Monday, June 5, 2023

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Letters: Corruption stands in way of good government

The Diné Nation and many government entities in the United States are corrupt and incompetent to the extent they are not capable of delivering fair governance to citizens. We live in a time when government of the people, by the people and for the people is in grave danger. It is a time where we play the blame game where we can all lose if we don’t identify the real crooks.

There are division issues, from the doorway of our hogan all the way to seats in Congress. Lawmakers (politicians) should be taking blame for the clear and present dangers they’ve created in our lives. The division among our Diné lawmakers is ridiculous and sad. There are those who want more government and those who are clueless.

In our Diné Nation we have hundreds of failed social programs yet we want more. As these government programs increase in number, our Diné will never have an economy nor an educational system of integrity and our Diné will never walk in beauty. We are divided by diversity (victimhood), political correctness, envy and greed. Greed applies to the desire of getting free stuff and relying on government to solve all our problems.

On the other hand, our hopes of helping ourselves has over 90,000 barriers, in the form of rules, regulations, policies and laws, all put in place by corrupt politicians or those wanting to control everything. In the recent edition of the Navajo Times (Jan. 10, 2019) there were stories of deportation, greed and corruption in a home-care business and Naat’aanii Corp.

The Navajo Times NGS saga is troubling as our Diné could lose all water rights to Lake Powell. Every story in the Navajo Times is tied together by the mandates established by all the political policies instituted by corrupt lawmakers. We have yet to hear from our tribal leaders concerning New Mexico becoming a sanctuary state and how it will affect law enforcement in the Diné Nation.

We don’t hear about the human sex trafficking in Indian Country, where 7,000 Native women have gone missing in the United States and Canada. That’s not counting the 700-plus Native American children that have gone missing in recent years. Of all the Native American women who have gone missing fewer than five bodies have been recovered. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that these abductions are not random acts by some lone sex pervert.

Human sex trafficking is a multi-billion-dollar business and to carry out these abductions on this scale would take a well-organized and well-funded international organization, as most human trafficking crimes have proven. So why can’t the FBI, BIA, tribal and local law enforcement find any clues as to what is happening to our Native women and children? Here again, we have the hideous policies that hinder or prevent complete and proper investigations, which is beyond domestic violence or violence against women. To find those gone missing will literally take an act of Congress.

It makes you wonder if some in our corrupt government don’t want the missing found. With all this corruption of government you would think that someone in our Diné leadership would figure out that we need to start on a path to deregulation and unchaining our Diné from all these stupid rules, regulations, policies and laws. Corrupt government control and failed political policies are nothing but death warrants to our Diné and anyone who loves liberty.

Wally Brown
Page, Ariz.

Prez Nez, don’t forget your Tacheeni side!

I know the editor was there — I visited with him. Where? The 24th Dineh Nation presidential inauguration and the swearing in of the newest members of the 24-member 24th Council. Hey, I like all the 24s!

The absolutely memorable spiritual affair (a small double-sided summary of biblical verses on human leadership under Divine Authority was inserted as a noteworthy addition to the bulletin) took place in the absolutely fantastic Fighting Scouts Events Center in Fort Defiance. If you weren’t there you missed an event of the ages.

Hey, meals were served at two different times during the event of the ages — for all the Dineh, friends, and tourists — an absolute giveaway with seconds to boot. There were approximately 5,600 people at the event. (The Times estimated the crowd at 3,500) The use of the president’s (and first lady’s) and vice president’s (and second lady’s) and all 24 delegates’ complete four-fold clan-base in the bulletin was quite revealing with a notable exception — Tsi’naajinii was used several times. Since Tsi’ means “crazy” the correct spelling and pronunciation should be “Tsin naajinii,” which means “dark wood trailing downward.”

I heard one of the speakers say, “Dineh is one of the two most difficult languages in the world along with Mandarin Chinese.” Wrong. Dineh and Swahili are, because both are tonal, a language learned only as a young child in a traditional home. Ask any linguist. Many people learn to speak Mandarin Chinese all the time. Another noteworthy omission was any casual mentioning of President Nez’s father’s place of birth where as a young man he became a well-respected leader.

