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Mills: Tribal business can lead toward just society

Navajo Times | Cindy Yurth
Billy Mills, Oglala Lakota, delivers the keynote speech at the ninth annual Tribal Finance and Leadership Conference Nov. 13.


Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills, Oglala Lakota, is a sought-after inspirational speaker in Indian Country. Generally he talks about how he overcame racism, depression and borderline diabetes to come from behind and win the gold medal in the 10,000-meter run in the 1964 Olympics — and he did some of that at the ninth annual Tribal Finance and Leadership Conference at the Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino Nov. 13.

It’s an inspiring story.

But last Tuesday, the still-powerful octogenarian also waxed political, warning that if the current takeover of America’s political system by large corporations continues, the consequences for future generations will be dire. “Democracy, we’re not there yet,” Mills told a room full of tribal officials and financial personnel.

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About The Author

Cindy Yurth

Cindy Yurth is the Tséyi' Bureau reporter, covering the Central Agency of the Navajo Nation. Her other beats include agriculture and Arizona state politics. She holds a bachelor’s degree in technical journalism from Colorado State University with a cognate in geology. She has been in the news business since 1980 and with the Navajo Times since 2005, and is the author of “Exploring the Navajo Nation Chapter by Chapter.” She can be reached at