Oct 22, 2019

Byron Shortly saves the day for putting Council Meeting on Social Media

It makes me glad that the Navajo Nation Council is being broadcasted live on YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo.  Thanks to Mr. Byron Shorty (Navajo Word of the Day).  I heard that it is him to make this possible.  If we put the right people in place, we can accomplish a lot of good things.  Right now, there are a lot of intellegent Dine that should be in leadership positions, but the same old people keep going into politics and bumping out the real intelligent people.  We need to put the right people in these key positions.

Oct 17, 2019

Council needs to dissolve NTEC and Council Delegates shouldn't own NTEC shares

Under President Nez’s watch, the Navajo Transitional Energy Company has purchased three coal mines in Montana and Wyoming without the knowledge of the Navajo Council.  According to an article in the Navajo Times, the purchase is very risky and it could bankrupt the Navajo Nation.  The NTEC seems to have gone forward with waivers of sovereign immunity which protects the nation without Council approval.  I heard that the Navajo DOJ Attorney April Quinn was blocked by security guards when she attempted to enter the NTEC meeting.  First, the demand for coal is going down throughout the United States.  Coal companies are struggling to stay afloat.  Second, the federal law requires coal companies to clean up.  Experts believe this will cost billions of dollars (with a "b").  If Navajo Nation becomes the owner, then Navajo Nation is responsible and becomes liable for the costly cleanup.  I guess that’s what happens when you put unvetted Bilaganas in control of tribal enterprises.  Council Delegate Otto Tso said the Navajo Council should not scrutinize the company and let the company operate like it should.  Well, at this point the company seems to be operating illegally and going rouge.  I heard the board members are avoiding the Council Delegates.  With that type of under-the-door dealings, the very high risk, the illegal operation, and the blatant disrespect, I think it’s best just to dissolve the company before it does more damage.  It may be too late.  I am disappointed that our leaders have allowed this to go this far.  This is why it is important not to elect uneducated leaders.  They make multi-million dollar decisions for the people.

We should also be concerned about some council delegates (Nathaniel Brown and Eugenia Charles-Newton) who own shares in these companies and at the same time serve as council delegates for the people.  First, shouldn't they be required to disclose to the people their interest in these companies from the get-go?  Second, isn't there a conflict of interest?  They put their personal business interest ahead of the Navajo people's interest.  At the very least, there is a good chance of getting interests mixed up.  These council delegates should not be allowed to be shareholders and serve on the council at the same time.  They need to choose one or the other.  There is too much chance for corruption.  To stop council delegates from seeking other sources of income to sustain their families, the Council needs a pay increase.  Currently, the Council Delegates make about $25,000 per year.  In this inflating economy, that is not enough for the real work that some of the council delegates do.  I know that they get paid stipends and that amount needs to be published also.  The current salary does not attract educated and professional Dine.  Finally, along with the pay increase, it would be good to increase the qualifications for Council Delegates.  If they are going to be making major policy decisions that involves billions of dollars, we the people need some guarantee that they will atleast be making informed educated decisions.  Right now, the Council seems to be overlooking everybody else, but nobody is overseeing the Council.

Oct 16, 2019

Deshawn Yazzie on the run

Anybody seen this guy? There are a lot of dangerous people on the rez. This guy is one of them. He's wanted on attempted murder charges for a shooting at a skate park in Gallup, New Mexico.

Best steam corn stew

Aaaah.. the fairs are finally all over.  Many folks claim the Western Navajo Fair was the best fair in the Navajo Nation this year.  Here is a clip about the best steam corn mutton stew at the fairs this year.  Three of a Kind, the Rodeo wild horse race group, finds the best stew came from a Tuba City vendor.  The meat-to-corn ratio was just right.  In Window Rock, there wasn’t enough meat.  In Shiprock, the taste just wasn’t there.  I’ve never heard of a criteria for mutton stew, but these guys came up with one.  I thought it was pretty good.

Do you care Churchrock, Iyanbito, Mariano Lake, Pinedale, Smith Lake, Thoreau?

Council Delegate Edmund Yazzie represents the communities of Churchrock, Iyanbito, Mariano Lake, Pinedale, Smith Lake, and Thoreau. Do any of these communities care that he is depriving them of representation by not attending his committee meetings?  Yazzie is on the Law and Order Committee. He ran to chair the committee, but the committee members voted Eugenia Charles-Newton as the Chair and Otto Tso as the Vice-chair. Since then, he has been naachxo' and has not been attending the meetings. That is immature, childish, and unbecoming of a Nat'aanii. For not going to the meetings, he is not representing his constituents, but it seems like they don't care.

