Native American News Roundup March 12-18, 2023
, 2023-03-18 02:16:21,
States that rely on water from the over-tapped Colorado River want the U.S. Supreme Court to block a lawsuit from the Navajo Nation that could upend how water is shared in the Western U.S.
The tribe doesn’t have enough water and says that the federal government is at fault. Roughly a third of residents on the vast Navajo Nation don’t have running water in their homes.
More than 150 years ago, the U.S. government and the tribe signed treaties that promised the tribe a “permanent home” — a promise the Navajo Nation says includes a sufficient supply of water. The tribe says the government broke its promise to ensure the tribe has enough water and that people are suffering as a result.
The federal government disputes that claim. And states, such as Arizona, California and Nevada, argue that more water for the Navajo Nation would cut into already scarce supplies for cities, agriculture and business growth.
The high court will hold oral arguments Monday in a case with critical implications for how water from the drought-stricken Colorado River is shared and the extent of the U.S. government’s obligations to Native American tribes.
A win for the Navajo Nation won’t directly result in more water for the roughly 175,000 people who live on the largest reservation in the U.S. But it’s a piece of what has been a multi-faceted approach over decades to obtain a basic need.
Tina Becenti, a mother of five, made two or three short trips a day to her mom’s house or a public water spot…
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