A Community Divided In Two: Who Should Run The San Juan County Government?

Published: Tuesday, September 24, 2019 - 11:59am
Updated: Tuesday, September 24, 2019 - 12:25pm
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San Juan County, Utah, is a community divided in two. The southern part is made up almost entirely of Ute and Navajo people living on reservation land. The northern part is almost all white. The towns of Blanding and Monticello were settled by Mormons in the late 19th century.

The latest census showed the population nearly split in half — with a slight majority of Native Americans. 

And now, the two populations are at odds over who should run the county government. On Nov. 5, they’ll hold a special election to decide whether or not they should change the county’s form of government. 

This comes after court-ordered redistricting resulted in the makeup of the county commission flipping for the first time in decades. Now, two Navajos and one white commissioner serve on the three-member board. 

For more on this, The Show talked to Cindy Yurth who has been covering the story for the Navajo Times. And she shared some of the history that led up to this point.

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