The Navajo Nation has publicly released a proposed agreement to settle water rights claims in Arizona.
The proposed settlement is close to completion with the U.S., Arizona, the Hopi Tribe, the San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe, and parties to the Little Colorado River.
Claims also include the Colorado River Upper Basin, the Colorado River Lower Basin, the Gila River Basin, and groundwater.
The Navajo Nation held a public education forum Wednesday night on the radio, which was also streamed online.
Navajo Nation Attorney General Ethel Branch says the tribe is providing advanced information about the proposed settlement to Navajo people in the interest of transparency.
“The Nation has tried to settle its Arizona water rights in various different capacities in the past for about three decades. And we now are excited to share with you that we’re on the verge of a final settlement for the Nation’s comprehensive water rights in the state of Arizona. In the recent past, in particular, a lot of the discussion has focused on the Little Colorado River Basin and we haven’t had as much discussion about the Upper Basin, the full extent of the Lower Basin, or the Gila River Basin water rights of the Nations. We are still in negotiations.”
Navajo officials say once the settlement is final, which is expected in early March, legislation will be introduced to the Navajo Nation Council for approval.
Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren says the Nation’s primary objective is to affirm and quantify their rights to water in Arizona and secure funding to build much needed water delivery infrastructure on the Navajo Nation.
In April, the tribe established a team to work on the settlement.
More than a dozen meetings are planned to be held in Arizona communities in the next few weeks to discuss the proposed settlement agreement.
A Minnesota organization is getting a baby food product out to consumers.
The ingredients and the packaging are designed to appeal to parents of Indigenous babies.
Mike Moen reports.
The Indigenous Peoples Task Force is trying to hit reset on the unhealthy diet European colonizers forced upon Native American populations.
The first jars of Indigi-Baby food were released in 2023, providing families with a wholesome and sustainable alternative to commercial products.
The group’s executive director Sharon Day says they want these youngsters to start their lives with a diet more consistent with what their tribal ancestors consumed.
“The wild rice, the blueberries – these are all ingredients and produce from North America, Indigenous to this land – the same way we are. ”
The ingredients are grown locally, using heirloom seeds and methods that forgo the extractive approach of industrial agriculture.
The IPTF markets these products using glass jars featuring an Indigenous baby on the label because, Day says, that helps with Native representation in retail sales, while also avoiding plastic pouches that might expose the child to toxic chemicals.
While some of these strategies might boost production expenses, Day says it’s worth it to help reverse longstanding chronic health issues within Native communities.
“The diseases that we have, that we’re dying from are diabetes, stroke and degenerative heart disease – and these are all caused by our diet. ”
In distributing the first jars of Indigi-Baby, the IPTF prioritized community health clinics and food shelves, in Minnesota and elsewhere.
Project officials add that grocers are asking when they can stock these products, which may start appearing on regular store shelves as production capacity increases.
This story is a collaboration with original reporting by Jay Gabler for Arts Midwest.
Scott George and the Osage Singers will perform live at the Oscars the song “Wahzhazhe” (A Song For My People) from the film Killers of the Flower Moon.
The song is nominated for an Oscar.
The awards ceremony takes place Sunday, March 10 on ABC.