Sep 23, 2019

President Jonathan Nez blasted by another Navajo Times Journalist

(Starts at 19:09)

Another Navajo Times staff member has blasted President Jonathan Nez as just another president who’s not going to get anything done.  Pauly Denetclaw is a writer for the Navajo Times.  She is also a  great Navajo Youtube Vlogger as 'The Other Native'.  About 4 months ago she posted a vlog where she announced that Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez is overrated and we need to come back down to reality and re-evaluate him.  She says the Nez-for-Prez hype is just that, nothing more.

What has he accomplished?

She calls President Nez a “career politician” from his days as the Shonto Chapter President, Council Delegate, Vice-President, and now the Navajo Nation President.  Ms. Denetclaw asks us ‘what has he accomplished?’  Can you name one thing that he's done for the community?  She says nothing for his political career and nothing for his first 100 days.  He hired some professional people but they haven't accomplished anything either.  If you ask him, he doesn't say anything because he cannot offer a response, she says.  She also says that all he does is make appearances and testify.

Vacation in Washington DC

Ms. Denetclaw interviewed President Nez in Washington DC. She says that he spent three weeks in DC. He stayed at the Mayflower Hotel which costs $400 per night. For the lodging expenses, if you calculate that, $400 per night times 21 days is $8400. That’s $8400 of the nation’s money! There is nothing to show for that. Why do our leaders take these lavish trips when our Nation's revenues are down? I would like to go to Washington DC and stay in a hotel at $400 per night.

The Mayflower Hotel, Washington DC

A while back there was a white collar investigation into President Nez's trip to Disneyland and his family's use of the P-card. What happened to that investigation? ("Allegations against Nez include use of plane, P-card purchases")

The further we go, the more people are beginning to realize that President Jonathan Nez is just like the others. He is not going to accomplish anything. All he does is spend spend spend.  The Navajo Times has realized this and that is the reason they are criticizing President Nez.

President by default

And the way that he was voted in as President, People voted for Jonathan Nez because nobody wanted to vote for Joe Shirley Jr, not really because Mr. Nez was more qualified.  For the next elections, all the people who keep running and losing should not run so that we can focus on a qualified candidate.  These are people like Joe Shirley Jr., Rex Lee Jim, Dine Benally.  They just dilute the votes.

Sep 20, 2019

Only active uranium mine in America

I cannot believe that the only active uranium mine in the United States (active in present-day 2019) is located a few miles north of the Navajo reservation line near Montezuma Creek and Aneth, Utah in a place called White Mesa, Utah. ("White Mesa Uranium Mill")  It is closer to the Ute Reservation.  Both Native American communities are worried about the dangerous chemical.

More Navajo real estate professionals needed

Shannah Smith is one of the few Navajo real estate agents.  This an article from the Navajo Times that I found very interesting.  ("Real estate pro: More Dine needed in the field") Our leadership need to take notice.  Why are there no Navajo real estate agents?  The article says that because Native American are on reservations, we are not used to buying our own property.  We say "shi keiya" but that is referring to home site leases.  We need to understand how to buy a home.  Shannah says it's just like buying an automobile.  We Dine don't know that home ownership allows people to get loans for other things such as start-up money for business.  And we say economic development is the biggest issue on the reservation that leads to other issues such as high unemployment, high alcoholism, high crime, and you get the picture.  I think it is worth reading this article and paying attention to what Ms. Smith has to say.  

Sep 19, 2019

Should Miss Navajo speak Navajo?

This year, there were only two women running for Miss Navajo. Shandiin Parish from Kayenta won the Miss Navajo contest this year.

Unable to Speak Navajo

At the sheep butchering contest, the judges (former Miss Navajos) were frustrated with the contestants when the judges asked questions in Navajo and the contestants did not answer back in Navajo.  The women in the audience were shouting "T'aa Dinek'ehji!" (translated, "In Navajo!").  The contestants had a scripted response, "Dine bizaad binahoosh'aah," which avoided the question and translates as "I am re-learning the Navajo language." I too was sad and frustrated to see that neither of the contestants spoke Dine Bizaad. One judge stated that she was not going to translate the question into English because she stands for Navajo language and culture. Another judge said she would translate the question after the other contestant had an opportunity to answer the question. The other contestant also did not understand the Navajo question. One former Miss Navajo stated that we can forego one year of having a Miss Navajo if none of the contestants speak Dine bizaad.

