United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Indi.

Navajo-Hopi Relocation Housing Program : hearing before the Committee on Indian Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first session, on S. 349 ... March 15, 1995, Washington, DC online

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Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. Senate. Committee on IndiNavajo-Hopi Relocation Housing Program : hearing before the Committee on Indian Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first session, on S. 349 ... March 15, 1995, Washington, DC → online text (page 5 of 11)
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18. Religious 7.A.3., p. 9. The number of homesites is already set up in the
AIP. With regard to the size of those homesites, the Hopi Tribe has already committed to
readjust the homesites boundary where necessary so as to include all of the people
residing at that site.

19. Religious 7.A.4., p. 9. Currently the Navajo individuals have permits for
less than 1,600 SUYL. 2,800 is a substantial increase and uses up all of the available
forage. Until a new range survey shows that more forage is available, the Tribe is not
inclined to revisit this discussion.

20. Religious 7. B.I., p. 9. The seventy-five year provisions is not open for
discussion. As stated in the Accommodation Agreement, it can be revisited after fifty
years.

21. Religious 7.B.2., p. 9. The issue of rent is between the Navajo Nation and
the Hopi Tribe.

22. Religious 7.B.3., p. 9. The Hopi Tribe's position on eviction is spelled out
in the AIP and the Accommodation Agreement. People who cannot comply with the law
will not be allowed to stay.

23. Religious 7.B.4., p. 9. The Hopi Tribe's position on jurisdiction is spelled
out in the AIP and the Accommodation Agreement. It is based on the proposition that the

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Hopi Reservation is Hopi land.

24. Land Use 3, pp. 10-12. The boundaries for a homesite and fanning are set
in the Accommodation Agreement. As set forth in the Accommodation Agreement,
Navajo individuals will be able to continue their traditional use of other parts of the Hopi
Reservation. This use is not exclusive, however, and must be done pursuant to Hopi
Ordinances.

25. Land Use 4, p. 12. The Hopi Tribe will administer the permit system that
applies to Navajo individuals in the same manner as it administers the permit system
generally applicable on the Hopi Reservation.

26. Land Use 4 a), p. 12. As set forth in the Accommodation Agreement, each
homesite will be three acres and each farming area will be up to ten acres.

27. Land Use 4 b), p. 12. The Hopi Tribe has akeady stated that additional
residential structures will be permitted at Navajo homesites, but not outside them.

28. Land Use 4 c), p. 12. The issue of rental is between the Navajo Nation and
the Hopi Tribe.

29. Land Use 4 d), p. 12. The Accommodation Agreement and the ATP already
state that grazing permits will be issued, where possible, for land near the homesites.

30. Land Use 4 e), p. 12-13. Navajo individuals, as residents, will be allowed
to participate in future planning processes.

3 1 . Land Use 5, p. 13. The Hopi Tribe intends to use and enjoy its
Reservation Grazing will be allowed where permitted, and efforts to deter lawful use

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will be punished. However, Navajo individuals are free to discuss issues with Hopi
Tribal members as they please. The Hopi Tribe believes that as set forth in the
Accommodation Agreement the parties should be able to cooperate with one another to
ensure that everyone's concerns are respected.

32. Land Use 6 & 7, p. 13. The Hopi Tribe will continue to permit grazing
pursuant to Ordinance 43. Under the Accommodation Agreement and the AIP, the
Nation and the Navajo individuals will decide how best to divide the 2,800 SUYL. The
Hopi Tribe will then work with the permittees to allow, where possible, grazing near the
homesite. Over time, as more forage becomes available, the Tribe will discuss with the
individuals whether and how it should be used.

33. Governance p. 13-14. To the extent that the process of self-governance
described here does not conflict with Hopi jurisdiction as set forth in the Accommodation
Agreement, the individuals are free to practice it and the Tribe will not interfere with it.

34. Request 1, p. 15. As stated above, Navajo individuals are free to speak to
Hopi individuals on any issue.

35. Request 2, p. 15. The Hopi Tribe will not stop impounding livestock,
whether Hopi or Navajo, that is trespassing or not permitted. We need to protect the
land, and any relationship we enter into with each other must be based on respect for the
law.

