AZ tribal lands for San Juan Southern Paiute up for ratification – again
The San Juan Southern Paiute tribe’s population of around 1,200 members dwells in and around the juncture of Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah.
Most live on a Nevada reservation; in Arizona, they occupy ancestral lands designated as part of the Navajo Nation, including Tuba City.
A subgroup of the Great Basin Paiute people who maintain their own traditions and language, the group has often been lumped into other tribes by federal policies and programs.
The federal government did not recognize them as a sovereign Native American tribe until 1990.
In 2000, the two distinct cultures entered into a treaty to set aside 5,400 acres of the Navajo Nation’s 27,000 square miles as a homeland for the tribe, including exclusive property and water rights.
Congress must ratify the treaty before it can go into effect.
To that end, Republican Representative Eli Crane of Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District has reintroduced San Juan Southern Paiute Tribal Homelands Act.
Crane’s predecessor, Democrat Tom O’Halleran, introduced the same legislation during his term.