Editor: Douglas Drenkow

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LIBERTY: Rights & Tolerance | March 29, 1986 & April 11, 1986


A Letter to U.S. Senator Alan Cranston

Please work in favor of repealing the Navaho Relocation plan -- it's a land grab. I'm sure that wise legislators can work out another, fairer compromise between the Hopi and Navaho, one that would include compassionate treatment of the beautiful elders of each tribe, who have unfathomable roots in the land, whose coal is rightfully theirs.

Note:  I believe the use of the word "beautiful" in this context was a traditional expression of respect.

The Reply from Senator Cranston


Dear Mr. Drenkow,

Thank you for contacting me about the continuing problems re Navajo-Hopi relocation under Public Law 93-531. I, too, am concerned about the unresolved difficulties at Big Mountain.

The Congress has grappled with the relocation issue for many years. Since its original passage, P.L. 95-531 has been amended several times with the hope that a more mutually satisfactory division of lands could be achieved without denying anyone ancestral lands or the ability to maintain their religious heritage. I think a look at the effects of relocation on those most immediately affected is timely and appropriate.

I believe that it is unwise to appropriate additional funds for the relocation effort without the benefit of new field hearings.

As you are aware, there is considerable controversy over the numbers, conditions and groups to face relocation. A closer look at the present situation may clarify the problems and suggest alternative solutions.

Thank you for taking the time to contact me. I hope you will continue to share your opinions with me on this and other issues that may come before the Senate.


Alan Cranston

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