He is a Tacheeni Yei and very close relative of mine — a Tacheeni Yei from Twin Lakes, eight miles north of Gallup and 22 walking miles from Window Rock — making me Jonathan Nez’s nali. My maternal grandmother (Tacheeni Yei) was born at the same locale. I had dinner in Gallup on Monday (the day before the Inauguration) with a cousin (Tacheeni Yei) I used to herd sheep with whenever his family visited my grandmother during the 40s and 50s at Middle Mesa, 13 miles northeast of Tuba City. He asked me why Jonathan never talks about his father and how he served as a leader in the Twin Lakes area.

So, President Nez, you kept mentioning Shonto, in your talk on Tuesday (Jan. 15). Your Tacheeni relatives at Twin Lakes think you have “abandoned them” and they want to know your reasoning as to why. I think you may have to put on a feed for your Tacheeni relatives at the Twin Lakes Chapter House on your father’s birthday. I (Tacheeni Yei) and my wife (Tabaahi Tso Clan) will be there as well. Remember, if you have any question(s) regarding terms of place names or relationships, ask an elder who knows the Dineh language well and will know when an almost insignificant tone set on a syllable of a term can render a completely different meaning.

Oh, I heard the term “Navajo” spoken numerous times with a “blaannty accent” on the first “a” in the foreign term, which originally must have had a meaning in an unknown, source-less language. The meaning remains obscure. That is the simple reason why you will hear me say only Dineh, and not the local “N” word. Our sovereign nation must take a giant step forward and demonstrate to the world our sovereignty by choosing to be identified only by the name Dineh, which comes from our language meaning “The People.” Do you want to continue to use a name, which has no meaning? For sure, count me out — Dinehji dineh nishli.

Tacheeni Scott
Flagstaff, Ariz.

Tribe needs to award more scholarships

Once again, the number of students funded and not funded for scholarship speaks volumes about our current and future generation, namely, that doors have been shut for many students before they can even step out the doorway (Navajo Times, Jan. 17, 2019, “Tribe finds money to keep scholarships going.”).

That opportunity doors have been opened and funded for only 1,854 out of 9,127 applicants, or two out of every 10 applicants, should be cause for public concern. It is not only disheartening to see applicants not funded but it is more unsettling that only 20.3 percent of potential students can now acquire the tools critical to attempt sowing seeds for “… the greatest good for the greatest numbers.”

While there are substantial proof-points that many of the applicants denied are most likely not from a platform of privilege, results-driven public policy has established that investment in human capital has the greatest probability of assuring robust long-term economic growth and development. Here again, it is up to the public whether to say it is acceptable to have these politico-governmental practices become the normal course of events or to say this should not have to be the case.

The public, communities, via public engagement and voices, are social mobility engines that can enable opportunities for many or for only a few. Economic growth requires that a social mobility platform be developed and funded to support and provide an ecosystem opportunity structure leading to greater opportunities for greater numbers, a greater investment in ground-level human capital. It is long past time to move away from funding a current outdated social mobility platform that provides opportunities for only a few.

More importantly, higher priority should be given to the female-gender effect where investment in greater equality for the female gender has exponential outcomes for healthy family stability and eventual long-term household economic freedom and empowerment.

Our current demographics within our homeland tells us that substantial investment in only a few leads to potentially high-risk undesirable socio-demographic life conditions and outcomes.

Hopes and dreams should not have to be denied, stifled and left behind closed doors for many who are striving to break out of the artificial man-made barriers imposed on families, not only for our current generation, but for generations to come. Funding new and different pre-collegiate prototype for all persistent talent underclass schools where students are given minimal funding from the state and feds for access to enriched, engaging and stimulating academic opportunities, generally reserved and taken for granted by wealthier schools and students, merits greater attention.

Why we continue to fund current conditions as is, supporting and maintaining a high degree of economic vulnerability for our people and our youth, should raise questions of enormous importance.

Harold G. Begay
To’Nanees’ Dizi, Ariz.

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