Current Affairs Politics

Victory For Navajo Nation In US Settlement

The territory of the Navajo Nation, North America

With good news an all too precious commodity this is very welcome indeed. From the Independent newspaper:

“When senior figures from the US Government sit down with the President of the Navajo Nation in Window Rock, Arizona on Friday, their meeting will mark an historic moment in the relationship between native Americans and the country that came after them.

In the largest-ever payment made by the US to a native American tribe, the Obama administration has agreed to compensate the Navajo people to the tune of $554m (£339m), thus settling a lawsuit that had accused the federal government of mismanaging the tribe’s resources for over half a century.

The agreement will be signed at Friday’s event in Window Rock, the capital of the vast Navajo Nation, which has more than 300,000 members and covers 27,000 square miles of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, including the iconic Monument Valley. It is the largest native American nation by both land mass and population.

Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly described the settlement as “a victory for tribal sovereignty”.

The settlement is one of several similar agreements reached between the Obama administration and federally recognised tribes, in the hope of improving relations between the US and native Americans, and resolving instances of what Mr Holder called “protracted and burdensome litigation”. Together, those agreements total a reported $2.61bn.

Many Navajo people live in poverty, with unemployment levels averaging more than 40 per cent, and some tribal members in remote areas living without electricity or running water. Though the allocation of the funds from the settlement is yet to be decided, it is expected to go towards improving infrastructure, such as roads, power, water and telecommunications.”

A rare victory for the Native American nations.

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