36. Request 3, p. 15. The Hopi Tribe will continue to monitor its Reservation
to assure that the law is being complied with by all persons, Hopi and Navajo, residing on

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the Hopi Reservation.

37. Request 4, p. 15. The Tribe is implementing the AIP and reviewing new
construction applications in that light. Once we got beyond the interim implementation
phase, the freeze ceases to exist. Until then, we must continue to abide by its provisions.

38. Request 5, p. 16. Structures on the Hopi Reservation are demolished only
after the SHPO process has been completed and clearance has been given. At present,
certain Navajo individuals are abusing the process by moving into hogans that have been
quitclaimed by relocating Navajos. This creates tension and is illegal. Until the Tribe
finds a better alternative, it will continue to demolish the structures.

39. Request 6, p. 16. Navajo individuals who comply with the law should have
no problems. To the extent that Navajo individual can prevent other individuals from
breaking the law, the Hopi Tribe will not have to enforce it.

40. Request 7, p. 16. The Hopi Tribe is willing to discuss issues with the BLA
and the individuals but is unaware at this time as to what specific sites are of concern.

41. Request 8, p. 16. The Hopi Tribe will continue to permit temporary
religious structures as it has in the past, which has worked very well without incident.
The conditions of the permit regarding dismantling can be worked out at the time of the
request.

42. Request 9, p. 17. The Hopi Tribe is willing to work on this issue.

43. Request 10, p. 17. The Hopi Tribe is willing to work on this issue.



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UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT

OFFICE OF NAVAJO AND HOPI INDIAN RELOCATION



Chiiatophcr J. B«va«i
Exccutiv* Director



STATEMENT



Before the Senate Select Coimiittee on Indian Affairs. In support of
Reauthorization Legislation for the Office of Navajo and Hooi Indian Relocation
through Fiscal Year 1997.



CHRISTOPHER J. BAVASI, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
March 15, 1995



MR. CHAIRMAN:

I am' pleased to be here today appearing before this Committee to testify in
support of the Reauthorization Legislation currently pending.

The legislation currently pending would reauthorize the appropriation of funding
for construction of relocation homes for fiscal years 1996 and 1997. There are
currently 750 heads of household who have received from the ONHIR a letter of
eligibility for a federal benefit, (replacement housing, bonus, moving expenses,
etc.). The Office estimates that upon resolution of pending court cases and
administrative appeals approximately 100 additional individuals will be
determined to be eligible for benefits. If funding for these benefits is not
provided for the Office, Individuals determined to be eligible for benefits might
sue on a claim that they have been deprived of an entitlement to relocation
benefits. In addition, some of these Individuals relocated with the expectation
that they would be receiving benefits. In order to provide housing for
individuals that have been or are likely to be determined to be eligible for
benefits, the Office encourages passage of this bill to, at a minimum, provide
housing funding for the next two years.

I would also like to note that the Office has been Involved during the last three
years in extensive re-evaluation and assessment of our program.

In 1993, the Office began a process of critically examining our organization and
functions. Although the office was specifically exempt from the Executive Order
directing a reduction in staffing, we determined that It was In the best
Interests of good government and responsiveness to our clients to identify areas



P.O. Box KK • 201 E. Birch • FUgstaff. Arisona 86002 • (520)779-2721 • Fax (520) 774-1977



51



where we could nuke savings through reducing expenditures and staffing. Indeed,
the Office had already begun to reduce staffing through attrition and a self-
imposed freeze on hiring. The staffing of the agency had thus been reduced from
a high of 97 In 1992 to a total of 91 parsons in 1994. This represents a 6
percent staff reduction.

From a management perspective, we viewed the National Performance Review
Initiatives as a positive opportunity to continue to implement those policies and
activities begun in 1993, specifically as concerns the intention to down-size.
That Is precisely what we have done, and It has provided us a specific,
systematic means to accomplish an orderly reduction in spending and staffing,
while continuing to provide service to our clients and conclude the relocation
program.

