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Navajo Nation of Arizona, New Mexico & Utah

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Nation officials and members of nearby tribes aired a host of grievances, ranging from a lack of money to requests to change the Endangered Species Act (ESA), before a panel of federal officials.

'The Navajo dream has not been realized,' former president Milton Bluehouse Sr. told the panel August 23 at the Southwest Strategy Tribal Land and People Summit in Window Rock. The panel represented the BIA, Army, Bureau of Reclamation, Department of Agriculture, National Resources Conservation Services and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Duane Yazzie, president of the Shiprock Chapter, said that while the tribe prides itself on living on the largest reservation in the country, its people are, in reality, wards of the federal government. He urged talks to take place so the sophisticated and ready nation could reclaim its own land. He also supported amendments to the ESA, saying, 'The current protection of certain animals and plants' blocks 'development of the greater Shiprock area.'

Others spoke of uranium poisoning of miners, inadequate schools, infrastructure and a lack of businesses, running water and electricity on the sprawling reservation. Children have no adequate lighting to do their homework and during the winter many cannot get to school, an educator said.