Logan S. and Emely M.
Navajo and Hopi Land Dispute
What is the Hopi and Navajo land dispute?
From the 1940's to the 1970's the Navajo tribe kept moving their village closer and closer to the Hopi land causing the Hopi land to raise the land issue with the U.S. government. In 1962 the courts issued the “Opinion, Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law and Judgment,” which stated that the U.S government did not grant the Navajo any type of permission to reside on the Hopi Reservation that was declared in 1882; and that the remaining Hopi land was to be shared with the Navajo. Between 1961–1964, the Hopi tribal council signed leases with the U.S government that allowed for companies to explore and drill for oil, gas and minerals within Hopi country
Who were the Hopi Tribe?
The Hopi Tribe is a sovereign nation located in northeastern Arizona. Since time immemorial the Hopi people have lived in Hopitutskwa and have maintained their sacred covenant with Maasaw to live as peaceful and humble farmers respectful of the land and its resources. Over the centuries they have survived as a tribe and to this day have managed to retain their culture, language, and religion despite influences from the outside world.
Who were the Navajo tribe?
The Navajo are the largest Indian tribe in the United States. They live on the largest reservation in the U.S. which covers over three states in the Four Corners area of the southwest; Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and a small part of Colorado. The current population is at least 160,000 and is planned to grow to a quarter of a million by the year 2000. Growth in commerce on the reservation promises to make the Navajo one of the wealthiest tribes in the country, but it does not seem that way.
Why take away their land?
After the long walk of the Navajo their livestock are being seized followed by their homelands being taken away. As the Navajos are constantly moving west the US Geological Survey conducted an investigation of North Arizona believing that there are sources of coal, oil, and uranium are underneath a portion of land also known as the Hopi and Navajo reservation land. The government are wanting to build massive coal and nuclear power plants and one of the fuels for these big projects is coal.
What are the pros and cons of this event?
The land dispute caused many arguments between the tribes and the government but the land also provided the coal to power thousands of homes in the area. The Navajo and Hopi were downsized to small territories after the government took the land to be mined the coal which is where the problems arise. The pros were the power and coal from the move but the cons was that the tribes lost their homes and were forced away. Power, thousands of kilowatts are used per day, but was moving thousands of natives worth the power gained from the coal mined?
How could have this been done differently?
The problem could be repaired by the government giving back the land after the coal is mined. This can be good because it means unused land is given back and they have more land to expand. Moral of the story the manifest destiny hurt the lives of thousands.