Kayenta Earth Week 2018

Kayenta Township designated this past week earth week, and I must say that the community of Kayenta pulled it off. Altogether the community of Kayenta gathered 60 Cubic Yards of Trash!

 

 

Trash was collected:

  • North of Laguna Creek Bridge on US Highway 163
  • Heading east out of Kayenta on US Highway 160
  • South on BIA Route N591
  • West of Kayenta on US Highway 160

 

 

 

 

 

I would like to thank the following organizations for helping out with this effort and making this possible for Kayenta.

  • Community Members of Kayenta
  • The Teachers of Kayenta Unified School District
  • Kayenta Township
  • ADOT
  • Kayenta Fire Department
  • Blue Coffee Pot
  • The Kayenta Chapter

JoDonna Hall- Ward proud owner of Blue Coffee Pot and a Kayenta Township Commissioner helped tremendously with her 40oz bottle recycling that she puts together every year.

 

 

Altogether with her efforts she was able to collect 23,033 40oz bottles. That translates to $1,151.65 of her own money that she put up to get rid of this eye sore in the community of Kayenta. The Kayenta Township is currently assisting with the hauling and disposal fees of these 40oz bottles in White Mesa, Utah with an additional estimated cost of $2000.00.

 

 

 

I truly believe we banned together as a community and made Kayenta better for our community members and visitors from all over the world. I sincerely hope that we all take pride in our community and take a sense of ownership of Kayenta that we call home. Thank you to all who came out and assisted with “Earth Week” here in Kayenta and making this week one for the books.

Ahehee!

Gabriel Yazzie – Kayenta Town Manager

 

Peshlakai’s SB1235 passes Senate, would create official Native American Day

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX Senator Peshlakai released the following statement after her bill SB1235 passed out of the Senate. SB1235 would establish June 2nd as Native American Day and an official Arizona state unpaid holiday.

Currently, California, Nevada and South Dakota have declared Native American Day an official state holiday and Tennessee celebrates American Indian Day.

“I’m deeply proud that my bill to create an official state Native American Day passed out of the Senate today. Twenty-two tribes are currently recognized in Arizona and tribal reservation land covers over a quarter of the state. An estimated five to six percent of Arizona’s total population is of Native American ancestry making it the second largest Native American population in the U.S.

“Before 1924, Native Americans were not U.S. citizens and we didn’t earn the right to vote in Arizona until 1948. With over 390,000 tribal members in Arizona and almost 11,000 veterans, it’s long past time we recognize the contributions Native Americans have made to our state’s history and the important role we play in its future. Arizona’s Native American Day is a good start and I hope my colleagues in the House will approve my bill and send it to the governor.”

 

Utah Diné Bikéyah cites creation narratives as further justification for protecting Bears Ears Triassic-Era phytosaur fossil resources

SALT LAKE CITY – Mark Maryboy, a board member for Utah Diné Bikéyah, says the recent discovery of phytosaur fossils in Bears Ears National Monument highlights another essential resource that is intimately tied to the Native wisdom, and in this case Navajo Creation narratives.

Kevin Madalena, a cultural resource coordinator for Utah Diné Bikéyah, adds that the Ancient Ones were aware of Triassic-era fossils, dinosaurs and the remains of other creatures like it, as indicated by historic Mammoth petroglyphs recorded at various ancestral Puebloan ruins.

These tribal connections around fossils and nearly every other natural resource at Bears Ears include stories, wisdom, and cultural teachings that we as tribal members have rarely shared with the public or the mainstream media. Utah Diné Bikéyah aims to show the benefits and legacy of Native oral history that showcases the diversity, intelligence and complexity of thought that these lessons hold. Dinosaurs and paleontology has shaped Southwestern Native American views of the world.

Recent media stories explained how the phytosaur and other creatures that lived in the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, are informing our scientific understanding of how “Mother Nature did experiments with life,” and called it one of the world’s richest collections of Triassic-era fossils. According to Rob Gay, the paleontologist with Colorado Canyons Association who discovered the fossil, the phytosaur closely resembles modern crocodiles and is part of the Chinle Formation.

