Mar 20, 2019

Hueston in Time Magazine

Kinsale Hueston is part of Time Magazine's 'People Changing How We See the World'. (here) She is Tachiinii born for Bilagana, 18 years old, attending Yale University, and a poet. She is a role model. Way to go Shi Dine'e!

Council delegate issues apology

It is sad to hear about one of our Council delegates engaged in sending out pictures of his private parts. (here)  He had to send an apology to his constituents.  Is this the type of leadership we have to settle for?  Neither Seth Damon nor Jonothan Nez has anything to say about that.  Not even Delegate Crotty who has complained about sexual harassment in the past.  It is a sad day.

Image result for sad face emoji

Feb 13, 2019

IHS failing to protect Native Americans from pedofile doctors

There is a scandal in the Indian Health Services.  No I am not talking about the government shutdown a few weeks ago.  The IHS is hiring doctors that come to the Indian reservations to sexually assault child tribal members.   ("A Summary of Ongoing Indian Health Services Scandal").  I have heard about doctors and nurses trying to exploit our tribal ceremonies and medicine people for their knowledge bases.  This issue of sexual assault by IHS doctors is emerging.

The IHS is a part of the federal government.  We as Indian Nations have treaties with the federal government.  We the Indian Nations agreed not to make claims on the lands that is now the United States, now occupied mostly by non-Natives.  In return, the United States agreed to provide health care and American education.  We did not agree to sexual abuse by doctors or priests, yet, that is what we are getting.

("Predator on the Reservation" Video)

All Roads lead to Chaco - 2nd Annual

This  seems like an interesting conference about economic development.  

2nd Annual All Roads lead to Chaco Canyon Conference
March 13-15, 2019
Coushatta Casino Resort, Kinder, Louisianna

It would makes sense to locate the conference near the Navajo rez.  According to the conference website

This conference shifts the conversation from protection of Native Nations to empowerment by showing them how they can use their sovereignty to create business opportunities, establish business friendly environments, and become participants in the global economy. Moreover, this conference explores uncharted territory—international trade. The following topics are on the agenda:

  • Nation Building
  • Historic Tribal Trade and Economic Practices
  • Creating Private Sector Economies on Reservations
  • Removing Barriers to Entrepreneurship in Indian Country
  • Inter-Tribal Trade
  • Tribal-State Business Partnerships
  • Business Transactions and Enforcing Contracts in Indian Country
  • Native Nations Engaging in International Trade

Conference Organizer, Joseph Austin

Council Committee Assignments

Budget and Finance Committee
Amber Kanazbah Crotty from Northern Agency
Jamie Henio from Eastern Agency
Elmer Begay from Fort Defiance Agency
Jimmy Yellowhair from Central Agency
Nathaniel Brown from Western Agency
Raymond Smith Jr. from Fort Defiance Agency
Health, Education and Human Services Committee
Charlaine Tso from Northern Agency
Daniel E. Tso from Eastern Agency
Pernell Halona from Fort Defiance Agency
Edison Wauneka from Fort Defiance Agency
Nelson BeGaye from Central Agency
Paul Begay from Western Agency
Resources and Development Committee
Rick Nez from Northern Agency
Mark Freeland from Eastern Agency
Wilson Stewart Jr. from Fort Defiance Agency
Kee Allen Begay Jr. from Central Agency
Thomas Walker Jr. from Western Agency
Herman Daniels Jr. from Western Agency
Law and Order Committee
Eugenia Charles-Newton from Northern Agency
Edmund Yazzie from Fort Defiance Agency
Vince James from Fort Defiance Agency
Eugene Tso from Central Agency
Otto Tso from Western Agency

Feb 8, 2019

Question and Answer session with Prez Nez in Washington DC

Feb 7, 2019

Land Department website

For people who want to establish a homesite lease.

Dine Bikeya website

Navajo business website

For people who are trying to start a business on the Navajo reservation, this site is a good resource.

