A group of Hopi elders has added their voices against the Navajo-Hopi Little Colorado River Water Rights Settlement Act of 2012.
“For the first time in history the Traditional Hopi Elders from the Village to Shungopavi (the Mother Village) are stepping forward to speak to the public,” says the text accompanying the video. “They have a warning for the world. They say they have been told this time would come when the water would be taken from them. If this happens it will have an effect on the whole world as they are the microcosm of the world, of the universe.”
The Navajo and Hopi tribal governments seem inclined to support the settlement itself but oppose its companion federal legislation, SB 2109. As Indian Country Today Media Network has reported, the settlement would establish water rights for the Little Colorado River, a tributary of the Colorado that runs across the southwestern border of the Navajo Nation—and near the Hopi Reservation—in northeastern Arizona.
Under the settlement, the Navajo Nation would be able to use whatever water it could pull from the Little Colorado River and the C-aquifer underlying the Navajo Nation in parts of Arizona and New Mexico. The alternative to this settlement is long-term court battles, Hopi Tribal Chairman LeRoy Shingoitewa and Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly have said. It would bring potable water to rural communities on both reservations.
The Hopi elders, though, say that the settlement would do just the opposite, depriving Indigenous Peoples of their waters.
“Now is the time that the True Hopi have been waiting for,” the video said. “It is in this lifetime they see the unfolding of Prophecies of their Ancestors and have been given instructions to not allow these things to happen. This is why they are speaking to us, to warn us, that if the water is taken from Hopi it will have a devastating effect on the planet.”