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Navajo speaker proposes water rights legislation

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Navajo Nation Speaker Johnny Naize says the
next step toward settling Navajo and Hopi claims to the Little Colorado River
system will be tribal legislation.

Naize held a news conference in Window Rock, Ariz., on Saturday to announce
his sponsorship of legislation that would support a proposed water rights

The Navajo and Hopi tribes would waive further claims to water from the Little
Colorado in exchange for the promise of groundwater delivery projects under
legislation introduced in Congress earlier this year by Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl.

Tribal leaders have said the settlement won’t move forward without the
blessing of their people. The settlement would also require the approval of
about 30 other entities.

Naize says having Navajo lawmakers consider the settlement legislation would
allow both supporters and critics to come to the table for a healthy debate.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.