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Deschene disqualified, has 10 days to appeal

Deschene disqualified, has 10 days to appeal

GALLUP, N.M.

Chris Deschene repeatedly refused to answer questions Thursday in a hearing meant to determine whether he speaks Navajo fluently.

Chris Deschene says he plans to appeals today's Office of Hearings and Appeals decision on Thursday in Window Rock. (Times photo - Donovan Quintero)

Chris Deschene says he plans to appeals today’s Office of Hearings and Appeals decision on Thursday in Window Rock. (Times photo – Donovan Quintero)

Chief hearing officer Richie Nez said he had no choice but to rule against Deschene.

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“I’ve been pushed into a corner by clear and convincing evidence that by refusing to answer questions which will lead me to pass on whether or not Mr. Deschene is fluent,” Nez said.

Deschene said he would appeal to the Navajo Nation Supreme Court.

“The collective rights of our people have not been heard,” Deschene said. “This case highlighted one simple issue, that nobody is protecting the voice of those that voted in the primary and those who will vote in the general.”

Deschene has 10 days to appeal Nez’s decision.

About The Author

Donovan Quintero

"Dii, Diné bi Naaltsoos wolyéhíígíí, ninaaltsoos át'é. Nihi cheii dóó nihi másání ádaaní: Nihi Diné Bizaad bił ninhi't'eelyá áádóó t'áá háadida nihizaad nihił ch'aawóle'lágo. Nihi bee haz'áanii at'é, nihisin at'é, nihi hózhǫ́ǫ́jí at'é, nihi 'ach'ą́ą́h naagééh at'é. Dilkǫǫho saad bee yájíłti', k'ídahoneezláo saad bee yájíłti', ą́ą́ chánahgo saad bee yájíłti', diits'a'go saad bee yájíłti', nabik'íyájíłti' baa yájíłti', bich'į' yájíłti', hach'į' yándaałti', diné k'ehgo bik'izhdiitįįh. This is the belief I do my best to follow when I am writing Diné-related stories and photographing our events, games and news. Ahxéhee', shik'éí dóó shidine'é." - Donovan Quintero is an award-winning Diné journalist, who is based in Window Rock, Arizona. He can be contacted at dq@navajotimes.com.