- Category: Navajo
- Published on Monday, 03 December 2012 23:28
- Written by Larry Simpson
- Hits: 61022
The Utah Navajo Royalties Holding Fund (UNRHF) is a temporary state agency serving to administer the Utah Navajo Trust Fund in the interim while awaiting the United States Congress to formally designate another trustee for the trust fund. The majority of the money in this fund comes from oil royalties from production on the Aneth Extension of the Navajo Reservation. These royalties are paid to the trust fund for the health, education, and general welfare of the Navajo residents of San Juan County, Utah.
In 2008, the State of Utah decided to withdraw from serving as the trust fund's trustee after filling the role for approximately 50 years. Prior to June 30, 2008, the Trust Fund had oversight authority by a three member board of trustees composed of the Utah State Treasurer, the Director of Finance, and a State officer or employee appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. Day-to-day program activities were managed by the Trust Fund Administrator from offices in Blanding, Utah. A nine-member Dineh Committee provided input and advice as to how the funds from the Trust Fund may be expended. During the 2008 General Session of the Utah Legislature, House Bill 352 was passed which recognized the repeal of the Utah Navajo Trust Fund. The bill moved responsibility to fulfill the liabilities and obligations of the repealed Utah Navajo Trust Fund to the Department of Administrative Services and provided for a transition process until Congress designates a new trustee of Utah Navajo royalties.
Since 2008, several U.S. Senators and/or Representatives have worked on bills in Congress which affect the Act of 1933 and the 1968 Amendment to enable a new trustee to take over for the State of Utah - but none have passed. In the meantime, the UNRHF staff has been focused on completing projects that were funded prior to May of 2008 (which are called the Sunset grants) and continuing to provide services to Utah Navajo students with college scholarships and financial aid.
We are committed to completing existing projects, protecting Holding Fund assets, and continuing support of the Navajo scholarship programs until such time as a new trustee is appointed.
- Complete housing and community development projects
- Communicate information regarding the expiration of the current UNRHF legislation
- Increase awareness of UNRHF programs available to Utah Navajos