(cross-posted to Utah Legislature Watch)
This is a no-brainer folks. The state of Utah needs to get its hands out of the affairs of the Navajo people. It finally looks like steps are being made to allow them to manage their money from a 1933 trust fund that allegedly has been mismanaged by Utah.
A long standing lawsuit has been settled which, if approved by the Utah State legislature and a host of other groups, will provide up to $33 million for the benefit of Navajos in San Juan County.
Why would the Utah State Legislature need to “approve” this?
The Pelt vs State of Utah lawsuit, alleging mismanagement of an oil royalty trust fund first created in 1937, has been brewing and simmering in the court system for decades. On January 4, federal judge William Canby helped broker a deal that resulted in the possible settlement of the matter.
The suit alleges that the mismanagement occurred over a long period of time before the State of Utah took over management of the trust fund in the 1990s. In more recent years, Utah abandoned its role as trustee. The new trustee has yet to be named and is the subject of legislation in the United States Congress.
First step: Utah legislators need to “approve” and hand over the money that rightfully belongs to this nation.
Second step: Let the people of this nation handle their own affairs, in this case managing their own money.
Sentaor Bob Bennett is sponsoring legislation in the US Senate that would turn over management of the trust fund from the state of Utah to the Utah Dineh Corporation, a group that includes representation from all of the Navajo Chapters in San Juan County.
It’s probably safe to bet that much more than $33 million was made (by white people) off of the Navajo Trust Fund than they are actually receiving back.