By LeRoy N. Shingoitewa, chairman of the Hopi Tribe
The Arizona Republic
I was disappointed to see the Hopi Tribe’s position on the Little Colorado River water settlement so badly mischaracterized in a Viewpoints column written by U.S. Sens. Jon Kyl and John McCain (“An endless water fight,” Aug. 12).
The settlement would resolve the rights of many parties to water in the Little Colorado’s basin and was reached after 13 years of negotiations between the Hopi Tribe, the Navajo Nation, and numerous federal and state parties.
I am acutely aware of the need for water for our people. More than 40 percent of the homes on the Hopi Reservation have no running water or indoor plumbing. Many Hopi villages receive water with more than four times the allowable levels of arsenic. Water for another village is threatened by uranium pollution. We participated in the settlement negotiations to resolve these problems. There are no Hopi Tribal Council representatives who prefer litigation over settlement.