Leta O’Daniel, Forgotten People Self Government
Consultation with The Honorable Mr. James Anaya,United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 4/24/2012
Leta O’Daniel, Member Forgotten People
The Honorable Mr. James Anaya, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Tucson, AZ, April 26-27, 2012
Self GovernmentYa’ah’teeh Honorable Special Rapporteur James Anaya. I am honored as a member of ForgottenPeople on the Navajo Nation to be part of the first mission to the US by an independent expertdesignated by the UN human rights council to report on the rights of the indigenous peoples. I supportyour testimony to Congress on the need for the US to pass legislation that abides by the declarationthey signed in 2010, which establishes minimum basic rights for indigenous people globally includingthe US.I wish to address failures of the United States
to remediate conditions in the Hopi Partition Land(HPL) where I live. When I was young, I was forced to leave my land and go to boarding school. Itried to support myself and my children until I returned home disabled as a result of an accident.The US government manufactured a Navajo Hopi Land dispute and spent over 2.5 billion dollars toforcibly relocate over 12,000 head of households (and their families) to resolve title of a former JointUse Area to clear the region for massive coal mining and water depletion. Navajos resisting relocationwere forced to sign a 75-year lease (Accommodation Agreement AA) or be called trespassers on our ancestral lands, without housing, water, civil, and human rights.When the US government began relocating people, I refused to relocate when I found out my childrenwere not entitled to anything and they only recognized head of households. Now my children aregrown and have families of their own and we still get no help from the government. My children andmy grandchildren are told they are not entitled to scholarships. One of my son’s joined the marines sohe could get the money to go to school. And there are no jobs in the area so my children andgrandchildren are displaced and the fabric of my family torn.