Build Navajo website

Feb 6, 2019

Trying to revive the Navajo Generating Station - The problem with Navajo tribal enterprises

Are the Hopis behind this?  Some Navajos and the Navajo Transitional Energy Company (NTEC), a Navajo enterprise, are still trying to gain support to revive the Navajo Generating Station.  (Navajo Energy Officials Say NGS Purchase Will Economically Benefit Tribe).   They believe that they could make the plant profitable by controlling the price of fuel.  However, under the study of economics, the economy is what drives the price of fuel.  Their plan does not address the mining of coal as a profitable operation in this market.  The new plan is not a viable business plan.  It's a dead horse. 

Someone also put an ad in the Navajo Times showing the NTEC board's lack of qualifications.
What happened to Navajo preference when hiring positions for tribal enterprises?  Are the Navajos so uneducated that we couldn't find any qualified Dine to fill these board positions?  I don't believe so.  The Navajo Preference law is probably one of the most violated Navajo laws that go under the table.  I wish the new Attorney General would make this issue a top priority and start investigating tribal enterprises such as NTUA, and Navajo Gas and Oil.  A lot of non-Navajos, from the officers, to the board members, to the lawyers who advise these boards, dictate these organizations that affect Dine lives.   

As for the NTEC tribal enterprise, it would be interesting to see who is all involved in the creation of this tribal enterprise.  Which council delegate sponsored the legislation?  Who appointed the CEO?  Like with the Naat'aanii corporation, my senses tell me there is corruption.  

February snowstorm on the Rez

A snowstorm has hit the Navajo reservation.  These are pictures of the summit area.  Drive safe.


Council Committee Assignment

There have been a few amendments to the council committee assignments.  The amendments will be posted as soon as possible.

Feb 4, 2019

Walking in beauty in broken glass

Sometimes it is hard to walk in beauty when the reservation is littered with glass all along the roads and paths.  If you look on the ground with the sun reflecting, sometimes you can see thousands of sparkles from all the broken glass in the dirt, asphalt, or concrete.  The alcohol drinkers are usually the ones who litter the land with all their alcohol bottles.  Sometimes kids find the bottles and break the glass for a thrill.  Either way, they don't value the land. They probably don't realize that others have to use the same roads and pathways and breaking glass poses a danger towards others.  They don't realize that they might go down the same path and injure themselves.  Those broken glass shards hide in the dirt and are razor sharp and can easily cut flesh.

Sharp as a knife
Most of the time, the alcohol drinkers are probably miserable in their lives and to cope with that misery, they need to drink.  Then they share their misery with others by polluting the environment and to make others miserable.  Why hasn't any tribal politician address this problem yet?  We have yet to find a solution to pick-up all the millions of broken glass shards that litter our Dine Bikeya.  It's just another indicator that we as a society have a bigger problem.

Feb 1, 2019

Navajo Executive website is up and running

The new administration has their website up and running.  (here)  Great picture.

Jan 31, 2019

Time to banish the Christian Churches from Dine Bikeiya

Like the crisis in the Catholic church about priests sexually abusing boys, there is a series of lawsuits against the LDS church on Navajoland.  Many adult Navajos are filing claims in tribal court that they were sexually abused by LDS church officials while these Navajos were on the church's placement program decades ago.  In the most recent of lawsuits, a woman, identified only by initials, "BN", claimed that she was sexually abused while in the placement program in Utah.  She filed her complaint against the LDS church in the Navajo Nation courts.  The church tried to settle the lawsuit by offering the woman hush-money.  The woman rejected the church's money.  Now the church filed a writ in the Navajo Supreme Court to keep the tribal court lawsuit from proceeding.   The church claimed the tribal court did not have the authority to hear this dispute against the church because the alleged incidents of sexual abuse occurred off reservation.  The Navajo Supreme Court rejected the church's claim.  ("Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints v. Window Rock District Court and Concerning BN, Real Party in Interest, Opinion")  Now the church is running to the federal court in Utah claiming the tribal court has no jurisdiction.  ("Church sues Navajo woman over settlement in abuse cases")

If the church is dodging the tribal court's jurisdiction, then it is appropriate to expel the Christian church from the Navajo reservation today.

