Grand Canyon Trust to support Protect the Confluence Coalition efforts
FLAGSTAFF – The Grand Canyon Trust has accepted an invitation from the People of the Confluence, an organized group of local families and voters from the Bodaway/Gap Chapter, to join their campaign to oppose the proposed Escalade development at the confluence of the Little Colorado and Colorado rivers. The People of the Confluence are adamantly opposed to the development being pushed by Confluence Partners, LLC and have launched a campaign against the development because it is culturally insensitive to the traditional lifestyle led by many Navajo families, and will potentially harm sacred sites and prayer offering locations.
In a letter dated September 21, the People of the Confluence extended a formal invitation to several nonprofit organizations, coalitions, local tribal nations, and grassroots organizers to collaborate as the Protect the Confluence Coalition and assist them in their efforts to oppose the development.
“The Confluence Partners, LLC has vigorously pushed their proposed development on the Bodaway/Gap community and across the Western Agency of the Navajo Nation,” stated the letter from the People of the Confluence to invited coalition members. “The Confluence Partners, LLC’s inappropriate actions in our community have disrupted family, community relationships, and altered the balance of K’e (kinship).”
Registered voters in the Bodaway/Gap Chapter have voted twice against the Escalade development on May 20 and July 22. However, despite the resolutions, Confluence Partners, LLC have resorted to highly inappropriate tactics to push the development. Furthermore, the People of the Confluence believe they have been misrepresented by the Confluence Partners, LLC and well-financed outside interests pushing their agenda. Because their strategies have created divisiveness and hostility within the community, the People of the Confluence have requested the assistance of neighboring allies to assist them in mobilizing as a Coalition to help organize public outreach and education, among other things.
The Protect the Confluence Coalition members currently include Diné Medicine Man Association, Inc., Forgotten People, Next Indigenous Generation, and Grand Canyon Trust, as well as several grassroots organizers. The Coalition is expected to expand as invited members officially accept the invitation as collaborators.
The Grand Canyon Trust and its Native America Program look forward to participating in the Coalition to stop this development and help identify other business opportunities within the chapter community that are compatible with cultural traditions and respect the will of the affected people.