San Juan County,
Utah Native American Issues & Concerns

March 6th, 2018

Click the button below to see the entire report.

SUMMARY

  • Utah Navajo Chapter Houses need leadership and engagement from the State of Utah help advocate for basic local needs and address inequality and fairness issues.
  • Native Americans have the exact same rights as every other U.S. citizen, yet we lack basic services from governments and corporations that most Americans take for granted. Native Americans need a voice in San Juan County and in Utah politics. We ask Utah leader to work across organizations to help us secure rights, equity, and basic needs.
  • Understand tribal sovereignty, tribal government structures and protocols of each federally recognized Tribe in each legislative district. Treat Tribes as allies with shared jurisdictional responsibilities and constituencies.
  • Support the Utah delegation in passing the Utah Navajo Water Settlement Act, SB 664
  • Economic Development is a critical local need. We need a strategic plan built upon our strong cultural foundations, not a cookie cutter approach that ignores our unique strengths, skills, and talents1.
  • Uranium pollution has plagued San Juan County communities for the past 50 years. Clean-up is underway, but more assistance and preventative measures are needed. Please support and help expand the Navajo Nation’s ban on uranium mining across the region.
  • Ask San Juan County to drop its appeal of county commission voting redistricting and allow our community to heal from more than a century of Navajo people lacking access to free and fair elections. The court has ruled, and the San Juan County Commission refuses to accept the results.
  • Conduct an independent economic analysis of public funding (income and expenses) and investment in San Juan County. Native American communities pay taxes, yet are continually denied government and public services. Often the services we are “provided” are deployed in the cities of Bluff, Blanding and Monticello rather than on reservation where the people live2. As you drive through San Juan County, notice that there is wealth here, but little of it flows south, to the communities most in need3.
  • Transportation issues are a priority including road improvements, public safety and public transportation.
  • Bears Ears National Monument- please withdraw HR 4532 from US Congress. Finding a solution to protection of public lands in SJC will not be hard. Do it the right way by including all 5 Tribes at the outset of the legislative process.
  • Prejudices against Native people exist in San Juan County. Please intervene.
  • Utah Diné Bikéyah works to elevate the voices of Native Americans living in San Juan County. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions or want to help. Davina@utahdinebikeyah.org, (385) 202-4954
1 Bears Ears National Monument has dozens of direct ties economic solutions we want such as heritage tourism, traditional arts, revitalization of native food ways, development of an academic institution (USU) for training Native youth in fields such as archaeology, natural resource management, healing arts, language retention and cultural revitalization.
2 Government services such as public schools, recreation centers, public libraries, senior centers, post offices, transportation, road maintenance, emergency services are unequally distributed. Native communities also lack business services such as internet, cell coverage, groceries, banking, water and electric utilities despite population densities that justify access to these resources.
3 Investment resources exist, but we need community driven planning and fiduciary oversight to ensure successful implementation. Utah Navajo Trust Fund ($65M), Navajo Revitalization Fund ($XX), San Juan County rainy day fund ($36M).