In the Navajo creation stories, the phytosaur was most likely living during the Third World among other “Monsters.” The Third World, or Yellow World, is when the Hero Twins, deities in the Navajo universe, fought these monsters that wreaked havoc on Mother Earth’s many lifeforms. These Navajo “Hero Twins” made the world habitable by defeating most all of the monsters who roamed across DineTah (Navajo Territory), turned them into fossils and buried their blood and organs deep in the earth (some think this is oil, gas, uranium and other minerals that will wreak havoc again if dug up.) The physical evidence of these fossils that dot the landscape, combined with the life lessons of these teachings, shapes who Navajo people are today.

Some evidence of these notorious monsters still exists in Navajo territory, such as the huge bird that lived on Shiprock, a fossil bed in Red Mesa, Ariz., and dinosaur tracks near Tuba City, Ariz., all of which were killed by the Hero Twins and the weapons they secured from their father, the Sun.

“The monsters have been here since the First World,” explained Maryboy, who is also a Navajo cultural practitioner. “But, in the Third World, they became so big!”

Maryboy explained that the Hero Twins and other living beings in Third World had to listen to the universe and relied on astronomy for information to defeat these monsters. Such modern examples among Navajo people today are the use of star-gazers to help heal patients back into a harmonious state with nature, or Hozho.

During this primordial time, as the Hero Twins slayed these monsters, ceremonies, with guidance from Navajo deities, were created to protect and cleanse the spirit of the twins. This is where ceremonies like the Enemy Way emerged, Maryboy said, alluding to the association of how Navajo ceremonies were created to fight monsters, possibly like the phytosaur, before Navajos emerged as a people into the current, Glittering Fourth World, and continue to exercise these ceremonies today.

“A lot of what I am telling you is lost on the public. There are very few of us that know this knowledge,” Maryboy said, adding that the texts “Sharing the Skies: Navajo Astronomy” and “The Book of the Navajo” are sources that verify his claim. Yet, at the same time, every Navajo child is taught lessons derived from these teachings.

According to Madalena, the era in which the Tyrannosaurs lived and when humans emerged is determined by the Creator, or intellectual designer of the universe.

“Right now, it’s our turn to live. We were not meant to live during a T-Rex era,” explained Madalena, who is Jemez Pueblo and a trained paleontologist. “We have proof at the Bears Ears National Monument that ruins have Fremont Age 1 and Basketmaker II construction, with some of the kivas intentionally included Theropod fossils hauled from great distances and inserted as hearths or decorations in prominent locations in the home. Fossils are important to who we are.”

“We know that old Puebloans drew mammoths being hunted. They knew of the larger animals long after they existed. The depictions in petroglyphs come close to what we see in the modern dinosaurs at collections in museums.”

Madalena added the phytosaur discovery is an important piece of data and could help us understand climate change, particularly when the U.S. military has recently asked paleontologists and geologists about how to prepare for climatic threats. Similar threats to what we are experiencing today may have caused mass extinctions during other time periods.

“All that data is irreplaceable,” he said, referring to how the Trump Administration’s recent approval for Energy Fuels, Inc. to begin mining at the Danero’s Mine further disrupts tribal connections to Bears Ears.

Madalena previously worked with Gay as a member of the Bureau of Land Management and collaborated with Adrienne Mayor on “Fossil Legends of the First Americans.”

“As earth historians, we need to look at the data on earth before humans were here,” added Madalena. “That’s why it’s absolutely imperative that we protect Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. You cannot use an algorithm to construct environmental models out of thin air. The extraction of energy resources should always be weighed against the values that may be destroyed in the process, and in the case of Bears Ears Native wisdom should be given a chance to teach us what we know.”

Sen. Peshlakai’s SB1235 State Holiday; Native American Day

Sen. Peshlakai has introduced her SB1235 state holiday; Native American day. This bill proposes to designate July 15 as an official state holiday—Native American Day—to recognize and celebrate the Indigenous people, culture, and heritage of Arizona. The bill is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Committee on Government next Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 2 p.m., or upon adjournment of the Senate Floor Session.

Sen. Peshlakai would like the 22 Tribes of Arizona to show their support of this bill by providing testimony before the Government Committee and logging their position of support online. There are several ways you can do this—by registering with the Arizona Legislature’s ‘Request To Speak’ (RTS) system and either requesting to speak before the Committee, or logging your support of the bill. Any person can indicate their position to any bill at the Legislature, and can register to provide testimony to bills by using the RTS system. If you have not previously created a profile with the Legislature and wish to do so, you must first register at kiosks provided in the respective lobbies of either the House or the Senate here in Phoenix at the State Capitol. After creating a profile on the RTS system, you may log your positions on bills from any device online at www.azleg.gov.

