Hopi and Navajo tribes air plans to pave Low Mountain Road
KYKOTSMOVI -- The Hopi and Navajo tribes have received approval of funding for the planning and design of Low Mountain Road. Now, the question iis who exactly will spend the money to make the project move forward.
The Hopi Tribe's Transportation Team and the Navajo Nation's Transportation Committee held simultaneous meetings April 10 in Hopi Council Chambers to address joint use roads on the Hopi and Navajo reservations.
The main topic was the $1 million federal highway, planning and design appropriation for the paving of Low Mountain Road. To streamline the funding, Hopi Chairman Ivan Sidney agreed to assign the Hopi share of the funds to the Western Navajo Agency. Scott Canty, legal counsel for the Hopi Tribe, prepared a memorandum of understanding for the, transfer of funds.
Hopi BIA Agency Superintendent Wendell Honanie and Western Regional Director Omar Bradley reported the teams would still encounter delays regardless of which tribe agreed to transfer to the other.
Navajo Nation Transportation Chairman Mark Maryboy suggested the tribes exercise their sovereignty and remove the Bureau of Indian Affairs from the equation.
He also offered to name the Hopi Tribe as the recipient in the appropriation language.
The Navajo team offered to sign a MOU with the Hopi Tribe allowing them to
contract with the Navajo Nation for the construction of the road.
The give and take appeared to show feelings of trust between the two tribal governments. A follow-up meeting is planned in the Navajo Nation Council for May 17 when Chairman Sidney will address the Navajo Nation Council.
Superintendent Honanie said this was a good meeting as the two tribes supported the needs of the two areas.
"These meetings and agreements will show Congress the tribes resolution to address safety and health needs impacting both tribes," he said.
Navajo Transportation Team Chairman Mark Maryboy called the Navajo Nation Transportation Committee, meeting to order in Hopi Tribal Council Chambers.
Hopi Transportation Team Chairman Davis Pecusa, who was sitting next to Maryboy, called the Hopi team meeting to order.
Pecusa and Maryboy led discussions on road repairs, road maintenance and new road construction.
Hopi Chairman Sidney and Hopi Vice Chairman Todd Honyaoma Sr., along with council members and village leaders, welcomed the teams and encouraged cooperation for the team efforts.
Chairman Sidney praised several officials who were instrumental in obtaining funding for the paving of Low Mountain Road.
Chairman Sidney congratulated Transportation Chairman Maryboy for his leadership in the road project and his compassion for the people needing the road on the Hopi and Navajo reservations.
Sidney also recognized Navajo County Supervisor Jesse Thompson, Navajo Councilman Samson Begay and Hopi village officials for their efforts to help obtain the funding.
Hopi BIA Superintendent Wendell Honanie, Deputy Regional Director for BIA's Navajo Regional Office Omar Bradley, Navajo County Board of Supervisors Jesse
Thompson and Bahe Jackson, Jeddito Chapter President Daniel Peaches, First Mesa Community Service Administrator Leroy Lewis, Hopi High School's
Transportation Director Lyle Laban and other dignitaries packed the council chambers for the gathering.