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Sen.	  Kyl	  reiterated	  that	  the	  legislation	  embodied	  the	  agreement	  among	  the	  parties’	  representatives...
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Press Release Navajo President Ben Shelly Meets With Senator Jon Kyl To Discuss Water Settlement 5.1.2012 final

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Press Release Navajo President Ben Shelly Meets With Senator Jon Kyl To Discuss Water Settlement 5.1.2012 final

  1. 1.      Contact:  Jared  King  Navajo  Nation  Washington  Office  T  202.682.7390  C  202.200.0625  jking@nnwo.org  www.nnwo.org    For  Immediate  Release     Navajo  President  Ben  Shelly  Meets  With  Senator  Jon  Kyl  to  Discuss  Water  Settlement    WASHINGTON  –  Navajo  Nation  President  Ben  Shelly  met  with  Arizona  Sen.  Jon  Kyl  last  Thursday  to  discuss  the  Navajo-­‐Hopi  Little  Colorado  River  Water  Settlement  Agreement  and  its  companion  legislation,  S  2109.      "I  wanted  to  meet  directly  with  Senator  Kyl  to  talk  about  the  concerns  the  Navajo  people  raised  at  the  water  settlement  forums  we  had  during  the  past  two  weeks,"  President  Shelly  stated.  "Some  of  our  Navajo  people  are  concerned  with  portions  of  the  language  in  this  bill  and  want  to  be  sure  that  we  are  protecting  our  water  rights  while  ensuring  that  we  get  the  water  projects  promised  in  the  settlement.”    The  Navajo  Nation  Water  Rights  Commission  and  the  Office  of  the  President  and  Vice  President  coordinated  a  series  of  seven  community  forums  to  educate  community  members  about  the  settlement  and  the  bill  and  to  answer  questions.  The  forums  were  held  in  communities  that  would  be  directly  affected  by  the  proposed  settlement.    The  settlement  and  senate  bill  were  met  with  criticism  by  some  community  members  and  grassroots  organizations  that  contend  the  settlement  process  was  not  transparent  and  question  some  aspects  of  the  water  settlement  agreement.    During  the  hour-­‐long  meeting,  President  Shelly  and  Sen.  Kyl  discussed  ways  to  address  concerns  of  community  members  by  making  it  absolutely  clear  that  the  Navajo  Nation  does  not  waive  any  claims  to  the  main  stem  of  the  Colorado  River.  They  also  discussed  other  potential  changes  to  the  bill  that  would  clarify  portions  of  the  legislation  that  have  caused  confusion.  The  president  and  senator  also  discussed  the  objections  raised  by  community  members  and  the  Navajo  Nation  Council  concerning  the  Navajo  Generating  Station-­‐related  provisions  in  the  legislation.      President  Shelly  stated,  “This  settlement  has  many  positive  aspects  and  I  look  forward  to  continuing  the  work  necessary  to  bring  these  projects  to  our  communities.  Water  settlements  are  never  easy  and  agreements  must  be  made  to  bring  conclusion  to  our  long  standing  claims  for  the  benefit  of  the  people.”         1    
  2. 2. Sen.  Kyl  reiterated  that  the  legislation  embodied  the  agreement  among  the  parties’  representatives  and  was  intended  to  begin  a  transparent  dialogue  about  the  legislative  process.  Sen.  Kyl  also  assured  President  Shelly  that  the  legislation  will  not  be  considered  for  further  action  until  all  parties  are  in  agreement.    “It  is  now  up  to  the  tribes,  as  well  as  the  other  parties,  to  evaluate  the  facts  and  make  a  decision,”  Senator  Kyl  said.      At  the  conclusion  of  the  meeting,  President  Shelly  and  Sen.  Kyl  agreed  to  continue  working  together  to  assure  the  transparent  consideration  of  the  proposed  settlement.     ###         2    

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