WSJ on the Grand Canyon Controversy

Here. Or just go to Google news and enter “hualapai grand canyon”.

An excerpt:

The legal battle is testing the limits of business partnerships between tribes and non-Indians and is pitting tribal government leaders against one another. At stake are future profits of the lucrative Skywalk and at least $10 million in profits that the bridge has accumulated—now locked in an escrow account while the tribe fights with Mr. Jin.

“Our business is being destroyed by a handful of self-interested [tribal] government officials who are stealing our business and trampling our rights” said Troy Eid, a lawyer for Mr. Jin and former U.S. attorney for Colorado.

The tribe argues that it is Mr. Jin who “makes a promise, breaks it, then changes his story,” said Paul Charlton, the tribe’s lawyer and former U.S. attorney in Arizona.

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One Response to WSJ on the Grand Canyon Controversy

  1. Charlene Hardridge says:

    I am a Hualapai elder and yes we are divided over the Skywalk issue. I, for one, recognize that when you sign a contract it is binding and the Hualapai gave the Skywalk developer a contract for 25 years. It seems logical that when the contract expires that the Skywalk will be totally Hualapai property, and in the meantime, Hualapai will benefit from the income. It hasn’t been shown to the tribe how much money the Skywalk developer owes – most of the conversation is behind closed doors, and the accountant does not provide information to the community. If we question or ask we are causing problems, such as we are on the developer’s side. Some of the opposing council has been accused of being the developer’s friend – with a shout of “what did you get from David Jin?” The atmosphere of the Hualapai reservation is a people of “sides”, saying to the opposing council that they are sneaking down to Phoenix to talk for David Jin, when, in fact, they usually are subpoenaed. Now, the council is busy taking opponents to court for such things as “harassment” so this is where the monies for lawyers will go also– for how long? There are some individuals who have taken control of the council, with two individuals calling the lawyers with their own suggestions and not with the whole council present. These opponent individuals are throwing out leaders of council and the chairwoman because these leaders do not want to act like criminals by doing a take-over the way these other council leaders did to gain control of the skywalk and who did not want arbitration, which seems would have brought things out in the open. The lawyers seem to be working with one individual on the council who seems very manipulative and becomes angry if we question. The only solution is to petition these people out one by one if things are not back to the way it was when the Skywalk was achieving success. It is now regarded as “greed, criminal, etc.” by the surrounding communities. It is now embarrassing to us. There is a feeling of helplessness when the Vice-Chair and the Chairwoman are harassed to the point that the day-to-day function of the office has stopped. It is not like the developer is taking “our land” – it will never go away. The lawyers seem to be doing what one person wants to do to damage the image of the tribe – and suggesting that the Chairwoman and councilwoman broke “attorney-client privilege” when, in fact, they were expressing their own feelings about the take-over of the Skywalk which is freedom of speech and expression such as the opponents have been doing without tribal input and recommendations. Our elderly house used to be safe, now I hate to meet up with spiteful opponents, which I feel is elderly abuse.

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