Saturday, May 18, 2024

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Letters | Navajo Nation, ‘help my community’

Navajo Nation, ‘help my community’

Editor,
I read the January 25, 2024, Navajo Times edition. Specifically, the extreme weather conditions that cause work absence and or tardiness. Because of expected rain or snowstorm, I spent many nights in my car just so I won’t miss work or cause to be late. Wal-Mart parking lots are spacious.

I live north of Sour Water Wash on N16. Torrential rain collects in a 15 to 20 mile long and 2 to 3 miles wide water shed, north of Sour Water Wash.

Sour Water Wash has wash over installed culverts several times. Because of no rock base or gravel Sour Water Wash becomes impassable for a few days. Dirt road is a mix of clay and sand only.

I provided photos and email to previous NN President, NN Council Delegate and NDOT Director. My concern and hope of addressing this culvert crossing continues to current NN President, Council Delegate and NDOT Director.

If Navajo Nation can buy Goulding Lodge for $59.5 million. Navajo Nation can help my community on this crossing. Installing a concrete box culvert would solve all this and gravel.

Mr. Platero, Congratulations on your new appointment.

I pray for no rain or snow on N16.

My esteem leaders, I pray for your good health and Safe travel.

“Council Delegate Helena Nez-Begay raised concerns about the tribe’s Western Navajo employees who need to be in Window Rock for work but are penalized by work policies for being late or not showing up because of weather conditions.”

Eugene T. Begay
Tonalea, Ariz.

‘Occupation and genocide must be recognized’

Editor,
Re: “Nygren Expected to Call for Permanent Cease-Fire in Gaza” (December 21, 2023).

It was with great interest and pleasure that I read about the efforts of the K’é Infoshop and former Miss Navajo Nation Radmilla Cody to urge the Navajo Nation to take a principled stand against the ongoing destruction and daily massacres in Gaza by calling for a permanent ceasefire and the shutting down of the Raytheon Dine missile facility near Farmington.

Their stance inspires me to continue to work for a just and peaceful resolution of this abominable conflict. 75 years of displacement and nearly three months of horrific daily aerial bombings must end.

Before I moved to the Nation, I saw first-hand the suffering of the Palestinian people under occupation whose lands were being taken and olive trees uprooted in the occupied West Bank by the building of the apartheid wall.

Once I moved here and learned about the history of the Navajo, the parallels between the Palestinian Nakba of 1948, and the Long Walk of the Diné quickly became apparent. Occupation and genocide must be recognized, prevented if possible, and fought wherever they occur.

I believe that joining with the 153 nations of the world who on December 8th at the UN called for an immediate ceasefire sends a powerful message, and that refusing to build and store the weapons of mass destruction made by Raytheon will concretely help end these ongoing atrocities. I urge President Nygren and the Navajo Nation Council to do both.

Warren Goodwin
Tsaile, Ariz.

Editor’s note: Warren Goodwin is a father and a retired firefighter.

The effects of alcoholism

Editor,
In the Gallup Independent, dated November 28, 2023, there is an article titled ‘Dine College, Tsehootsooi Medical Center provide reports to HEHSC’. The article highlighted a presentation given by Tsehootsooi Medical Center and the services available to address health issues among patients. It should be no surprise to anyone, if you’ve lived on the Navajo Reservation long enough, to know that Alcoholism is not only plaguing our Dine brothers and sisters, but it is killing them.

Alcoholism seems to be the ‘norm’ and ‘choice’ for many living on the Reservation. I say ‘choice’ because each individual makes the ‘choice’ to drink, engage in activities that involve drinking, ‘choose’ to hang out with people who drink and drug. No one is making many of the Dine people seen wandering the streets and neighborhoods to ‘drink.’ It is a personal ‘choice’. Many of these individuals have underlying health issues and alcohol becomes the nail in their coffin. The effort by Tsehootsooi Medical Center to provide services to address this plague is appreciated. However, it is a reactive approach.

The real problem is not only the many bars in our border towns that our Dine brothers and sisters flock to, but it is the bootleggers on the Reservation. We (Dine) are killing our own brothers and sisters by selling & giving cheap booze to them. We talk about being ‘Dine Proud’ and in the same breath, we are causing our own epidemic and genocide.

Rather than spending thousands of dollars on programs to help Navajo ‘drunks’ (yes, that is what we are called and known as), it is long overdue to redirect funding toward real solutions. It is not rocket science – the bars need to be shut down, bootleggers and drug traffickers need to be held accountable and arrested. It is heart-breaking to hear about so many young Dine brothers and sisters dying from alcoholism and substance abuse. This is not normal – it is not the way to live. We, as Native Americans, already have the cards stacked against us – Why oh Why?! Are we killing one another rather than helping one another.

At this point in time, we are fulfilling the stigma that many non-Native Americans have about us (i.e., drunks, beggars, good for nothing, liars, cheaters). If this doesn’t ring your bell to wake you up to make healthier ‘choices’, then what will? If you can’t do it for yourself – do it for your children, your parents, your grandparents, your closest friend.

Walking the street – staggering, smelling of liquor and urine, begging for money, lying about how hungry you are, and continuing to make the ‘choice’ to drink and drug is no one’s fault but your own. Funding, services and programs are being wasted on people who do not want to change.

Lisa Stephens
Window Rock

Seeking state information for class

Editor,
Greetings! My name is Marcelo Mares and I am a 5th grade student at Salida Elementary School in Salida, California. We live in the Central Valley, located east of San Francisco.

This year we are each going to complete a state project and I picked Arizona. I am asking for any and all information from you about your great state to be sent to me. If you would, please send me any postcards, articles, maps, pictures, pins, pencils, stickers, or pamphlets from Arizona.

My school address is:
Marcelo Mares
c/o Ms. Montgomery’s 5th grade class
Salida Elementary School
4519 Finney Road
Salida, California 95368

I really appreciate your help in making my project a success. I am lucky to have and learn about an awesome state like Arizona.

Marcelo Mares
Salida, Calif.


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