‘No’ vote on Escalade project is not a win for tribes, caters to special interest groups

To the editor:

I am writing in regards to the “No” Vote on the Grand Canyon Escalade Project from the council chambers Oct. 31.

First of all, we strongly advocate for job creation and to create economic opportunities for our people. We fight for the little people who feel overlooked and left behind.

The no vote on the Escalade Project by the misguided council delegates was a major win for the outside special interest groups; Grand Canyon Trust and the Sierra Club, which wants its friends, the Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association (GCPBA), to continue to use the sacred Confluence as their playground and to continue to make huge amounts of money on their long list of reservations to make river trips down the Colorado River on a daily basis.

This no vote on the project was not a win for the apologist and lackey Save the Confluence people. This was a not win for the Hopi Tribe either, or other people who opposed the project. They just helped save the sacred place for outsiders, who are going to continually cash in on their river trips for years to come. These outsiders will continue to use the Confluence as a playground for themselves and their list of thousands of guests.

Yes, this is a major win for the special interest group at a huge tremendous scale, no more, no less. They have the assets, time and luxury to pay for radio time, newspaper adds and to pay people to protest, and set up shop for signatures for the sole purpose of preventing any type of job creation and opportunities on our homeland.

Let’s be totally honest here, we were dealing with very desperate people here. They went as far as paying for campaigns for candidates running for office at various levels of our so called sovereign nation.

These are the same people who are the major players in shutting down the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) by Page, Arizona. By 2019, they will kill over a 1,000 high paying jobs, with absolutely no alternative plan for employees who are going to lose their jobs and livelihood. Most of these employees worked at NGS for 20, 30, 40 or more years.

I have a hard time understanding our Hopi brothers and sisters. They back these special interest organizations, whichn the process of killing jobs at NGS. Once the Navajo Generating Station closes down, they, themselves, will lose millions of dollars too. How do they plan to replace millions of dollars lost? By selling arts and crafts?

Allegedly, starting in 2014, the outsiders have meddled in our election process as outsiders and nobody questions this illegal activity. We could not believe this was happening and nobody in authority positions came out to at least question this activity. Nobody in elected positions did the right thing, which is to stop this illegal activity.

The special interests paid for campaigns, in return, to say no to the Escalade Project. The campaign contributions went all the way to our Navajo Nation president. Our leaders became nothing but puppets to outside influences. And this no vote by council delegates is proof of that.

This is not common sense and it sure is not common decency. We would think our so called leaders would know the difference between right and wrong.

Sadly, we have young and old from all over the reservations who are ready to commit their lives with their talents and skills to our Nation. They are ready to make tremendous contributions with their work ethics and life experience. Our Nation needs their enthusiastic energy. We let them down.

Sincerely,

Larry Hanks, Bodaway/Gap

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