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The Navajo Nation celebrated on Monday as President Barack Obama signed the tribe's water rights settlement into law as part of a public lands bill. After decades of work, the tribe reached the agreement with the state of New Mexico five years ago. But the Bush administration balked at the cost of the deal, which authorizes an $870 million water pipeline in addition to securing the tribe's rights to the San Juan River. The political landscape changed this year with Democrats in control of Washington, D.C. Though there were some hiccups, the 1,218-page Omnibus Public Land Management Act cleared the 111th Congress in record time. "This is a grand day for the Navajo Nation," President Joe Shirley Jr. said in an interview at the White House after the signing ceremony. "It means water for our communities." Obama, who was endorsed by Shirley and other Navajo leaders during the campaign, highlighted the tangible impacts of the settlement on the nation's largest tribe. He recognized Frank Chee Willetto Sr., a Navajo Code Talker from New Mexico who served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II. "Because of this legislation, Frank, along with 80,000 others in the Navajo Nation, will have access to clean running water for the very first time," Obama said to applause in the East Room of the White House.
Originally posted by nixie_nox
I do have issue with the media not covering this. Most east coasters are completely oblivious to Indian plight. Absolutely no clue. Many probably think they still wear feather head gear and live in teepees.
But these issues are just not touched upon. I find this disturbing.
Do the Navajo want to keep their situation private?
So why is the situation given so little attention?
If people are out of power for a month they get news coverage.
so why not a people who have not been allowed water for generations?
.several Presidents before Obama refused to sign this into action and they compound our debt into the tune of 10 trillion dollars and Obama is in office for less than a year and he signs it into action.
Occurred: Introduced Jun 26, 2008
Occurred: Reported by Committee Jun 27, 2008
Not Yet Occurred: Voted on in Senate (did not occur)
Not Yet Occurred: Voted on in House (did not occur)
Not Yet Occurred: Signed by President (did not occur)
This bill never became law. This bill was proposed in a previous session of Congress. Sessions of Congress last two years, and at the end of each session all proposed bills and resolutions that haven't passed are cleared from the books. Members often reintroduce bills that did not come up for debate under a new number in the next session.
The U.S. House gets a second crack at passing the Omnibus Public Land Management Act this week, possibly as early as Wednesday, with only a simple majority needed to designate more than 2 million acres of wilderness in nine states, including Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.
Incredibly, although not surprisingly, the House earlier this month rejected the package of 150 public lands, natural resources and water bills by a scant two votes. Colorado’s congressional delegation split on party lines, with Republicans Doug Lamborn and Mike Coffman dissenting.
Democrats in the Senate, which had originally approved the package in January by a 74-21 vote, reintroduced the measure in order to streamline it to require a simple-majority vote in the House as opposed to a two-thirds majority. The Senate passed it again last week by a 77-20 margin.
70,000 people on the Navajo Nation live without easy access to one of the most basic necessities of life. That's the same population as Santa Fe with no running water that is safe to drink, safe to wash vegetables with, safe to bathe children in. And they are U.S. citizens. In 2004, a centuries old dispute between the Navajo Nation and New Mexico over the water of the San Juan River Basin finally came to an end. In the final agreement, the Navajo Nation maintained just 56% of their San Juan water rights in exchange for a massive infrastructure project to bring running water to parts of the reservation that have gone without for centuries. In turn, the agreement provides the much-needed water reserves for New Mexico to continue to develop into the 21st century. Now in 2007 this historic water settlement will go before the halls of Congress for final approval. But will it pass? "The Water Haulers" features profiles of Navajos struggling to prosper in their dry ancestral lands, expert explanation of these pressing water rights issues, and interviews with policymakers throughout the Southwest. This documentary explores the challenges facing a culture when the basic human right of access to water is unobtainable. These are The Water Haulers. Originally broadcast on New Mexico PBS station KNME