Haaland slaps Navajo Nation in the face with Chaco Canyon decision

On Friday, Joe Biden’s U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, a former Democrat congresswoman from New Mexico, released her decision regarding banning drilling near Chaco Canyon. 

Haaland declared that she would issue the withdrawal of federal lands within a 10-mile radius of Chaco Canyon from new oil and natural gas leasing for the next 20 years.

The decision ignored opposition from the Navajo Nation and conflicts of interest with her own daughter, Somah Haaland, lobbying Congress in support of the ban. 

“Despite her conflicts of interest, Secretary Haaland announced a withdrawal of land around Chaco that threatens the livelihoods of 5,500 Navajos near the park. She completely ignored the democratic resolutions of the sovereign Navajo Nation whose lands surround the park to put the interests of her tribe, based a hundred miles away, and obstructionist groups first,” said Kathleen Sgamma, president of Western Energy Alliance (WEA). 

“The decision prevents Navajo property owners from accessing the oil and natural gas resources they own which provide them with their sustenance. Secretary Haaland didn’t even consider the Navajo compromise proposal when conducting the NEPA analysis necessary to support this decision, which leaves her and the Interior Department legally vulnerable.”

In May, the Navajo Nation voted to reject any buffer around Chaco Canyon. In its resolution, the 25th Navajo Nation Council stated, “If the buffer zone is adopted, the Navajo allottees who rely on the income realized from oil and natural gas royalties will be pushed into greater poverty.” 

“The economic costs of Interior’s land withdrawal and prohibition of oil and natural gas leasing will cost Navajo members an estimated $194 million over the next 20 years. Exposing the secretary’s fallacy that it will not impact Navajo lands, the Council noted that the withdrawal will cause Navajo lands to be landlocked and inaccessible to development,” noted WEA. 

The group noted, “Sec. Haaland has several conflicts of interest related to Chaco as the Alliance pointed out in a recent letter to the House Committee on Natural Resources. The secretary’s conflicts involve her daughter’s ties to the climate group Pueblo Action Alliance (PAA). While ignoring the Navajos during the review process, Sec. Haaland granted PAA special access to her office to further her daughter’s lobbying activities.”

In a November 2021 letter to Sec. Haaland, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, and Vice President Myron Lizer wrote, “By simply bypassing true and inclusive tribal consultation with the Navajo Nation and our Individual Indian Allottees, the Biden-Harris Administration is markedly undermining the trust responsibility they owe to the Navajo Nation and the 22,000 Individual Indian Allottees impacted by this decision.”

Despite the pushback from tribal stakeholders, Haaland flatly ignored the Nation’s input to instead push forward her daughter’s lobbying efforts on behalf of eco-left dark money organizations. 


13 thoughts on “Haaland slaps Navajo Nation in the face with Chaco Canyon decision”

  1. Sure looks like a biased decision from several directions which can legally be reversed. She is promoted beyond her potential.

  2. Richard Herrera

    What did you expect from her? She was asked to withdraw from two different tribes before she Became a Congresswoman! Only people she is going to help is her and immediate family. The good people of the Navajo Nation are not going to get her help or consideration unless it benefits her first!

  3. Perhaps now the government can stop the pretense that this is a 20-year moratorium to protect yet-undiscovered archeological sites surrounding Chaco Canyon. Everyone knows that is a big, fat lie. It was only done to stop new oil and gas exploration in one of the most productive areas in the country. The result will be poorer Navajos and a more foreign-oil dependant United States.

  4. She’s from a pueblo. Navajos and pueblos dislike each other and have always been at each others’ throats. Now a pueblo member gets to screw the Navajos with the government’s blessing!

  5. When appointed to her position she couldn’t answer questions Republicans asked she NEVER HAD A PLAN IN PLACE. Her daughter (the anti-American) was advising her which if she did just confirms she lacked vision and had no IDEA what her job entails but seemed the advise of her unqualified family member. When APPOINTING Natives to positions that requires skill and vision, selecting Token INDIAN is a terrible direction especially when managing the vast landscape of our country needs someone who understands the perspective of her or his job. Just another failure of the Biden administration.

  6. Chaco Canyon is still not fully understood, it appears it sets on global ley lines, is spiritually energetically significant, and more important to preserve for our children for generations, not short term financial gain.

    1. I almost feel sorry for Ms. Haaland, a box checking nominee from Jao Xidung’s fraudulent administration:
      ✓ minority
      ✓ feMale
      ✓ Native American
      ✓ box’Orocks dumb
      By picking a weak, unqualified and unprepared person who would be easy to manipulate by the shadow people who are really running this clown car they can push their green agenda without exposing themselves.

  7. For many years the desire for the dollar has harmed our land. I have been to Chaco. Thank you for protecting this place so that my grandchildren and those that come after can feel its glory.

  8. This is very sad and disgrace to exploit the poor people of the SW. That’s always been the foremost problems with any type of economic issues for many generations. More than likely this fanatical decisions with respect to our paternalistic government will make our lives weakened for many more generations. What do we do with our lives will depend on what we hope and wish it to be. Let’s not bow our heads to any mistakes against our wishes.

  9. I am not understanding the harm that is being done to “individual allotees” or to the Navajo Nation. The territory that Haalnd is protecting from drilling applies only to public lands and associated mineral rights within a 10-mile (16-kilometer) radius of the park. It does not apply to entities that are privately, state- or tribal-owned. Existing leases won’t be impacted either.

    If this upset is about jobs- and not individual allotees- seems to me that there is enough oil and gas outside of this protected area for the oil and gas industry to continue to drill and provide jobs and business to the Nation. Sadly, it is also true, that there is enough to continue to destroy life on the planet, but for that we all bear the blame. .

  10. Haaland grew up in Albuquerque,she went to Wilson middle school and Highland high school,she was a party animal and has 3DUI’s.She took assistance anywhere she could get it and has no moral character.

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