 

Finalists Present Design Concepts, Share Their Vision for the National Native American Veterans Memorial

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian hosted the finalists, James Dinh, Daniel SaSuWeh Jones (Ponca) and Enoch Kelly Haney (Seminole), Harvey Pratt (Cheyenne/Arapaho), Stefanie Rocknak, and Leroy Transfield (M?ori: Ngai Tahu/Ngati Toa), who will advance to the second stage of the National Native American Veterans Memorial design competition.

The five finalists—chosen from a pool of 120 completed submissions—shared their vision for the memorial and presented their initial design concepts at “Meet Your Designers,” a public event held at the museum this afternoon. Each had 15 minutes to introduce themselves, explain why they entered the competition and describe their concept-designs. At the event Kevin Gover, director of the museum, spoke of the gravity of the responsibility to design a national memorial to Native American veterans. Native Americans have served in every American conflict since the Revolution and have served at a higher rate per capita than any other group throughout the 20th century. Gover, with an Advisory Committee consulted Native American veterans throughout the United States to learn what is important to them in a memorial. “Most important is their pride in what they have done and their commitment to the wellbeing of the United States,” said Gover. “To realize that these men and women served well a country that had not kept its commitments to their communities over its history. They are perfectly aware of it, and yet they chose to serve. And to me that reflects a very deep kind of patriotism. A belief in the promises of a country that had not kept its promises to them up to that time. I can think of no finer example of being Americans than the way these men and women chose to serve over those years.”  The event was webcast and is archived at http://nmai.si.edu/explore/multimedia/webcasts/

Links to view the finalist’s design are below:

  • James Dinh
  • Daniel SaSuWeh Jones (Ponca) and Enoch Kelly Haney (Seminole)
  • Harvey Pratt (Cheyenne/Arapaho)
  • Stefanie Rocknak
  • Leroy Transfield (M?ori: Ngai Tahu/Ngati Toa)The memorial is slated to open in 2020 on the grounds of the museum.
  • This project is made possible by the generous support of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Bank of America, Northrop Grumman, the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Hobbs, Straus, Dean & Walker LLP, General Motors, Lee Ann and Marshall Hunt, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and the Sullivan Insurance Agency of Oklahoma.
  • The finalists will have until May 1 to evolve and refine their design concepts to a level that fully explains the spatial, material and symbolic attributes of the design and how it responds to the vision and design principles for the National Native American Veterans Memorial. The final design concepts for Stage II will be exhibited at both the Washington, D.C., and New York museums May 19 through June 3. The museum’s blue-ribbon jury of Native and non-Native artists, designers and scholars will judge the final design concepts and announce a winner July 4.

About the National Native American Veterans Memorial

The museum was commissioned by Congress to build a National Native American Veterans Memorial that gives “all Americans the opportunity to learn of the proud and courageous tradition of service by Native Americans in the Armed Forces of the United States.” Working with the National Congress of American Indians and other Native American organizations, the museum is in its third year of planning for the memorial. To help guide this process, the museum formed an advisory committee composed of tribal leaders and Native veterans from across the country who have assisted with outreach to Native American communities and veterans. From 2015 until the summer of 2017, the advisory committee and the museum conducted 35 community consultations to seek input and support for the memorial. These events brought together tribal leaders, Native veterans and community members from across the nation and resulted in a shared vision and set of design principles for the National Native American Veterans Memorial. For more information about the memorial, visit www.AmericanIndian.si.edu/NNAVM.

About the National Museum of the American Indian

The National Museum of the American Indian is committed to advancing knowledge and understanding of the Native cultures of the Western Hemisphere—past, present and future—through partnership with Native people and others. Located on the National Mall at Fourth Street and Independence Avenue S.W., the museum is open each day from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). It is accessible from L’Enfant Plaza Metrorail station via the Maryland Avenue/Smithsonian Museums exit. Follow the museum via social media on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. To learn more about the museum’s mission, visit AmericanIndian.si.edu.