Our Navajo Nation leaders crucially need education on the role of the Christian church in the Navajo People's history.  We need education on the role of the church in the genocide of Native Americans, especially Navajos, in American history.  We need to learn about the Church's role in the legal history of the United States.

When we become educated and aware, we learn that these instances of genocide and racism, rooted in Christianity, continues and persists today.  For instance, a Navajo woman in New Mexico claims racism in the Albuquerque Public Schools. ("Parents call for APS overhaul at first community forum").  A boy got his long hair cut by a school official.  This was the practice in boarding schools when children were kidnapped from their Navajo families and their hair was cut off.  The boarding school policy is based on the Christian Doctrine of Discovery.  In Utah, a former Navajo Council delegate keeps facing challenges to his residency in attempt to keep him off the County Commission which involves a lot of the racial politics of southern Utah and Utah Dine.  ("Judge rules that Greyeyes does indeed live in Utah, affirms Navajo Dems spot on San Juan County Commission").  The purpose of these challenges is to keep the commission majority white and LDS.  This is not to mention the recent national incident of the Christian Covington boy staring down at a Native veteran activist Nathan Phillips. America has a problem with race rooted in Christianity.
The woman from New Mexico articulately puts it, "It's hard to heal when the knife is still in your back."

It is well known, and documented, that Christian churches have targeted Native Americans as a part of the colonization and assimilation process, to destroy the Native American language, culture and way of life, and replace that with English language, and Christianity.

If our tribal leaders have courage, they would learn about and acknowledge the church's negative impacts on our Dine people, and start removing their influence by banishing church officials from the reservation and vacating their land withdrawals, especially now, since the church refuses the law and order provided by our Window Rock District Court and Navajo Supreme Court.  If the church is going to operate in the Navajo Nation, then it is only logical that the church accept the tribe's jurisdiction.  It is not right that members of the Christian chuch sexually gratify themselves while harming our Dine People, and then walk away without consequences.  Our Dine People are suffering this historical trauma and deal with it by resorting to alcohol, drugs, and violence.

Jan 29, 2019

2019 Winter Session Branch Reports

Here are the reports from each branch of government.  This is a part of the "transparency" that we all want from our government.  See what they are reporting on:

Legislative Branch report

Executive Branch report

Judicial Branch report

Jan 28, 2019

Naat'aanii Nidinoobiili - 2019

Ya'a't'eeh.  Nihi naat'aanii naadinoobiilii.  Nizhonigoshii niha dahwono'aah dooleel.  Ya'at'eehgo nihi Dine'eba dahwiinoo'ah dooleel.  Dii biniye nahat'a nihaah nidaasya'.  Dii biniiye ni Dine nihik'idiil'nii'.  Ya'at'eeh.
Diidi naats'iilid nihinazt'i'agii baanitsidaakeesgo nahwiino'aah, Shi Naanit'a'i.

Congratulations Speaker Seth Damon

Congratulations to Seth Damon for winning the election for Speaker of the Navajo Nation Council.  Good luck.  

Navajo Nation Cabinet Members

Congratulations to the new cabinet members selected to help lead the Dine nation.

Congratulations President Jonathan Nez

Congratulations to Jonathan Nez for winning the election for Navajo Nation President.  He is a Navajo speaker, and rumor is he participates in the Navajo culture and ceremonies.  He has a Master's Degree from NAU in public administration.  We have yet to see how he handles leading the nation.  In his previous tribal employee positions that has led to his presidency, he has mostly been dormant.  I hope he is able to effectively address the looming crisis of decreased revenues which, if not addressed, will result in substantial loss of tribal employee jobs.  He picked Myron Lizer for Vice-President.  Good luck.

Jan 26, 2019

Nansy Pelosi for President of the United States

I champion the head of the Democratic Party for doing what many people are too chicken to do, stand up against President Donald Trump.  (How Nancy Pelosi Broke Trump)  I would vote for her if she ran for President Of The United States otherwise known as POTUS.  She broke the dictatorship type of government envisioned by Trump and his supporters.  The American framers designed the American government as a system of co-equal branches with checks and balances.  America is not a kingdom runned by a tyrant who forces people to work for free.

