Ideas sought for reshaping Navajo government

By Noel Lyn Smith
Navajo Times

WINDOW ROCK, August 9, 2012

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T he Commission on Navajo Government Development and the Office of Navajo Government Development are hosting a series of listening sessions this month.

The purpose is to get input from the Navajo people on government reform initiatives and activities.

Information presented at the sessions includes an overview on purpose of the commission and its administrative office, a historical view on Navajo government, an update on the proposed amendments made at the 2002 conference on government reorganization, proposed referendum questions, and a brief presentation of a conceptual Navajo governance approach.

There is also time given to public comments.

Caleb Roanhorse, director of the Navajo Government Development Office, said each session is being recorded and comments will be presented to the commission.

The sessions started July 30 at Alamo Chapter and have been held at Piñon, Beclabito, Tó Nanees Dizí and Steamboat chapters.

A meeting is scheduled today starting at 9 a.m. at Bááháálí Chapter, and a session at Pueblo Pintado Chapter will be held but the date has not been announced.

A Navajo Nation People's Convention is scheduled Aug. 29-30 at the Farmington Civic Center where the topic also will be discussed.

Each chapter is being asked to appoint two chapter members as delegates to the convention.

The Office of Navajo Government Development and the Commission on Navajo Government Development were created in 1990 to involve the Navajo people in deciding how the Navajo government should be structured.

In 2007, the previous Navajo Nation Council abolished the 12-member commission and moved its office under the speaker's office.

In 2010, the Navajo Nation Supreme Court invalidated the Council's vote and directed the Council to immediately reinstate the commission.

Earlier this year, the current Council approved the last of the commission appointments.

The commission now consists of Bessie Tsosie, Martin Avery, Margie Begay, Robert Begay, Sam Begay, Heather L. Clah, Andrew Curley, Martha Davis, Jerry Frank, Mae Horseman, Richie Nez and Floyd Stevens.

Information: Call Caleb Roanhorse or Victoria Lee, Office of Navajo Government Development, 928-871-7214.

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