150 Years Later Navajo Nation Treaty With the U.S. Government Travels to Navajo Nation

Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian Will Show Treaty Before It Travels to Navajo Nation Museum

Signed on paper torn from an army ledger book, the Navajo Nation Treaty, signed June 1, 1868, reunited the Navajo with the land taken from them. From 1863 to 1866, the U.S. Army forced more than 10,000 Navajo from their homeland to Bosque Redondo, a camp in the New Mexico desert. The U.S. then sent Gen. William T. Sherman to make them agree to move to “Indian Territory” (Oklahoma), but the Navajo made an eloquent case to Sherman to allow them to return home instead. In 1868, the Navajo became the only Native Nation to use a treaty to avoid removal and return home. This treaty guaranteed a reservation in Dinétah, Navajo for “among the people.” Dinétah includes northwestern New Mexico, southwestern Colorado, southeastern Utah and northeastern Arizona.

As a part of the exhibition “Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations,” the National Museum of the American Indian is rotating treaties between the United States and Native Nations. On Feb. 20, the museum will install the Treaty between the United States Government and the Navajo Indians Signed at Fort Sumner, New Mexico Territory, June 1, 1868. All 20 pages of the original document, on loan from the National Archives and Records Administration, will be on view through early May.

In May, the treaty will move from the museum to the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, Ariz. There it will be on display by June 1, in time for the 150th anniversary of the signing of the treaty, through July 5. This is the first time this treaty will be on display in the tribal museum.

In addition to displaying the Navajo Nation treaty, the museum will also showcase a newly installed Navajo loom, on loan from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Its woven hanging blends Navajo designs with the American flag. It was likely intended as a diplomatic gift from Juanita (Asdzáá T?’ogi), the wife of Navajo leader Manuelito, to the U.S. Manuelito is best known for resisting the Americans until 1866, when he and around 50 people from his band finally surrendered and were taken to Bosque Redondo. His advocacy for Navajo sovereignty persisted beyond the removal and into the late 19th century.

Displaying original treaties in “Nation to Nation” is made possible by the National Archives, an exhibition partner. Several of the treaties required extensive conservation treatment by the National Archives’ conservator prior to loan. There are a total of over 370 ratified Indian treaties in the National Archives. For more information about these treaties, see https://www.archives.gov/research/native-americans/treaties. The next treaty to go on display at the National Museum of the American Indian will be the Treaty with the Delaware, 1778 in early May.

The treaty currently on display is the Treaty with the Potawatomi, 1809, also known as the second treaty of Fort Wayne. This treaty between the United States and the Miami, Delaware, Potawatomi and Eel River tribes spurred Shawnee chief Tecumseh’s movement to halt U.S. expansion in Indian Country and join the British against the U.S. in the War of 1812. This original document has been on display since Sept. 19, 2017.

The National Museum of the American Indian is committed to advancing knowledge and understanding of the Native cultures of the Western Hemisphere—past, present and future—through partnership with Native people and others. Located on the National Mall at Fourth Street and Independence Avenue S.W., the museum is open each day from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25).  The museum is on FacebookTwitter and Instagram, and at AmericanIndian.si.edu.

Native American Tribes Remain Opposed to H.R. 4532 at its Second Hearing

Washington, D.C. (January 30, 2018) – Leaders of the five Tribes defending Bears Ears National Monument are disturbed by Representative John Curtis’ (R, Utah) continued defense of his bill (H.R. 4532) to legislatively confirm the President’s unlawful action rescinding and replacing the monument.

H.R. 4532, the “Shash Jáa National Monument and Indian Creek National Monument Act,” is an attack on our sovereignty, it conflicts with the United States’ policy of tribal self-determination, and violates the Federal Government’s treaty, trust and government-to-government relationship with our federally recognized tribes. The bill would also all but eliminate our tribal voice by creating a management council that is dominated by the same state and local interests who have repeatedly called for the elimination of Bears Ears National Monument.

At the request of Democratic Committee members, H.R. 4532 today was the subject of an unusual continuation of January 9th’s hearing in the Subcommittee on Federal Lands of the House Committee on Natural Resources. The request to continue the hearing today was made when only one tribal representative was allowed by the majority to testify at the bill’s first hearing. Today, official representatives of the Hopi Tribe, Navajo Nation, Ute Indian Tribe, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, and the Pueblo of Zuni all delivered testimony.  The full testimonies of the five tribes from today’s hearing may be downloaded here.

