Save the Confluence organizers who participated in the Navajo Nation Fair parade on Sept. 10 said one of their key opponents got a major shock.
As Arizona State Rep. Albert Hale’s entourage floated up Highway 260 in the parade, STC supporters ran from the sidelines into the road to unfurl a bright yellow banner with the words “SAVE THE CONFLUENCE” on it. Hale, a former Navajo Nation president who was forced to resign amid scandals, is one of the partners in the proposal to build the Grand Canyon Escalade.
Organizers said Hale appeared to be shocked.
Later, Save the Confluence organizers joined other environmental groups in the parade for a less-eventful display.
About 70,000 parade-watchers viewed this year’s parade, in the tribal capital of Window Rock, Ariz.
Environmentalist in the parade said Save the Confluence received more cheers than boos.
The bill to try to get the Navajo Nation Council to fork over $65 million for the project gets its first hearing in less than two weeks. Tribal attorneys issued a written analysis saying the proposed deal is fraught with legal problems. A story in the Gallup Independent last week called the proposed deal a “payday loan scheme” that would result in the tribe never making any money, and most likely losing money after the project is built.
Developers want to build a gondola tram and resort leading from disputed tribal and National Parks Service lands to the confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers. The three partners in the proposal have faced formal accusations over the last 25 years of fraud, corruption and unethical behavior. But all three managed to escape convictions.
Stay tuned to this website for details.