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Navajo-Hopi Observer | Flagstaff, Arizona

home : opinions : opinions May 3, 2016

5/8/2012 10:52:00 AM
Letter: Water settlements will not support a growing population

To the editor:

Water is very precious and sacred to us Navajo people as well at the Hopi people. We consider the earth and its natural resources to be sacred. I believe the word sacred means respect. People deserve respect because we see them as living beings that have a right to justice in every aspect of life. Life means you have a natural right to live and we should respect that. Well, as Navajo people we see the earth as a living entity. Since we view the earth and its resources as living entities, it too deserves respect and justice. We cannot put a price on people because it's disrespectful and unethical. Therefore, as Native people, we cannot put a price on water, which is a part of the earth and is a precious resource we depend on to survive.

Native Americans have a history of turmoil with the government, which killed our people and took our lands, and temporarily relocated our people. We fought with blood, sweat, tears, and most importantly, our brains to protect our rights to return to our homeland and respect of the earth. We once agreed to sign treaties to give up most of our lands for the sake of our people. Since then, we, the people, have educated ourselves enough to realize that the United States government, is our enemy. The people must understand that our reservations are no longer enough for our children and grandchildren. We do not have enough land because our grandfathers were faced with difficult circumstances. They sacrificed our lands to give us the chance to educate ourselves and fight for every other resource we have left. The population of the Native people is growing and the reservations can no longer accommodate our growing numbers to sustain our sovereign way of life.

Water settlements will not support the growing population. We must think about our children, grandchildren, and their children. The past has proven that settling with the government doesn't ensure the security of our people. We should learn from our mistakes, and fight for everything we are destined to. Let us not waste lands that our grandfathers knew were full of gold, just not the kind of gold everyone came to America for.

Vontriva Tacheene

Tuba City, Ariz.

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