Few contestants

It was also surprising that only two people ran for this contest. Perhaps all the recent criticism of the Office of Miss Navajo turned off a lot of people so that this title is no longer prestigious. ("Questions about Miss Navajo pageant", August 30, 2018)  In 2017 and 2018, there were accusations that the judges were biased and abusive. One writer wrote:
"To begin with, a scoring rubric and committee is put in place to ensure the impartiality of judging all contestants. Sadly, this was not the case because relatives are known to be a part of the judging, which questions the validity of the scores."
Maybe women no longer want to be Miss Navajo.

No role model

I was annoyed at the recently-crowned Miss Navajo when I read about her platform in the Navajo Times:
"Her platform is focused on Navajo homes and families to encourage all generations to come together to preserve the Navajo language and culture, “making sure our elders and our children make those connections even though some of our kids might not have grandparents and our grandparents might not have younger children to teach,” she said.  
“Our language and our teachings need to be passed on regardless of kinship. We as a people need to come together. I think this year’s pageant really opened a lot of people’s eyes to that.”" ("New Miss Navajo sees her role as public servant", September 8, 2019)
How can Ms. Parrish talk about language preservation when she falls short of being a role model by not speaking her language?   She would be more convincing if she spoke Dine Bizaad.  Many Navajo speakers are frustrated and rightfully so. The newspaper says that Ms. Parrish held two other titles previously, Miss Indian ASU and Miss Indian Arizona. Perhaps she won because she had better pageant skills. Her Miss Indian Arizona bio says,
"Although she was born and raised on the Navajo Reservation she is not fluent in the Navajo language. To be fluent is her greatest educational and personal goal. She competes in pageants to improve her public speaking abilities, to practice the Navajo language and to learn more about her culture. "
If it's her greatest educational and personal goal, she should have put in the effort to learn at that time (three years ago) by taking language classes and relearning the language.  If she meant to learn the language, she would have learned the language.

Marrying your relatives

I also don't like how Ms. Parrish introduces her clans when she says, "I am and born for Kinyaa'aanii." By saying it in this manner, she appears to be hiding the fact that her first two clans are the same. She needs to say, "Kinyaa'aanii nishli, Kinyaa'aanii basishchiin…"  While that is not her fault, it is her parents' fault, and she needs to address that to say that people with the same clans should not be dating, marrying, and having children. By remaining silent, she is condoning it. By our remaining silent, we are saying it is okay to marry your own relatives. We as a society are not addressing this deterioration of our culture. We need to. ("For Navajo Nation, Finding unrelated mates within tribe")

Like many people, I am frustrated and saddened at the way our society is losing its identity. The 2019 Miss Navajo competition is just another reminder that we are losing our language and culture as a nation. The whole idea of Miss Navajo is rooted in Navajo culture and language. Yet, as we go along, we see Miss Navajos talking less and less of the Navajo language, and not following the traditional values. This year is a special year because it will be known as the year that there were no young women who spoke Dine bizaad.

Sep 18, 2019

Navajo President and Former Miss Navajo should not be promoting rap

Navajo Leadership at Rap concert

Once a Miss Navajo, always a Miss Navajo.

When a woman is crowned Miss Navajo, there is a high expectation of her that she will represent the Dine People in a good way.  Even after she is done with her reign, that expectation continues.  In the past, former Miss Navajos have struggled with issues such as getting arrested for criminal felony charges. ("Cody ties prison sentence to domestic abuse", December 10, 2002)

This year, my mouth dropped at former Miss Navajo 2006-2007 Jocelyn Billy Upshaw dancing at a rap concert with the sexualize backup dancers for a Black rapper with the Navajo President Jonothan Nez and Vice-President Lizer cheering them on.

This is wrong on so many levels.

The former Miss Navajo should not be dancing along side the back-up dancers in bikinis. It does not matter whether it's true or not, but one comment I heard is that Ms. Upshaw's butt was slapped.  Doesn't she know that she is not representing our people positively?  I am embarrassed.

One person said that the Black rapper slapped former Miss Navajo's butt.  These photos appeared in the Navajo Times

Former Miss Navajo looking at the Black rapper.  Navajo Times photo.

Sexualized back-up dancers in bikinis

More dancers in bikinis

A woman with traditional attire at the rap concert

More women in bikinis on the screen behind the rapper
President Nez should know better

The Navajo leadership should not be promoting the deterioration of our culture by inviting rap and heavy metal bands to the reservation. Rap and heavy metal bands are associated with violence, gangs, and a sexualize society. President Nez should know better.  I don't think he realizes that he is representing us.

