On January 24th, 2014 some members of the CLA Board of Directors made the trip to Concho to meet with the newly elected Governor of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, Mr. Eddie Hamilton. One of the main items discussed was the mutual concern for the Tribe’s water rights in Canton Lake, and how an alliance between the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribe and the CLA could prove beneficial to everyone with an interest in seeing Canton Lake maintain healthy water levels.
The meeting was also attended by other delegates from the tribe, and all in attendance showed a sincere concern for the unclaimed water rights that the Tribe has to the water residing in Canton Lake. The CLA members shared some of their past and continued efforts, and the vision they have for working toward specific goals in maintaining a certain healthy level of water in the lake. They also discussed the Tribe's potential role in helping attain that goal through the use of claiming their water rights which seem to have been unrecognized by OKC and the Corp of Engineers when they entered into the contract for Canton Lake Water.
The C & A Tribe owns land adjoining the lake yet had no seat at the table in the negotiations and no voice previously in the development of the current contract between the Corp and OKC. We feel this is a terrible oversight on the part of the parties involved and hope to have the contract revisited to consider the water rights of the C & A people.
The Native Americans hold water sacred and use it in many of their tribal ceremonies. It has always been held as one of the greatest natural resources in their culture.
The CLA looks forward to furthering this relationship with the C & A Tribe and in joining with them to fight for the water in Canton Lake. We will keep you updated on further conversations between the two groups.
Please see the attached photo below.
Photo taken in the Conference room at the C & A Tribe Headquarters of a mural on the wall depicting a religious ceremony with a pail of water on the right showing how sacred water is to the Native American people. It is a major part in most all of their ceremonies.