SHIPROCK — Shiprock Chapter will not be issuing any support or opposition for the tribe's proposed purchase of the Navajo Mine.
On Monday, chapter members voted to delete the item from their meeting agenda because Diné CARE did not return with a revised resolution calling for the chapter to oppose the tribe's purchase of the mine.
Chapter members tabled the resolution Sept. 22 because there was concern over the resolution's language.
The tabling was meant to allow Diné CARE time to rewrite the resolution, which was first presented to the chapter in June, and present it again to the chapter membership.
"I have to say that I didn't get a resolution back," said Shiprock Chapter President Duane "Chili" Yazzie.
There were no representatives from Diné CARE in attendance at Monday's meeting.
In a telephone interview after the meeting, Diné CARE member Lori Goodman said the group did not think it was necessary to attend the meeting because their intent was to inform chapter members, which was done on four separate occasions.
"We thought that was accomplished and it was now in the community's hands," Goodman said.
During the meeting, Yazzie told chapter members that Diné CARE recently filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Denver against the Navajo Nation and BHP Billiton.
With that in mind, would Shiprock Chapter be included in that lawsuit since it is an entity of the Navajo Nation, Yazzie asked.
Goodman said the lawsuit was filed about five years ago when the Office of Surface Mining was considering BHP Billiton's request to expand mining operations but "nothing recent" has been filed.
A search of federal court filings did not show any recent lawsuits by Diné CARE or any naming both the tribe and BHP Billition as defendants.
Yazzie also informed chapter members that if they took no action on the resolution, it would move to the Oct. 27 agenda. Or, he said, they could vote on it.
After his comments, chapter member Fannie Atcitty made a motion to cease any further discussion because of the lawsuit.
She then added that Diné CARE should have notified the chapter about its intent to sue.
"I feel that it is not in the best interest of us here as community members to have further discussion on this," Atcitty said.
Some audience members said the resolution was a dead because it was tabled twice. Chapter member Beverly Maxwell said the resolution should remain tabled because there is no motion to consider it.
"If it's just tabled, it's just tabled," she said.
Harry Scott, another chapter member, said the resolution should be deleted because Diné CARE did not follow the chapter's instruction of clarifying the bill's language.
Chapter members voted 52 to zero to delete the measure, with six abstentions.
"Now they are not here. They took it away from the people, the chapter, the community around this area," Scott said. "What's the use if Diné CARE says they're concerned about the community and the surrounding area, how come they took it away from the people?"