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Navajo President Joe Shirley Jr., Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne and Hopi Vice Chairman Todd Honyaoma signed the historic Navajo-Hopi Intergovernmental Compact at the Heard Museum in Phoenix on Friday. Watching the signing, from left to right, are Council Delegates Harry Williams, Navajo Nation Council Speaker Lawrence T. Morgan, Duane Tsinigine, Shonto Harry Brown, Raymond Maxx, Leslie Dele former Hopi Tribal Chairman Wayne Taylor and former Navajo President Albert Hale (Photo courtesy of Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President).

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Navajo President, Hopi Vice Chairman join Interior Secretary to sign historic Compact

PHOENIX - With half the 250 people standing shoulder-to-shoulder and peering over a throng of photographers, the federal Interior secretary and the two leaders of the Navajo and Hopi nations signed documents to clear the way to coexist on a piece of land and remove a four-decade-old development ban that is unique in American history. Following brief congratulatory remarks from a U.S. senator and two congressmen, Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr., Hopi Vice Chairman Todd Honyaoma and Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne signed the historic Navajo-Hopi Intergovernmental Compact at the Heard Museum here Friday, leaving just one more signature to go - that of U.S. District Judge Earl H. Carroll - to relegate the 40-year-old Bennett Freeze Area to the history books and memory.