Navajo Nation Council to consider helium development bill at winter session

FARMINGTON — The Navajo Nation Council is using the time before its winter session starts on Jan. 24 to raise awareness about human trafficking. During the session, a bill authorizing helium extraction agreements may be a main topic.

January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month and Delegate Amber Kanazbah Crotty is organizing the walk in Window Rock, Arizona to bring attention to the problem and to remember missing and murdered Diné relatives.

The winter session is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. and will be held in hybrid format because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaker Seth Damon is sponsoring a bill to authorize operating agreements for helium development by the Navajo Nation Oil and Gas Company.

The company, a tribal enterprise, is seeking authorization to examine helium extraction activities within the chapters of Sanostee, Red Valley and Teec Nos Pos.

When the bill went before the Naa’bik’íyáti’ Committee in January, Damon told delegates that the project would financially help the tribe.

Opponents say while company officials have met with Sanostee Chapter leadership, individuals who hold grazing and land permits have not been consulted or have consented to the development.Some delegates during the committee commented about the lack of consideration for community members.A forum for community members to discuss the proposal with Damon and company officials was scheduled for Jan. 23 at the Sanostee Chapter house.Prior to the forum, a group called Dooda (No) Helium Extraction Organization is scheduled to host a meeting outside the chapter house at 11 a.m.Another environment-related bill proposes waiving part of […]

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