It's not right

I don't think it's right considering that many of our Navajo women are going missing and being murdered, being accused of prostituting themselves at the fracking man-camps ("Congresswoman asks about Navajo prostitution in New Mexico"), and with the increasing number of inter-racial social issues such as blood quantum and interracial domestic violence.

Navajo flag being draped while women being sexualize on screen in back

Watch the video

Sep 3, 2019

NTEC buys coal mines in Montana

I am nervous about the Navajo Transitional Energy Company (NTEC), a Navajo Nation enterprise being runned by 3 Bilaganas, purchasing the coal mines in Montana. ("Navajo Nation's very risky bet on coal") Why isn't President Nez saying anything about it? Why isn't the Council saying anything about it? Didn't the Council say it had the power to dissolve NTEC? I thought coal was phasing out? I thought the Navajo Nation was in discussion about a clean energy policy? Why is the Navajo Nation buying these mines? What is the Navajo Nation going to do with it? What is the Navajo business in Montana? I thought the politicians were all about transparency, especially President Nez. I don't like this.

Aug 26, 2019

Navajo women cops and Navajo witchcraft

This article appeared about two weeks ago in the Los Angeles Times.  ("On a vast reservation, female Navajo officers patrol with bulletproof vests and protective amulets")  It talks about how the female Navajo Nation police officers deal with Navajo-specific issues such as lack of manpower and witchcraft.  

Navajo police

The reservation is about the size of West Virginia with about 27,000 square miles.  It is huge.  There are only about 200 police officers to provide law enforcement for this huge area.  The police density is about 2 police officers per 1000 people.  Outside the reservation in the United States, the police density is about 3.5 police officers per 1000 people.  Compared to the rest of America, the Navajo Police Department is severely lacking police power. No wonder many areas of the Navajo reservation is like the wild wild west.

Wild West

People do whatever they want.  They drink, get drunk, get violent, and 911 calls start coming to the police dispatcher.  These Dine terrorize the community and the people live in fear.  Under these circumstances, the crime rate is high, most of it caused by alcohol.  There is much violent crimes, sex crimes, and substance crimes.  

Unique values

The article also shows how the Navajo people have their own unique values.  For instance, a family member died and the family member demanded that the female police officer remove the body from the house to somehow make the house less contaminated.  But the police officer cannot just remove the body.  She has to follow protocol.  The evidence needs to be preserved.  There needs to be coroner, etc.  The family should not be drinking in the first place.  But it is hard because the area is high in poverty and unemployment.  People just drink to pass time and because they are bored.  It is hard being a police officer in the rez.  


The article also tells of how the police officers experience witchcraft with some of the Navajo population.  The police officers experience sickness.  The particular female police officer does cedar to protect herself.  Our Cheis and Masanis use to warn of these types of situations.  They would advise us to protect ourselves.  

Culture loss

Currently, we have lost a lot of these teachings.  Our younger generations are oblivious to the taboos our grandparents lived by and taught, especially on the subject of death.  The Christian church and federal government has a lot to do with our culture loss.  I hope we can talk about it and educate each other on why we are losing our culture, and to reteach our culture to our youth.  

Bravo to all our women and men police officers.  

Aug 22, 2019

Amazon Rainforest catches on fire after South American Tribe wins law suit against Mining Company

The Indigenous People in North America and South America are all Native Americans. We are all dealing with the same types of problems by the White European People: Mining Companies mining oil, gas, and coal to get wealthy.

In America, we are dealing with oil and gas companies extracting natural resources from the earth while destroying the environment in the process. This is occurring in North and South Dakota. This is occurring in the Southwest. This is occurring throughout the United States.

The same is happening in South America where the rainforest is located. Mining companies are mining Native American lands. In Ecuador, the Waorani Nation filed a lawsuit against the mining companies. The Native Americans won their law suit. ("Ecuador tribe wins legal battle over the Amazon")

A court in Ecuador has upheld a ruling that prevents the government from selling land in the Amazon rainforest to oil companies...This week's ruling protects half a million acres of land in the Amazon forest on which the Waorani have lived for centuries from being earmarked for oil drilling, campaigners said....The head of Amazon Frontlines Mitch Anderson said the win "shows once again that the fate of the Amazon rainforest, and consequently our climate, hinges on whether or not indigenous people can continue to protect their rainforest territories and cultures".

