Chief Justice's statements realistic, truthful

January 31, 2013

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I wanted to elaborate on an article written by Herb Yazzie in the Navajo Times, dated Dec. 27, 2012, in regards to the true Navajo Judicial System.

Herb Yazzie stated he's been spending a lot of time toward a better Navajo Judicial System, a better judicial system that will work for the Navajo Nation.

The day we existed, Navajo Nation Fundamental is based on unity, our language, kinship, traditional ceremony, traditional wedding, traditional values, our sacred mountain, early dawn, blue dawn, yellow dawn, black dawn, our Father Sky, and our Father Sun. These beliefs all tie to our elderly people and ancestors.

We do agree with Herb Yazzie's ideas and concerns. The Navajo Nation court should have reporters that can translate from Navajo to English and vice versa. To be fluent in Navajo, English and have some basic knowledge about the fundamentals of law and the white man's existing law.

We also agree about the caseloads of court documents, which are not being taken care of and are not being processed properly.

The Navajo Nation always talks about the veterans and elderly, but when it comes to court cases these elderly and veterans are pushed to the sidelines, never protected, and are overlooked. These are facts.

In most cases, judges and/or lawyers are also related to the party in crime and lighten their sentences. This is conflict of interest. If this is our judicial system at present, then it really isn't a Navajo "Nation" Court System, instead realistically a Navajo Court System.

So Herb Yazzie's statement and concerns is realistic and truthful about the Navajo Nation Courts System being in a mess. It will not be done overnight, but it can be done for the future of the nation and most importantly, for the future of our young generation to come.

Ray Redhouse
Tsaile, Ariz.

Sovereign nation, holy people

My name is Ralph Ulysses Davis and I am a Choctaw-Navajo/Chahta-Dineh, born and reared on the Navajo Nation. I worked for the Navajo Nation tribal government during the years from 1971 to 2001 as an ASO IV.

The original government reform initiative was created by OMPA and placed under my job responsibility. I wrote the first government reform grant and received $300,000 from ANA to study the Navajo Nation tribal government before the Treaty Era up to time of the grant approval, which was for the purpose of structuring and streamlining the SAS system of the signature process.

The mechanism for government reform is the referendum system, which is the direct law-making system of the Dineh voters without "bloodshed" or conflict, so to speak metaphorically because the Navajo Nation does not have a military component representing power over the people.

The 35 percent of registered voters requirement is totally unrealistic. This was later changed to 15 percent, which is still extremely unrealistic. Note that all other states in the U.S. are at 10 percent of the registered voters for referendum change. This is the first step to put into action to manifest change before any other sequential change. The registered voter signatures requirement for referendum change needs to be changed from 15 percent to 10 percent.

For true change to manifest within the Navajo Nation tribal government system, change must be incremental. To plan that change and implement it every four years during the general election maximizes time and resources.

People do not accept wholesale reform and that is why government reform is unrealistic at 15 percent. This sets up the first obstacle to change. The Navajo Nation government talks about listening to the Dineh but will not correct the unrealistic percentage in order to utilize the referendum as a mechanism for listening to the people. Instead the Navajo Nation silences the people. This was evidenced by my study of the Navajo Treaty, previous drafted constitutions and Office of Government Reform information.

To date, there is no officially documented Navajo Nation government history, because of the potential of exposing corruption between the federal government and the Navajo Nation. Keeping the 35 percent requirement is used to control and silence the Dineh so that all the people's natural resources are exploited and exported.

The bigger picture to take into consideration is that the U.S. as a democratic and capitalist government created all Indian reservation tribal governments and organized them into a socialist government system for the purpose of controlling the leader of the socialist government system who was the tribal chairman, and now the tribal "president".

The reason for setting up a socialist government system, now known as the American Indian reservation tribal government system, is to control the leadership in order to control and export tribal natural resources. A socialist government will take care of a tribal person from cradle to grave, but the cost is our autonomous freedom.

The constitution of the American Indian people, including and especially the Dineh, is the natural order, hozhooji k'e iina, which we can totally and realistically trust and depend upon, and not an artificial Euro-centric dualistic man-made system that is designed to exploit the natural resources and victimize the people. Do we want to continue to use a self-destruct system?

I plan to share my experience and knowledge with the Navajo Nation youth so that they can understand the obstacles that need changing in order to implement creative and productive change beneficial to all the people.

I researched my own name and was surprised that the name "Ralph" means "Brave Talk". Now, I plan to live up to my name and use it to teach my wisdom to the next generation. I want them to know how to become united by using our own clan system for tribal renewal to benefit everyone into the future. I wish you all the blessings that the Dineh language and culture holds for designing creative solutions that the Navajo Nation tribal government needs to implement for our collective survival. Remember we are a sovereign nation and remember we are the "Holy People".

Ralph U. Davis
Albuquerque, N.M.

Veteran's suffering and in dispute with chapters

The Navajo Times, Jan. 24, 2013 edition, on the front page stated that 4 percent would be brought before the Navajo Nation Council, where 2 percent will go into our 4 percent trust fund while the other 2 percent will go to the chapters to assist our veterans. This legislation is being sponsored by honorary Council Delegate, Alton Shephard.

There is a big concern with this, should it pass, we will stay in the same position like we did for the past five years. We do want to spend some of the 4 percent because we need to, and the idea is good all the way down, except to give the funding to the chapters, again.

Since 2008, the $8 million allocations to the chapters for us, approximately 70 percent is still unspent, because the Chapter LGA, chapter coordinator has virtually locked down all the funding. Very few coordinators worked with veterans, and next came the $1.5 million allocation.

Same thing, our chapter coordinator doesn't even want to sit down with us, they only point to their five-management system. The five-management system has completely engulfed our funding.

There's a judicial opinion by Greg Kelly, DOJ attorney, who states: All fund allocation for the veterans to the chapter belongs to the chapters. That is why they say we buy what we think you need.

I understand many of the veteran organizations are supporting the legislation without any presentation. The presentation would make them realize we'll be begging the chapter coordinators again for our own fund. Some chapter coordinators are now saying that anything the veterans approve at the local chapter veteran organization meetings has to go before the regular chapter meetings and have the community members vote on it again, and if there's no quorum, those veterans' being assisted will have to wait another month.

Our agency veteran office is doing a way better job than the chapter government. Yes, they are a little slow but we get our assistance. I will support this legislation if they don't direct the 2 percent to the chapters.

So come on comrades. I know that only one chapter is not experiencing this dilemma, we need to support each other so that we will be served the right way.

I hope to God that our leaders will take this into consideration, we are really suffering and in dispute with our chapters on a daily basis.

Earl Milford
Twin Warrior Society
Fort Defiance, Ariz.

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