As part of the reinvention process, the Office held several one-day, all staff
sessions, during the sunmer and fall of 1994, dealing with any natter which any
staff member felt would improve the operation of the agency. As a result of
these discussions, the Office developed a list of administrative changes and
improvements that fell into two categories; those which could and have been
implemented Innedlately, and those which would require further development prior
to implementation. The Office has also, as a result of the reinvention process,
altered its organizational structure to establish a plan for self-directed work
teams in all of the areas of office operation. This restructuring, when fully
implemented during the next two to three months, will result in reduction of the
number of individuals with supervisory responsibility which will be in excess of
the National Performance Review goals set by the President.

Finally, we are currently in the process of conducting our customer satisfaction
survey, as required by the reinvention process, and should have final results by
mId-sunMr of this year.

In late September of 1994, the Office began preparation of a relocation
completion and agency phase-out plan requested by the House Interior
Appropriations Subcommittee. We utilized many of the existing elements of our
reinvention process in the plan for relocation completion. New elements have
been Included In the relocation plan as a result of the House Interior
Appropriations SubcoBnittae's request for a plan to finalize the relocation
process and transfer the function of the agency to a successor entity. We have
provided copies of this plan to your Coamiittee.

The Office believes this plan offers the best potential for completion of
relocation In the event that the mediation effort ordered by the United States
Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit falls. The mediation effort seeks to
achieve a consensual resolution under which Navajos who wish to remain on Hopi
land could do so under a 75 year lease arrangement providing an option to
relocation. The plan for relocation coaq>lat1on contains recommendations for;
incentives which would assist the Hopi Tribe in re-establishing Its presence on
the HPL, Incentives to encourage the remaining Navajos residing on the HPL to
voluntarily comply with relocation, and alternative compensation strategies for
non-KPL residents for whom an actual physical relocation Is not feasible.



52



Flntlly, the Plan briefly addresses the Issue of Involuntary relocation of those
Individuals who do not make timely arrangements to relocate. The existing Act
mandates that members of one tribe relocate from lands partitioned to the Tribe
of which they are not members, regardless of whether the party wishes to move.
Congress anticipated that some households would not make t1n»ly application for
benefits or choose to relocate. Accordingly, the Act authorized the Office to
take that household's benefits and acquire or construct a replacement home for
such families off of the lands of the other tribe. The Office is charged with
constructing homes off of the HPL for Navajos eligible for benefits who do not
make a housing selection. Absent clarification from either Congress or the
courts as to a deadline for voluntary relocation and a timeframe for construction
of housing for individuals who will not voluntarily participate in the program,
this agency cannot forecast a plan or budget for completion of relocation.

I believe the plan, which also Includes an update to the historical background
of relocation and its statistical elements, presents a clear representation of
the many Issues involved, illustrates how we reached our conclusions and
demonstrates an orderly means to reduce and eventually eliminate the Office.

To the extent possible we have tried to quantify information to demonstrate how
conclusions were reached and assure the minimum adverse Impact to those persons
being relocated. In achieving down-sizing in advance of phase-out we have
carefully considered and suggested means to protect employees' rights.

I believe the information in the plan demonstrates a commitnent to the continuing
aim of reducing the size of government, but also assures that the government can
retain qualified employees to carry out the remainder of the relocation program.

I thank the Subcommittee for its attention and we will be pleased to respond to
any questions you have for us.



53



FOREWORD

The 1995 Appropriations Committee report language instructed the Office of Navajo and
Hopi Indian Relocation to prepare a phase-out plan. The Committee Report states in
part:

'The Committee believes it is time to begin phasing out the Office
and to turn over the remaining relocations to another agency such
as the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The Committee expects the Office to
submit a plan for the phasing out of the Office and the transitions of
its responsibility to a successor entity. The Report should be
submitted to the Committee no later than Feboiary 1, 1995, and
should assume that transfer of functions will occur before the year
2000 and the cost to administer the program will be successively
smaller in each year, beginning in fiscal year 1996."