Everybody, even the mining companies' CEO's families, need oxygen to live. It is estimated that about 20% of the oxygen in the world is produced by the Amazon rainforest. If the rainforest is destroyed, then there is less oxygen for everybody. Is the goal of these mining companies to kill all the humans of the planet, starting with the Indigenous Peoples, by ruining the land, ruining the water, ruining the air, making it harder to breathe? I'm beginning to think that making money is not really the goal of these mining companies.

After the Native Americans won their lawsuit in Ecuador, the rainforest caught on fire. It has not been determined how the rainforest caught on fire. A lot of people are speculating that it's the mining companies that started the fire. ("Brazil's Amazon rainforest is burning at a record rate, research center says")

Aug 19, 2019

The Native American Holocaust and how United States Indian Law inspired Nazi Germany

The swastica is a sacred Navajo symbol from time immemorial.  The symbol has been woven into rugs and inscribed into jewelry and properly comes from the Dine sacred ceremonies.  One rumor says that Adolph Hitler of Nazi Germany was inspired by the Navajo sacred symbol that he adopted as his own.  

American legal scholar Professor Robert Miller is also finding out that the United States law that destroyed the Native Americans also inspired Hitler.  ("Nazi Germany and American Indians")  We are all aware of, and condemn, how the Nazis committed genocide against the Jews, usually termed "the Holocaust", but most of us are not aware that the Nazis copied what the United States did to the Native Americans.  The Commander Hitler himself commented about United States Federal Indian Policy:
"The Nazis’ interest in the United States policies and laws regarding American Indians originated with Adolf Hitler himself. In his book Mein Kampf, Hitler discussed U.S. laws and policies and noted that the United States was a racial model for Europe and that it was “the one state” in the world that was creating the kind of racist society that the Nazi regime wanted to establish. In a 1928 speech, Hitler stated that Americans had “gunned down the millions of Redskins to a few hundred thousand, and now keep the modest remnant under observation in a cage ...”
The United States was a racial model for Europe? It goes further at how the Nazis were amazed that the United States got away with it for some many centuries.
"The Nazis were very interested in how the United States had gotten away with discriminating against Indians for several centuries based on race and bloodlines. "
To put it plainly, as Hitler himself said, America is a racist society.  It was founded upon racism.  Until we can come to grasp with that and start addressing the error, the mass killings are probably going to continue and we Navajos will find ourselves in America's second civil war.

Santa Fe Indian Market 2019

The Santa Fe Indian Market was held this weekend at the state capital known to the Dine as "Yooto". Hundreds of native artists gathered to sell their ware directly to collectors and other jewelry enthusiasts. This year was a good celebration. Maybe our ancestors knew this was a place of turquoise and shells, hence the name, Yooto.

Aug 15, 2019

New Navajo Nation Energy Policy needs to regulate Methane emission, highest in the nation

According to the Farmington Daily Times, the oil and gas operations (which include fracking) in the San Juan Basin has produced the highest methane gas emissions in the United States.  ("Methane emissions in New Mexico highest in oil and gas regions") Methane gas is a greenhouse gas that makes the planet hotter.  This map from the Daily Times shows the methane emissions in the four corners region, which is where the Navajo reservation is located.

Proponents of gas and oil say that the emissions is decreasing.  However, the newspaper reports that the Navajo Nation is directly impacted negatively.
“As this analysis makes clear, methane waste and other pollution are hitting Navajo communities particularly hard,” said Jon Goldstein, director of legislative and regulatory affairs at Environmental Defense Fund.

Luckily the Navajo Nation has an opportunity to enact tribal requirements and fill the gap left by the rollback of federal methane rules. We support the development of strong rules to protect the resources and well-being of the Navajo Nation.”
The Obama Administration put in some laws regulating this problem, but the Trump Administration removed the regulations and is encouraging full course energy development.
"Laurie Weahkee, president of the Native American Voters Alliance said the Navajo Nation could enact its own regulations to combat emissions and preserve air quality.

“The federal government under the Trump administration has abandoned the role of good steward, and the Navajo Nation must act where it can to protect its resources and its people from unfair exploitation,” she said.

“Without federal protections from the Bureau of Land Management’s waste rule or EPA’s methane rule, it’s up to us to affirm our autonomy and protect our communities – stopping methane waste does both.”
Our white brothers and sisters in the energy industry have lost sight of the fact that we are all in this world together. We need to take care of Nahasdzaan Nihima. The earth is their mother too. As a sovereign nation, the Navajo Nation has an opportunity to implement regulations, put a check on Trump's pro-energy policy, and make a dent in the high rate of methane gas emissions. Now is the time as the new Navajo Nation energy policy is being created.