Season of Rabbit Tracks

Tis the season of the rabbit tracks.  Our ancestors did the gah naalzheeh.  They went out hunting for rabbits.  Have any of you in the modern times hunted rabbit?  I have hunted rabbit one time.  It really was not a hunt, but we followed and chased a gahlbahi.  We ran after it.  It went into a hole.  We tried to catch it.  We failed.  That was my one experience.  So that might qualify me to say that I have hunted rabbit.  Tis is the season of hunting rabbits.  With all the polluted lands of today, I am not so sure that hunting rabbits is safe.  Companies like the international energy giant, Peabody Coal Company, have polluted our lands and left their ash.  They don't even want to be responsible and clean it up.  Former Navajo Nation Council Delegate Lorenzo Bates was trying to get NTEC, the Navajo Nation enterprise, to purchase NGS to save the company from extinction.  (NTEC in negotiation to take over NGS)  I guess they have not heard that the market for coal energy has waned.  No more NGS.  I think its good for the Dine.  The shutdown makes us re-evaluate the decisions of our past leaders, and how those decisions were not always the best decisions.  A lot of those decisions were made with pressure from outside politicians.  But on the other hand, I guess we can be grateful for those decisions because those decisions have allowed us as Dine to exist into the present.  As for the rabbit hunt, I hope that we can return to a time when our children hunt rabbits again, not necessarily to subsist, but for the teachings and culture associated with the rabbit hunt.  After all, a rabbit hunt is just not a rabbit hunt.

It's been a while

It's been a while since I have blogged.  I decided to take a little time off to myself.  I have been doing a lot of reflecting and decided that I will try to update my blog.

Feb 2, 2018

Chief Justice Jayne

Congratulations Joann Jayne for being hired as the Chief Justice of the Navajo Nation.  We look forward to some great guidance from you.  Ya'a't'eeh.

Jan 10, 2018

Navajo Times CEO cited for DUI

Navajo Times CEO Tom Arviso Jr. was cited for DUI in Gallup this past weekend.  The newspaper's board placed him on administrative leave.  He says he was sorry for the incident.  He adds to the list of DUIs of Navajos.  As a company that started out as a Navajo enterprise, it makes the current enterprises look bad and he needs to be held to that higher standard. I have heard people say that as the CEO of the largest tribe's newspaper, he needs to resign. Alcohol is a very powerful force.  We need to acknowledge its power.  Until we do that, we cannot move forward.  Yadilah!

Jan 6, 2018

Water over territory

Lately, there have been bickering on the Navajo Times letter to editor about the purchase of land at Colorado and the need for water on the Navajo reserve.  This is a hard issue.  We need the water.  But the territory is also important.  I'm glad to hear this as the issue though.  Here is a good article of the Navajo water crisis.  It was interesting how the writing acknowledges that the Navajo reservation is a desert and arid, and much of the available water has been ruined due to energy development such as uranium, coal, and gas.  Currently, gas is booming with fracking.  Much of the water is contaminated and our young educated Navajo professionals are bringing awareness of how bad the situation is in Sanders, Crownpoint, Kayenta, and Tuba City. These are major Navajo communities.  With contaminated water comes early death by cancer, failed kidney, and breathing issues.  Dahoochxo'.  There was a good comment about how the current American administration is allowing the fracking boom to overrun the area which is a violation of the Navajo-US treaty.  This is a violation of international law.  As one judge stated, "Great Nations, like great men, keep their word."  What kind of Nation does that make the US?  A pinch of reality.

Jan 5, 2018

Congratulations Council Delegate Crotty

Amber Crotty made the Navajo Times Person of the Year for 2017.  Good job.  Nizhoni.   I would give it to her too for trying to raise public awareness of the sexual assault and discrimination issue in the Navajo government and reservation.  This is a very hard subject to tackle and Ms. Crotty bravely led that effort.  If only the rest of our Council would get on board it would be good.  (article)

Happy New Year 2018!

Happy New Year 2018!

Here is a Blast from the Past on the Modern Traditional Navajo.  This is a picture of the Todineeshee Singers who remind us of what our Dine Hastoi looked like.

Nabaahii Dine'e.

