Congressman O'Halleran introduces legislation to assist Bennett Freeze area

Published: Wednesday, December 22, 2021 - 3:02pm
Audio icon Download mp3 (1005.1 KB)

Arizona Congressman Tom O'Halleran has introduced a bill to amend a decades-long land settlement between the Navajo and Hopi tribes.

The act was passed during a long-standing land dispute.

During negotiations, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs at the time, Robert Bennett, called for a halt to economic development on a large portion of the Navajo Nation.

The order — enacted in 1966 — became known as the Bennett Freeze, and it resulted in decades of economic stagnation.

O’Halleran says his legislation targets the impacts of the Freeze.

“They couldn’t even make repairs to their home, let alone business, and that just, doesn’t make any sense to me and I don’t think any American would want that done to them,” O'Halleran said.

The Freeze was lifted during the Obama administration, but the impacts are ongoing.

Politics Native American Affairs