Council Delegate Mark Freeland is on the right track when he states that he wants action on climate change.  ("Delegate wants action on climate change").  He needs to be a part of the planning for the new energy policy.  

Here is an interactive map showing the density of oil and gas operations and the subsequent methane emissions.  

This is a picture from the interactive map showing all the oil and gas activity in the San Juan Basin.  

Aug 12, 2019

New Energy Policy needs to discourage Fracking

Have you seen these trucks around in eastern Navajo Reservation? It looks like an invasion on the movie Red Dawn or something. Well these trucks, as I heard, are a part of the fracking operation in eastern Navajo. The trucks are hauling away all the dirt drilled up from the fracking wells in the Navajo reservation. ("Fracking Boom Ransacks the Four Corners").  These companies are buying the lands from the Navajos.

Photo: Courtesy of Navajo Nation Office of the Speaker

Recently, during the recent Navajo Nation Council's summer session, Council Delegate Elmer Begay introduced legislation to update the tribe's energy policy. In 2013, the Navajo Nation passed the energy law currently in effect. Former Attorney General Harrison Tsosie championed this law and it significantly promotes the development of natural resources on the Navajo Nation with little regard for renewable energy, our environment, and our health. The 2019 proposal seeks to promote more renewable energy. The Navajo Nation President Jonothan Nez stated his support for renewable energy immediately after the Council voted down NGS. The Navajo Nation Council sent this legislation back to the Resource and Development Committee for further discussion and refinement.

The new proposed Navajo energy policy needs to discourage the fracking invasion in eastern Navajo. The eastern Council Delegates need to be a part of the planning for the new energy policy. I understand that Council Delegate Daniel Tso has been trying to fight the fracking operations in the Chaco Region. The environmental groups, Dine CARE and others, have taken the fight to court, but I heard that the Farmington BLM Office who issues permits to frack has been ignoring court orders and going rouge. I think they are relying on the current administration's pro-energy stance, but that should not be a reason to ignore court orders. They need to follow the law. The framers of the 2019 Navajo Energy Policy need to take this invasion and lawlessness into consideration.

5th Circuit upholds ICWA in favor of tribes

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the most recent federal district court case, Brackeen v. Bernhardt. (decision) The lower decision by Federal District Court of Texas held that the Indian Child Welfare Act was unconstitutional because it is a "race-based" law and it violated the equal protection clause. (The Indian Child Welfare Act is a federal law that tries to address past statistics where 25%–35% of all Native children were being removed, and of these, 85% were placed outside of their families and communities. ICWA imposes federal standards for removal and allows tribes to adjudicate these cases involving their own tribal members so the children are placed in their own tribes) The case was appealed to the 5th Circuit where the three-judge panel held that the federal district court's reasoning was flawed:

"The district court concluded that ICWA’s “Indian Child” definition was a race-based classification. We conclude that this was error."

The appeals court upheld the federal law that tribes are not raced based, but political entities with their own sovereignty. The Navajo Nation intervened through its Department of Justice. In conjunction with the Indian law firm Hogan and Lovells, the court of appeals agreed with the Navajo Nation. This is a win for Indian Country. However, this decision may be appealed to the United States Supreme Court. It's not entirely clear whether the SCOTUS are supportive of Indian Country or not. Over the past decades, they have had a bad record in terms of Indian Country. Kudos to our Navajo attorneys, Doreen McPaul of the Navajo DOJ, and her staff.

Aug 8, 2019

Chinle Basketball Team on Netflix

Produced by professional golfers Ricky Fowler and Notah Begay, "Basketball or nothing" is a six-part docu-series following the Chinle Wildcats Boys Basketball team in the 2017-2018 season. The Athletic Director introduces us to the new Basketball Coach, Mr. Raul Mendoza from Holbrook. He is a non-Navajo and has four decades of coaching experience, and famous for having coached with Kareem Abdul Jabar, formerly of the Los Angeles Lakers. The documentary does a great job showing Coach Mendoza's talents and how the reservation boys reached the state quarterfinals. The show went into some of the struggles the boys and their families went through, such as having to grow up without a father. The most powerful part of the series was #12 Josiah Tsosie's reaction when he found out he was getting a full ride Obama scholarship to ASU. Overall, I enjoyed the show, very entertaining, and offers the world a small glimpse into modern Navajo reservation life. I would recommend it. (Where are they now?)