They were lean, mean, fighting machines with quivers, bows, and war hats.  These guys are wearing blankets over the shoulder like the traditional Hopi warriors who wore buckskins over their shoulders to cover their hearts from Dine arrows. 

Nov 16, 2017

Language in quick decline

No it's not happening.  Yes it is.  The Navajo Times reports the Navajo language is in decline.  ("Data shows huge reduction in Diné speakers")  The article predicts that in 3 years, we will be at 30% speakers, mostly consisting of the older generations (over 40). I wonder "how it will be in 2050?".  2070?  That has always been the American dream. 

Nov 14, 2017

Drunk driving legislation

Council Delegate Nelson Begaye is taking aim at alcoholism on the Navajo reservation. ("Committee seeks to strengthen laws against drunk driving and bootlegging") He seeks to introduce legislation which imposes stiffer penalties on drunk driving and bootleggers.

There have been a series of alcohol-related accidents on the Navajo reservation recently. Most recent, a young teenager from Kayenta was struck by a drunk driver. We also cannot forget about the Kayenta police officer that was killed in Flagstaff as a result of drunk driving, or the police officer that killed a white man in Phoenix due to drunk driving.

Yes, our people are struggling with alcoholism.

I thought taking aim at the bootleggers was an interesting move. Who are these bootleggers? Targeting their right to remain on the Rez and banishing them is an interesting idea.

What about those that serve liquor at the casinos. Shouldn't they be at fault too?

What about the habitual public intoxication arrestees?

Sometimes it seems like all the people in the remote Navajo reservation areas do is drink and get drunk. They are constantly drinking. Most of our Navajo men, particularly, have lost the will to live and just drink on the Rez. What kind of life is that, to appear to have no responsibilities and to escape reality into a numbing stupor? Who perpetuates their behavior? Themselves? Their parents? The border towns? Cindy Mccain? The People of the dark side? The federal government? Who?

To keep the status quo seems unacceptable. To put the drinkers in jail also does not seem right because incarceration makes them dependent on the tribe for food and lodging and escaping responsibilities for themselves and their families. How can we make our people good responsible citizens of the Dine Nation? Do the drinkers themselves want to be good responsible citizens? Or are they too lazy? Or hurting too much? Are they out of control? Are the reservation people out of control?

Here's a question: Does living on the reservation enable drinking because reservation Navajos don't need to work? One major reason Navajos drink is that they have nothing to do. There is no need to work because there is no requirement to pay expenses that urban Navajos pay, such as land expenses (property taxes, mortgage, rent, garbage fees, city expenses, etc.). There is no need to get a job because unemployment is high on the reservation. The people need something to do. The federal government has a lot to do with tying up the Rez economy.

Well these are some of my thoughts. I hope it stimulates thinking about this important discussion. I hope we get more discussion.

Bravo to Delegate Begaye.

Sep 13, 2017

Miss Navajo crowned 2017-2018

Congratulations to Crystal Littleben. She was crowned as the new Miss Navajo 2017-2018. We hope to hear great things from her. (here) I heard that the frybread making contest has been eliminated from the competition for Miss Navajo because frybread is a symbol of colonization. Not to be a downer, but isn't the whole Miss Navajo contest also rooted in colonization? We just don't go as far as having a swimsuit competition. How much do we eliminate in the name of de-colonization?

Apr 8, 2017

Branch Leaders need to visit Relocated Families about NGS Closure

I heard about the Navajo President and the Navajo Speaker visiting with the Peabody workers who are about to lose their jobs due to the Navajo Generating Station closure. President Begay is asking for federal support to keep NGS open a few more years. President Begay and Speaker Bates need to look at the broader issue. They are only looking at one side, the Peabody workers' side. How about visiting the families who lost their lands to the Navajo-Hopi land dispute? How about talking to McCain about that? Or Navajo-Hopi Land Office Attorney Lawrence Ruzow (who happens to be the Navajo Nation Bar Association President and chums with the third branch leader Acting Chief Justice Allen Sloan)? Don't those relocated families have a say in the NGS? Peabody is the reason these families were removed. Thousands of acres of land lost. A lot of those lands are just vacant today. And the Navajo-Hopi Land Office is closing soon. I think Percy Deal stated in the Gallup Independent that no politician has come to his community of Big Mountain about NGS-Peabody's impact on families and environment in his community. I agree. It just seems like President Begay and Speaker Bates just support the expensive clothing worn, and big pick-up trucks driven by the relatively few Peabody workers and their families. That's not right. They need to look at this issue more comprehensively, and considering history.