Additionally, the Subcommittee on Interior and Related Agencies instructed the
Comptroller General to prepare recommendations on the closure of the Office and on
a successor entity. Office staff have worked closely with the General Accounting Office
staff assigned to this task during the last six months. The Office of Navajo and Hopi
Indian Relocation determined that the best approach to preparing the plan called for by
the Committee was to work to the maximum extent possible wnth GAO staff and to benefit
from their outside perspective once they had sufficient time to review the program before
formulating its elements. The ONHIR feels that the plan being submitted herewith is
based on a combination of the expertise, experience and historical perspective of ONHIR
staff and the extemal perspective provided by GAO staff. The ONHIR heis relied upon
GAO staffs assessment of wori<load factors and has shared the elements of the
proposed plan for completing relocation and phasing out the Office with GAO staff
throughout the process. Because the Committee instructed the GAO to make
recommendations on ONHIR's plan, none of its elements were included before they had
been thoroughly discussed. The GAO staff and the ONHIR felt that accord had been
reached on these elements.

The staff of the ONHIR wishes to thank the GAO staff who were involved in this process
as the analytical data they provided as well as the arms length perspective on the
agency's operation were extremely useful in the preparation of this plan.



FOREWORD



54



SECTION 2: RELOCATION COMPLETION/PHASE-OUT
PLAN

SECTION 2 contains all the components of the phase-out plan requested by the
Committee. All of the subsequent sections are background information on the
various major program activities. All of the statistics reflected in Sections 2
through 6 are as of September 30, 1994 (the end of fiscal year 1994), unless
otherwise noted. Since its inception, the ONHIR, has submitted periodic updates
to the Report and Plan of 1 981 . The Office was in the process of updating its plan
when the request from the Committee for a phase-out plan was received. The
Office determined that making the regular Plan Update an integral part of the
phase-out plan to provide general background information and more current
statistics was the best approach to satisfying the Committee's request for a phase-
out plan.



2-1: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This Executive Summary provides an overview of Section 2, which deals with
relocation completion and agency phase-out. Hereafter, this section will be
referred to in the narrative as '1he plan".

The general approach to, and specific elements of, the plan were developed in
consultation with GAO staff and with input from ONHIR supervisors and staff.
During the last 1 years, there have been a variety of external initiatives affecting
the operation of the ONHIR. They have consisted of, but not been limited to,
proposed legislation, enacted legislation, court ordered mediation, court decisions
and a presidential mission. This is the first time that the Office itself has been
directed to prepare a plan that includes actions and initiatives that the Office
believes have the best potential for ultimately completing relocation and phasing
out its operation. The task of the ONHIR is unique in the history of the United
States and management believes that the combined knowledge and experience
of the Office staff places it in an excellent position to propose alternatives and
solutions which should lead to the completion of this project. It is noteworthy



COMPLETION/PHASE-OUT

7



55



that the combined experience of ONHIR staff is in excess of 1 ,000 person-years
dealing directly with this unique and difficult problem.

The most logical place to begin this plan is with a discussion of the actual
workload remaining to be accomplished in order to complete relocation.
Therefore, Section 2-2 deals with the number of families remaining to be
relocated. There are two primary categories of future workload factors. The
known workload factors consist of those families who have been certified eligible
for relocation and have not yet received their benefits, as well as additional
individuals in various categories who the Office can accurately predict will become
eligible for relocation benefits. The second category consists of those families
who might become eligible through further new litigation.

Section 2-3 deals with the various impediments to relocation. The Office
understands the Committee's frustration with the apparent slow progress of
relocation because it has experienced this same frustration over the years.
Reports to, and testimony before, the Committee over the years have contained
general reference to these impediments. This section seeks to supply more
specific details of these impediments in order to provide the Committee with a
better understanding of them as they consider the Office's plan. These
impediments are broken into two primary groups: client related impediments, and
program related impediments.

Section 2-4 discusses a variety of solutions to these impediments. These
solutions take two principal forms: legislative, regulatory and procedural changes,
and new incentives to those affected by relocation.

Section 2-5 discusses the sequencing of events that will take place during the
completion of the relocation program. The various elements discussed in Section
2-4 would be proposed to take effect at different stages of the completion
process.

Section 2-6 is a discussion of the personnel and budgetary resources needed to
accomplish the completion of the relocation effort.



COiVIPLETION/PHASE-OUT
8



56



Section 2-7 deals with the personnel issues involved in phasing out the program.