Aug 7, 2019

Leondra Begay, first Dine Marine Infantrywoman

This is a very interesting story about a Navajo female Marine.  (story) She could be the first Native American female in the Marine infantry.  Her brother advised her against joining the Marine Infantry, but she did it.  Up until now, it has been good.  She says she has faced being in the infantry, just previously an all-male occupation specialty.  She says she is ready for combat.  She has not seen any combat, but only time will tell whether it is a good idea to have females in combat.  This is one decision by President Obama that I do not agree with.  There is just a lot of concerns for a woman to be in that environment, but we respect her decision.  Leondra should ask combat veterans about her decision, those that seen the ugly side of war.  I just hope she stays okay and completes her military career successfully.  With all the missing and murdered indigenous women out on the Navajo rez, it might be safer for her to be where she's at, afterall.  Good job representing our Dine People.  Good luck.

What's causing the mass shootings?

Some people, including many politicians, are in denial and blame the mass shooting on video games, or mental health issues. The majority of America is saying that racism is the root cause of almost all the mass shootings that have been recently occurring.

Aug 6, 2019

Mass shootings in Texas and Ohio from a Native American perspective

What do the mass shootings that occurred in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio have to do with Native Americans?   Everything.

White-European history filled with mass murdering

When Europeans first came to America in 1492, the land was filled with Native Americans of all different tribes.  At that time, Native Americans believed that the immigrant Europeans were good honorable people.  Because Native Americans believed that, the Native Americans helped the first Europeans survive some of their harshest first winters.  (We celebrate this every November.)

Then everything went downhill.  The White Race started their mass shootings on Native Americans and massacred millions of innocent lives.  From Wounded Knee to the Apache Massacre, tribe after tribe after tribe. (List of Indian Massacres)  For Navajos, Kit Carson was the mass shooter that killed thousands of innocent Navajos especially in Canyon De Chelly about a century and a half ago.  So mass shootings were already in the White Race's history from the beginning.  The Europeans also released deadly diseases which decimated the Native Americans throughout the continent.  (Much of this history is deleted from the history books in public schools across America today.)

Manifestos part of European massacre tradition

Today, White Americans fear what happened to the Native Americans is going to happen to them.  Our European brothers and sisters are scared of bio-terrorism and being taken over.  The recent Texas massacre is an example of this.

The El Paso mass shooter wrote a manifesto called the "The Inconvenient Truth" in which he expressed his ultimate fear of the Mexican "invasion" into Texas.  He uploaded the document on the internet moments before targeting the Mexican Race and killing twenty-two people at the El Paso Wal Mart.  Interestingly, here is a direct quote concerning Native Americans from that manifesto:
“I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion. Some people will think this statement is hypocritical because of the nearly complete ethnic and cultural destruction brought to the Native Americans by our European ancestors, but this just reinforces my point. The natives didn’t take the invasion of Europeans seriously, and now what’s left is just a shadow of what was.”

When Christopher Columbus and other Europeans first landed on America and saw the land was filled with Native Americans, those first Europeans also read a "Manifesto" to the Native Americans before mass shooting them. So announcing a "manifesto" before killing a group of people seems to be the European tradition from centuries ago that continues. The Native Americans at the time of Columbus did not understand the document nor the European language, but they died just the same, just like the victims at Wal Mart and the Ohio night club this past weekend. Similar to the surviving Native American tribes today experiencing inter-generational trauma caused by European colonization, the families of the 80+ victims in the two deadly shootings are in mourning, in grief, angry, and scared. The devastation that we see on TV reminds us of our ancestors, the millions of Native American victims that we lost over the past five centuries.
Good-hearted White-Europeans

When the White People first came to America, Native Americans believed that the visiting Europeans were good honorable people. Since then, we've been massacred, and our land has been taken. A few of us remain. We've been placed on reserves in deplorable conditions, with high rates of unemployment, alcoholism, suicide, and missing people.

As if this were not enough, the killing and rape continues with the taking of our natural resources, and continuing to strip us of our language and culture, women and children. This is the "shadow of what was". With this experience, it is difficult to believe that White Americans are good honorable people. But as with all people, not all of them are bad like the mass shooters in Ohio, Texas, California, and Las Vegas.  I believe there are some good-hearted White People.

It takes a strong people to experience all this negativity, to empathize with the victims of the mass shootings, and to continue with a positive outlook.  Somehow, that is what we must do. We must remain strong as Native Americans as we continue forward in these turbulent times.   Condolences to our Mexican  and Black brothers and sisters, and all the families of the innocent lives lost in Texas and Ohio this past weekend.