“This is not a bill designed to help protect the lands for the tribes,” said Navajo Nation Council Delegate Davis Filfred. “It is a bill that provides near-exclusive control of these federal lands in the state and local counties’ hands, and gives only lip service to tribal interests.”

“Chairman Bishop and Congressman Curtis, as well as other supporters of H.R. 4532, continually make misleading and false claims that they are supporting ‘local tribe’ or empowering the voices of ‘local tribes,’” said Tony Small, Vice Chairman of the Ute Indian Tribe Business Committee. “The ‘local tribes’ Chairman Bishop and Congressman Curtis are referring to are individual tribal members cherry picked by the Congressmen for their support of H.R. 4532, and this bill is an attempt disrupt and undermine tribal governments by negotiating with individual tribal members.”

Clark Tenakhongva, Vice-Chairman of the Hopi Tribe said: “The Hopi Tribe objects to being excluded from authority under H.R. 4532. We reject any assertion that the Hopi Tribe does not belong at Bears Ears. Our clans have long, close, and spiritual connections to these sacred lands and they must be protected. We appreciate the support of numerous other tribes, Members of Congress, and the public to protect Bears Ears National Monument. We oppose H.R. 4532 and support bills that would realize our tribes’ vision for Bears Ears – Representative Gallego’s Bears Ears National Monument Expansion Act and Senator Udall’s ANTIQUITIES Act of 2018.”

Carleton Bowekaty, Pueblo of Zuni Councilman said: “In contrast to the Obama Proclamation’s respect for the tribes’ historic and strong connections to Bears Ears, and the balance it provides to ensure that other interested parties have a voice in management issues, H.R. 4532 contains what we view as a radical provision giving local politicians effective control of management and use decisions.”

“Representative Curtis’ bill retains the same failing as the Trump proclamation: it does not protect the landscape in a way that is meaningful and lasting, and it fragments and disconnects the Bears Ears cultural landscape,” said Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye. “For the bill to claim that it creates ‘the first tribally managed national monument,’ is an affront to tribal sovereignty and an insult to the intelligence of anyone who has actually read the bill.”

Bears Ears has been home to Hopi, Navajo, Ute, Ute Mountain Ute, and Zuni people since time immemorial. Bears Ears National Monument was designated in 2016 to protect countless archeological, cultural, and natural resources. Without appropriate protection, American citizens and the world would lose the opportunity to enjoy one of the most remote and wondrous landscapes found anywhere. The monument is also a celebration of tribal voices, cultures, and sacred sites, all containing timeless volumes of tribal knowledge that our tribes intend to foster and share to promote well-being in our tribal communities, southeastern Utah, and the United States.

Tribes Respond To Trump’s Evisceration Of Bears Ears National Monument

Elected officials from the Navajo Nation, Ute Indian Tribe, and Ute Mountain Ute Tribe hosted a press conference to respond to President Trump’s elimination of 85% of Bears Ears National Monument. This action is an attack on Native American people, culture, history, and tribal sovereignty and may result in opening up 2 million acres to mining interests.The Tribes have already filed suit today to challenge the President’s assault on our public lands. Utah Diné Bikéyah along with other organizations is also prepared to back the Tribes. Tribal Commission input was reduced on 94% of the land, while protection was removed from 85% of the land. This is an unprecedented executive action to undermine Bears Ears National Monument.

Speakers included: Jonathan Nez, Vice President, Navajo Nation, Harold Cuthair, Chairman, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Shaun Chapoose, Council Member, Ute Indian Tribe, Davis Filfred, Council Delegate, Navajo Nation, and Ethel B. Branch, Attorney General, Navajo Nation.

Full Facebook livestream can be viewed here: https://www.facebook.com/protectbearsears/videos/1480156805435408/

Shaun Chapoose, Ute Indian Tribe Business Committee Member stated, “If it’s a fight they want, it’s a fight they are going to get. They declared war on us today. When it’s all said and done, just remember this didn’t have to happen. You (the Utah Delegation) could have honored our request to protect our heritage.”

