny big city, I saw the unsustainable, unnatural virus...

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Posted by on Feb 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

Black History Month in Indian Country

By:  Jihan Gearon I had grand ideas of finding and reporting on some definitive answer to this topic– like statistics about how many half Black and half Native children there are now as compared to ten years ago, or how many reservation schools truly celebrate Black History Month, or specific examples of collaborations between Native and African American communities today.  This kind of information may very well exist out there and I would appreciate anyone pointing it out to me, but for this short piece I’d simply like to share my experience with you and offer some food for thought.  Besides my own sweet self, consider this my contribution to Black History Month in Indian Country. I was born in Chicago and lived there until I was five, when we moved back home to the Navajo reservation.  When I was growing up my brother and I used to joke that together we made up one Black person in our entire school.  That’s a bit of an exaggeration but the...

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