Two American Indian Tribes May Have To Share Former Army Base

August 15, 2014

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Two American Indian tribes would share more than 31 square miles of land from a former New Mexico Army base under a measure pending in Congress.

But Navajo Nation lawmaker Edmund Yazzie thinks he can get a better deal for his tribe. Most of his colleagues disagree and the Zuni Tribe isn't interested in renegotiating.

The land at Fort Wingate was offered to the tribes after Congress shut down the base in 1993. Both tribes claim aboriginal ties to it.

Navajo and Zuni officials endorsed a bill in the House that would give each tribe about half of the land with access to Interstate 40 near Gallup, N.M. It came after two decades of negotiation.

Yazzie was part of the negotiations but now says his constituents disagree with the result.