Apr 2, 2017

Brown-Almaweri a role model for Navajo leaders

There is this article, "Student hopes to teach others about their cultural identity". The article discusses how one student, Baahh Nazoshnii Brown-Almaweri, tries to promote Navajo language and culture. She got a $10,000 grant for an afterschool program in Ganado for teenagers to learn about "healthy eating habits, positive body image, and Mother Earth and living traditions." A key goal for the program is retaining cultural identity. Where it gets interesting is when the article describes the Navajo Indian reservation,

"It's also a place where many have been stripped of their cultural identity because of forced assimilation by state-runned public schools."

The article acknowledges the forced assimilation of Navajos. Further, in light of the present race climate surrounding Native Americans in America, this article courageously and plainly acknowledges this country's hatred for Navajo culture. We see this racism today in our state education policies where our state school curriculum (Structured English Immersion in Arizona) is designed to make English speakers out of Navajos. In the process, our divine right to "the fundamental values and principles of Diné Life Way" and "the right and freedom of the Diné to be educated as to Diné Bi beenahaz'áanii," as described in the Navajo Fundamental Law, is being diminished. Ms. Brown-Almaweri is trying to do something about this problem. I wish our leadership would do the same and put more effort into addressing this issue. This would require a courageous leader.
Baahh-Nazoshnnii Brown-Almaweri ’17 is familiar with the myriad issues facing young people of the Navajo Nation. - See more at:
We sIt’s a a place where many have been stripped of their cultural identity because of forced assimilation by state-run public schools - See more at:
It’s also a place where many have been stripped of their cultural identity because of forced assimilation by state-run public schools. - See more at:
It’s also a place where many have been stripped of their cultural identity because of forced assimilation by state-run public schools. - See more at:
It’s also a place where many have been stripped of their cultural identity because of forced assimilation by state-run public schools. - See more at:
It’s also a place where many have been stripped of their cultural identity because of forced assimilation by state-run public schools. - See more at:". 

NT Letter attacks Tlo'chi'in News - raises Lack of Education among our Dine

There was this NT letter to the editor "The dangers of Jini news", that was worth mentioning. Melvin Tso complains about Tl'oh Chin news spreading false news, despite the site's disclaimer, "Tlo'chi'iin News is fake and satirical news." He compares the online site to Ma'ii who spreads the fake word. He pleads to the Navajo leadership to do something about this fake.

I disagree with Tso. Tso's letter illustrates a big Navajo issue - the lack of western education among our Dine. Today, many of us Dine need western education to function in this society. Many Dine do not know that Navajo society is in the process of assimilating and is quickly transforming into a brown version of American society. In the process, we try to be as assimilated as possible, but some of us don't have the education to back us up. In this situation, Melvin Tso may have learned to read and write English, but it seems like he has not been educated of the different forms of English writing. One form of writing is called "satire" or "satirical writing". Some of the early satirical writers were European Victorian cartoonist. Today, our Navajo society is assimilating into American society, so we have Jack Ahasteen being the modern European Satirist, the Navajo version. Satire does not focus on factual accuracy which is the aim for general news. The satire provides a means to communicate perspectives that may otherwise be difficult to publish as regular news. Tl'oh Chin provides different perspectives about difficult issues that might be difficult to publish, such as accusing Senator McCain of Navajo witchcraft "Poll: 95% of Navajos are Sure this Photo shows that McCain is a Skinwalker". I find it thought-provoking. Therefore, I don't agree with Melvin Tso. Our People need more perspectives, more discussions on some of these difficult topics, more western education about topics such as European history and American Indian studies, and more Navajo education on topics such as the Navajo Fundamental Law.