Sign the Petition to Save the Confluence!

Help Save the Confluence! Sign our online petition.

Honorable Navajo Nation Council Members:

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31,502 signatures

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Please look for a confirmation e-mail after signing, and reply to it. If you do not respond to the confirmation e-mail, your signature cannot be counted. (In some cases, that e-mail might wind up in your Junk Mail, SPAM, or Clutter, folder.)

Please join the international opposition to the proposed Escalade Project, which seeks Navajo Nation funding to build a tram from the eastern rim of the Grand Canyon down to the confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers.

The map above shows the locations where petition signers reside. It will be updated as more signatures arrive.  All signatures are delivered to the Navajo Nation Council’s official e-mail address reserved for public comment on this proposal.

Here are our reasons for opposing this development:

The Proposed Escalade Project is Dishonest, Unclear, and Full of Flaws

  • There has been no Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed Escalade Project.
  • Neither the source of water, nor sewage waste has been addressed by the Escalade Developers.
  • The boundary between Grand Canyon National Park and the Navajo Nation has yet to be settled.

The Proposed Escalade Project Entails Expensive Legal Challenges

  • There will be legal challenges from various entities (traditional land users, grazing permit holders,
    other Tribal Nations, the National Park Service) if the project is approved by the Navajo Nation.
  • There are already existing Navajo Park rules and regulations against the proposed Escalade Project
    due to the cultural and ecological values.

The Proposed Escalade Project Implies Economic Debt

  • The Escalade Partners have requested $65 million from the Navajo Nation for paved roads, wells,
    power lines, water lines, police, medical, and other infrastructure. Where will the $65 million come
    from? And will it be requested as a loan or as an investment?
  • In return for their cultural and financial sacrifice, the Navajo Nation will only receive 8% to 18% of
    the revenues, at best. The other 82% to 92% will leave the reservation to the outside investors.
  • Navajo people will be forbidden to engage in any form of business activity within 15 miles of the
    Project and within 2.5 miles of the access road and entrance to the Project.

The Proposed Escalade Project Involves Cultural Desecration and Disrespect Towards the People

  • It violates the Diné Fundamental Laws and intrudes upon the sacredness of the Grand Canyon, the
    Confluence of the Little Colorado River (female) and the Colorado River (male), the living animals,
    insects, birds, and plants, & the oral traditions, songs, and prayers (Title 1 N.N.C. §205 §5).
  • It violates our human rights as Indigenous Peoples, denying our Free, Prior and Informed Consent
    and our Freedom of Religion.

For these reasons, and many more, the traditional land users, who have not consented to any land
withdrawals and to the overall Project, are prepared to challenge the Proposed Escalade Project in Navajo Courts.

Local tribes regard the Confluence, where the Little Colorado’s blue waters merge with the Colorado, as sacred. Developers hope to build a tramway here to carry up to 10,000 tourists a day to a riverside retail and food complex. (Photo Pete McBride, courtesy National Geographic.)

Local tribes regard the Confluence, where the Little Colorado’s blue waters merge with the Colorado, as sacred. Developers hope to build a tramway here to carry up to 10,000 tourists a day to a riverside retail and food complex. (Photo Pete McBride, courtesy National Geographic.)

“If you break loose here, you can’t stop. You’re going into the abyss,” barks Rich Rudow. Normally he is unflappable, but as he knows too well, this is no place to let down one’s guard. We’re on a cliff roughly 3,500 feet above the Colorado River at the tip of the Great Thumb Mesa, a spectacular formation that thrusts out from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon like the bow of an immense ship. It is one of the canyon’s most remote spots, rarely seen even by the most hard-core backpackers. If you come this far out on the Thumb, there is no way to get down to the river without climbing gear, and the dwindling food in your pack won’t allow you to make the eight-day trek back the way you came. You have to move forward. ~ From Kevin Fedarko and Pete McBride’s National Geographic essay. Read more ...

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