Pauline Martin Sanchez is a Bodaway stakeholder and an award-winning business owner in Phoenix. Sanchez read the recent media coverage about the Confluence Partners and their website.
Here is Sanchez’s take on the business relationships, which may be written in the top-secret negotiated contracts between the partners and the Navajo Nation.
“I know this is long but very important.
The Navajo Nation is literally giving away another beautiful place – a sacred site – to outside interest for 50 years. The land will supposedly still belong to the Dine but the resort will belong to the Confluence LLC for 50 years. They will lease the land from Navajo Nation Hospitality Enterprise and operate the resort.
The Confluence Partners will make money off our people.
The money will not go to the Dine people. It will go to the Confluence Partners first.
They will pay their lease payment to the hospitality and I don’t know what the enterprise will do with the lease payment.
In reality, the Bodaway/Gap Chapter members will get low-wage jobs at best.
I reviewed Lamar Whitmer’s interview in the June 15, 2014 Navajo-Hopi Observer. I also read the update by KAL on the Grand Canyon Escalade website. What I suspect appears to be true.
Whitmer is another David Jin, the late SkyWalk developer.
Here is the reason why.
The for-profit entity of the Navajo Nation is called The Navajo Nation
Hospitality Enterprise (http://www.explorenavajo.com/go2/about_us.cfm) This is an entity that will develop the Escalade (the word develop usually means that’s the group that takes money, which means the tribal enterprise has to get its own money and where does it get it) from the Diné people.
The Confluence Partners (the outside entity for the most part managed by Whitmer) will lease from the Navajo Nation Hospitality Enterprise. They will own a large portion of the property, construct and operate a cultural center, the recreational venues, the tram, to the canyon floor and the needed service facilities for the project.
The Confluence Partners will have total control of the Escalade and the land for 50 years. They will make the big bucks at the expense of the Navajo people.
Whoever is part of the hospitality enterprise also will make good money.
The local Dine people, again, will be beggars earning pennies for their goods. Where our people who sell jewelry and art, for example, won’t matter to the Confluence Partners.
They could set up by the road and sit under the shade they provide. Our women will still be treated like beggars.
It’s like saying, ‘the Confluence Partners will dig and mine all the gold from your sacred sites and the Navajo Nation will pick up the scraps.”’