Section 2-8 summarizes the proposed legislative changes to accomplish the
ONHIR plan for completion of relocation and phase-out of the Office.



2-2: FUTURE WORKLOAD FACTORS

The GAG staff worked extensively on establishing the quantity and nature of the
Office's future workload factors. The workload factors reflected herein are those
developed by the Office and GAO staff utilizing agency records and augmented
by both Hopi Tribe and Navajo Nation input. In order to be consistent throughout
this document, the figures reflected here are as of the end of fiscal year 1994. It
is the understanding of the Office that GAO intends to update its figures through
the end of calendar year 1994 for its report to the Committee.

Future workload factors are divided into two major categories: the known or
accurately estimable families remaining to relocate, and the potential additional
eligible heads of household based on possible litigation.

As of the end of fiscal year 1994, there were approximately 913 to 963 heads of
household in the first category.

This number is comprised of four basic groups as reflected below:

• 748 certified heads of household awaiting relocation;

• 25 additional heads of household who will be certified as a result
of court decisions;

• 90 additional heads of household vt^o will be certified as a result
of the agency administrative appeal process; and



COMPLETION/PHASE-OUT

9



57



• 50 to 100 additional heads of household who are currently
residents of the Hopi Partitioned Lands who have never applied
for oenefits. (The Federal Mediator's estimate is approximately
150).

It is important to note that the individuals in this category either already have
received, or will receive a written notice of eligibility for relocation benefits. These
are individuals who are already, or will become, vested in a government
entitlement.

The second category is much more difficult to quantify. They fall into two main
groups.

The first of these is comprised of those individuals who have not yet received an
agency final determination, and who upon receiving a final denial, will still have
six years in which to file in federal court for a reconsideration of their eligibility.
There could be as many as one hundred additional eligible heads of household
derived from this group.

The second group consists of all of those individuals who were notified of their
denial and personally signed for their notification, and as a result, were excluded
from reconsideration under the case of Sands v. NHIRC . CIV 85-1 961 -PCT-RCD
(Sands). Recently, the Navajo-Hopi Legal Services Program has repeatedly
requested that the Office reconsider some of these cases because there is
sufficient prima facia evidence of their eligibility. The only basis on which their
denial was upheld by the court in Sands v. NHIRC was that they failed to provide
adequate documentation and had been notified of this fact and had personally
signed for their own certified letter of denial. The Navajo-Hopi Legal Services
Program contends that this should not alter the facts of the case and they may
well bring additional litigation to have these previously excluded members of the
Sands v. NHIRC case included in the original order for reconsideration. This
could result in an additional 600 to 700 certifications, according to the Navajo-
Hopi Legal Services Program.



COMPLETION/PHASE-OUT

10



58



This analysis provides a best and worst case scenario ranging from a low of
approximately 900 to a high of up to 1,700 individuals to whom the Federal
Government would have a responsibility to provide relocation benefits.

For the purposes of this plan, the ONHIR is only considering the approximately
900-950 heads of household whom it can presently accurately predict are, or will
become, entitled to benefits.

Of these heads of household, there are a certain number of whom for a variety of
reasons that will be discussed later in the report, will never actually receive a
replacement home. Using a variety of predictive factors such as age, education,
English fluency, relocation site preference, household size and case status, the
Office predicts that approximately 725-775 households will receive a new
relocation home. The others will, in all likelihood, have to be dealt with in some
other manner such as cash payment. Based on historical averages and recent
experience (100-150 relocations per year), this extrapolates to a period of five to
seven years to complete the actual physical relocations of those families who the
Office predicts will eventually receive replacement housing. Following completion
of all of the voluntary physical relocations the workload would consist of the
following elements;

• Construction of homes for Navajo residents remaining on the
HPL, who have not made timely arrangements for relocation, at
a prescribed site (the New Lands);

• Payment of monetary compensation in lieu of replacement


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Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. Senate. Committee on IndiNavajo-Hopi Relocation Housing Program : hearing before the Committee on Indian Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first session, on S. 349 ... March 15, 1995, Washington, DC → online text (page 5 of 11)