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Newspaper Page Text
NORTHERN ARIZONA UNIVERSITY LIBRARY Kcs m
THE NAVAJO Navajos and their tribal of ficials gathered at Aneth, Utah, November 1. to celebrate a land swap which they believe will end forever friction between In dians and Mormon stockmen which only a few years ago flared into bloody violence. The swap was worked out with the Interior Department by Tribal Chairman Paul Jones. It was suggested by Ned Hatathli, chairman of the tribe’s natural resources com mittee. after the government found it needed Navajo land for a townsite at the Glen Can yon Dam on the Colorado river in Arizona. Under the swap the tribe gave the government 50.- 000 acres and took over a like amount of land known as Mc- Cracken Mesa north of and ad jacent to the reservation in Utah. The trade was described by Norman Littell. general coun sel for the tribe who came from Washington for the ceremony, as “one of the great events of Navajo history.” The ceremony was held here at Aneth. a tiny village lying along the banks of the San Juan river in southeastern Utah. Here in the heart of what is proving to be one of the major oil producing areas, oil pump after oil pump can be seen operating busily next to isolated Indian hogans. The area is northwest of Farming tnn Now TVTpvirrv ton, iNew iviexico. pUBLjgH£IS gy THE COMMITTEE, NAVAJO TRIBE, WINDOW ROCK, ARIZONA Volume I, Number I November—l9s9 | TIMES McCracken Mesa Land Dispute Finally Settled T . _ *1 ■"Etk, i&Z'ZB&S. Chairman Jones Cuts Fence to Join McCracken Mesa to Navajo Land The ceremonies were held at the Aneth Chapter house, one of 10 modern meeting halls built or under construction on the far flung reservation. It was Littell who described the “brutal period” when Nav ajos were beaten, hogans were burned and shots were fired’ in an effort by white stockmen to run Navajos off of land where they had lived for many years. This period followed passage of the Taylor Grazing A.ct in 1931 and continued until re cent years. Und e r the Act, Navajos living on public do main in the area just oil the reservation on the so-called Mc- Cracken Mesa were required to obtain grazing leases in order to use the land. This, in effect, made them “squatters and the target for those ranchers want ing to lease the land them selves. The land trade, celebrated with a barbecue, brings lb fam ilies living on the mesa into the reservation proper. Another four families living along the line of the annexed property will be given an opportunity to move into the reservation as will another lour families liv ing off the annexed property in Utah.