Willie Grayeyes, Chairman of Utah Diné Bikéyah said, “Bears Ears National Monument was created to safeguard the history of five Native American Tribes and to protect their ongoing cultural uses of the land. This is a landscape that has been mined, looted and desecrated for 150 years and today, President Trump opened 85% of the land back up to these abuses. The current administration is playing politics with our native heritage, without even having the courage to look us in the eye. We have no other choice but to seek legal remedies against this illegal action, to listen to our people, and to restore hope in a future that is inclusive of Native American rights and interests on the land.”

Ethel Branch, Attorney General of the Navajo Nation stated, “What we saw today is a tremendous affront to tribal sovereignty and it is a tremendous overreach of executive authority. We intend to hold the president accountable for his actions in federal court.”

Photos available for royalty-free media use are available:

Places cut from leaked Bears Ears boundaries: https://goo.gl/L8t5HT

People can support the legal defense of Bears Ears National Monument by donating to:

http://utahdinebikeyah.org/defend-bears-ears/

 

Interior Executes Water Rights Settlement Agreement with Pechanga Band of Luiseño Mission Indians

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and Mark Macarro, Chairman of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Mission Indians today signed the Pechanga Water Rights Settlement Agreement (Agreement), formally executing a Congressionally authorized pact that protects the Pechanga Band’s access to groundwater in the region and provides the tribe with more than $30 million in federal funding to pay for water storage projects.

The Agreement quantifies the water rights claims for the Pechanga Band in Southern California’s Temecula Valley, which had been pending in an adjudication dating back to the 1950s; resolves potential liability for both the United States and other parties; and establishes a cooperative and efficient water management regime involving Pechanga and local agencies.

“The Federal Government has a critical responsibility to uphold our trust responsibilities, especially Tribal water rights,” Secretary Zinke said. “This is why we are continuing to work on Indian Water Settlements with Tribes, States, and all water users to ensure there is certainty for all and an opportunity for economic development in local communities. As a former State Senator and Congressman who helped usher the Blackfeet compact through to fruition, I understand all too well the hard work and enormous struggle that goes into making these important water rights settlements possible. I congratulate all of you for your perseverance, dedication, and commitment to making this settlements happen.”

“The Pechanga Band has tirelessly pursued the quantification of its water rights and, through negotiations, engaged its neighbors in a multiyear process of building mutual trust and understanding,” said Pechanga Chairman Macarro. “Generations of tribal leaders have fought from the courts to Capitol Hill to protect this vital resource for future generations. This settlement agreement benefits all of the parties by securing adequate water supplies for the Pechanga Band and its members and encouraging cooperative water resources management among all of the parties.”

Zinke commended the congressional sponsors of the Settlement Act legislation, saying they “fought to bring these settlements across the finish line.” The agreement – introduced by Rep. Ken Calvert, (R-Corona) – settles competing claims involving the Rancho California Water District and the Eastern Municipal Water District, which both draw from the large aquifer in the region that stretches 750 square miles from Southwest Riverside County to north San Diego County .

“For the tribe, local community, and the many federal employees who have contributed to these settlements, seeing these agreements signed is the culmination of years of dedication and hard work. I think we all recognize that this is just the start of the journey towards settlement finality,” Zinke said.

“The Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, as well as all of the parties to this settlement, deserve to have some certainty on the future of their water supply,” Rep. Calvert said. “I’m grateful we have been able to enact the settlement and ensure all of the stakeholders in the Santa Margarita River Watershed can better shape their future.”

Interior is in the initial stages of implementing the Settlement Act, which was enacted as part of the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (P.L. 114-322) in 2016. The Departments of Justice and Interior have an established protocol for processing settlement agreements for execution.

The Act and Agreement establishes the Pechanga Settlement Fund and authorizes the appropriation of about $3 million to be deposited into the fund to construct a storage pond. The legislation also authorizes the appropriation of about $26 million, with about $4 million in construction overrun costs, to build interim and permanent capacity for water storage, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Also attending today’s event were Pechanga Council Members, including Catalina R. Chacon; Robert Munoa; Russell Murphy; Marc Luker; Raymond Basquez Jr. and Michael Vasquez. Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Bernhard and Associate Deputy Secretary Jim Cason also joined the ceremony.

Water resources and management of scare water supplies are central concerns in the Western states. Additionally, in many parts of the West, water resources are now either fully appropriated or over-appropriated. These situations underscore the need for cooperative management of water supplies, and highlight the important role that Indian water rights settlements can play in the West.