Aug 2, 2019

Bashas donuts half sprinkled

Donuts from Bashas' Bakery Department are now going to be served with only half the sprinkle.  They said that they received new guidelines that will affect all the Bashas stores across Dine Bikeya.  Is it because of all the high rates of diabetes among Navajos that we are now getting half the sugar sprinkles on donuts?

Aug 1, 2019

MTV show Catfish comes to Tuba City

MTV's most recent Catfish show aired Shirlene, a Dine woman living in Chandler, Arizona being catfished by Mya, a woman from Tuba City who liked Shirlene. In Shirlene and James, Shirlene met James on Facebook, a Zuni-Navajo man who welds for a living, has three homes, a home in Tuba City, Phoenix, and Zuni, and he is third in line to become the Zuni tribal leader. They chatted and they liked each other, but really James was Mya, using a fake facebook identity. The sparks flew until James started withdrawing. Shirlene was informed by Jame's sister that James died and she was bummed. Shirlene contacted Nev and Kamie who investigated what really happened. Nev and Kamie came all the way out to Phoenix and Tuba City investigating Shirlene's situation. They went to the Tuba City Police Department and found out that James was not in jail as Mya said. Mya eventually agreed to meet Shirlene and the Catfish team. Shirlene was angry and seem to let Mya off the hook too easily. Mya wanted to continue to be friends with Shirlene, but Shirlene moved on. Overall, this show was entertaining and so engaging that the one-hour show went by real quickly. I heard that Tuba City Chapter house was going to show a screening, but that was a hoax, just like I heard how George Strait was going to be at Shiprock was a hoax. The best part of the show was when Shirlene was asked about the biil at the Heard Museum and she stated that we Navajos use that today only at graduations.

Jul 26, 2019

Sacred Mountain Fire is a Sign

The sacred mountain to the west, Dook'osliid, recently went up in flames.  ("Museum Fire") About 2000 acres of the mountain burned before the rain contained the fire.  Many Dine are worried about the sacred mountain burning.  I think the mountain caught on fire because of all the negative energy in our society today.  There is a lot of bad stuff going around, including the numerous people who continue to go missing.  There is also the majority of Navajos who no longer have any real connection to anything Dine, no language, no culture.  There have been other sacred mountains that have caught fire, but nobody knows that they are even sacred anymore.  The flames on Dook'osliid is just a sign of our Dine declining out of existence.  We are spiraling out of control and nobody seems to know how to regain control.  It's a sad day.

Jul 25, 2019

Navajo on death row to be killed in December

Lezmond Mitchell, a Navajo on death row, will be put to death by lethal injection for killing a Navajo elder woman and her grandchild.  In 2003, Mitchell was picked up as a hitchhiker when he killed the woman stabbing her 33 times.  He forced the granddaughter to sit next to the deceased grandmother for half an hour before cutting her throat and killing her.  After that he went off to rob a store.  The Navajo Nation and the victims’ family were opposed to the death penalty. Recently, under the Trump Administration, the US Attorney General  reinstated the death penalty in federal prison.  Unless there is a successful legal challenge, Mr. Mitchell will be be executed in December 2019.  (story)

Jul 17, 2019

Karis Begaye pleads guilty to DUI

The daughter of former President Russell Begaye has pleaded guilty to DUI in the Flagstaff crash that totaled the tribal vehicle last year. Karis Begaye pleaded guilty last month to misdemeanor impaired driving and criminal damage, and to a felony count of endangerment. She was sentenced to three years probation and must pay restitution to the tribe. The felony count may have ruined her career.

This is a wake up call for some of tribal employees who are battling alcohol addiction.  Recently, some of our Navajo police have been involved in DUI deaths in the Flagstaff and Phoenix.  Our society is struggling with alcohol addiction.  The tribe is dry.  The Dine people get their alcohol from the surrounding bordertowns.  It's just not the "drunks", it's also the working people including the professionals such as lawyers.  Some of the alcohol is consumed in the bordertowns which causes the towns to be filled with "Indian drunks".  Some of it is smuggled back into the rez where it is bootlegged to the people.  The alcohol contributes to the crime and poverty and dui deaths.  The alcohol industry benefits from the alcohol sales that make the manufacturers wealthy, and that keep the politicians in place.  The alcohol severely weakens the Navajos and keeps our society dependent on outsiders.  It's a strong cycle that our society can't seem to kick.