The Navajo Nation has come out in opposition to a recommendation for the closure of the Office of Navajo and Hopi Indian Relocation, or ONHIR.
The office was created in 1974, when the United States ordered the removal of approximately 16,000 Navajos from land they had lived on for generations but that was judged to belong to the Hopis. The United States promised a “generous and humane” relocation process, with homes, infrastructure and economic development for dispossessed people. In April, the Government Accountability Office released a report on ONHIR that recommended its closure, saying (the relocation office had been seriously deficient in areas including record-keeping and oversight of housing contractors. President Trump’s 2019 budget calls for turning ONHIR’s responsibilities over to an office within the Interior Department. In a release, Navajo President Russell Begaye agreed with criticisms of ONHIR but says the promises made to the relocated people have not been fulfilled and the office should stay open until they are.
The Navajo Nation will be hosting public meetings to update the public on the GAO report at the following times and locations.
June 2 - Nahatah Dzill Chapter House @ 9:00 a.m.
June 9 – Tuba City Chapter House @ 9:00 a.m.
June 16 – Hard Rock Chapter House @ 9:00 a.m.
June 17 – Piñon Chapter House @ 9:00 a.m.