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Letters: Thanks to Dr. Scott for correction

From my family to yours, Happy New Year, and I wish you all lots of joy and happiness to come your way in the year. I urge you to continue praying.

I was surprised by Tacheenie Scott’s comments in the Gallup Independent about my letter to the Navajo Times “Stop messing with us.” I am humbled and grateful for his kind words and comments reinforcing my letter more meaningful. It’s good to hear from my former teacher/professor and a Navajo scientist via the newspaper.

I wish my grammar were as good as his and to write what I’m thinking at the spur of the moment. I know he is highly educated with a Ph.D. in microbiology from Oregon State University, if my memory serves me right, and he’s fluently bilingual in the English and Navajo languages. I enjoy reading his letters each time he composes one in the Navajo Times. I wish him and his family well.

Yes, a Diné Constitution is long overdue and should be adopted, which will keep our tribal leaders in check. The government reform has been in the works for at least four decades without real results. Why constitution is being overlooked is a mystery.

It’s good to be corrected by a highly respected professional. I’ll make every meaningful attempt to refrain from scolding people, particularly the politicians in the future.

Thank you, Dr. Tacheenie Scott, for your comments. May the Lord watch over you and your family.

Vern Charleston
Farmington, N.M.

President should face federal felony charges

The authors of the failed insurrection of Jan. 6, 2020, must be held accountable with the coordination of the FBI and other agencies providing prosecutors, a sound case of sedition, and terrorism resulting in death. Specifically, U.S. President Donald J. Trump must not face a second impeachment proceeding but federal felony charges instead.

Our Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President has blood on their hands, and to think Myron Lizer is still in office pains me. He filled the role of the Trump campaign’s “Wooden Indian,” appearing on stage in his successful efforts of gaining 3 percent of the Navajo vote for Trump. Lizer’s lack of sound judgment in supporting the failed overthrow of America is grounds for dismissal.

Equally, I do not want Donald Trump to remain above the law as President-elect Joseph Biden takes office. As a New Mexican, I see numerous YouTube and Podcast channels like the Joe Rogen Experience, playing an active role in their dissemination of anti-USA hate. He, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, and Alex Jones are very responsible as well, as they filled the tall order of spewing and disseminating anti-American rhetoric of stealing back the vote and placing Donnie Trump back in the seat of the presidency for another four years.

Alex Jones was at the “Steal the Vote” Rally that featured Trump’s infamous bid to go to the Capitol and handle a stolen election, in their words.

We peaceful citizens live in fear knowing New Mexico counties, such as Otero County, hold these goons and criminals in public office holdings.

The Rio Rancho City Police enjoy intimidating motorists like me after dark with their unconstitutional stops.

I am Diné, born and raised within the Four Sacred Mountains of the Dibélzhíní (Black Sheep Clan), born for Kiyaa’áanii (Towering House Clan), in Wingate Valley, Fort Defiance, Window Rock, and Churchrock, New Mexico.

I survived the country’s largest uranium tailings spill at my grandparents’ home, located downstream of the spill, along the banks of the Rio Puerco in Churchrock. I am confident that you and your colleagues will do the right thing to prevent the largest terrorist attack on the United States by prosecuting the evildoers.

It is disheartening to hear GOP congressional leaders sugarcoat what transpired this week in our nation’s capital. Yes, 82 senators certified the U.S. presidential elections, but eight did not and that pains me that Nazis are allowed to serve in roles that require honesty, integrity, and very importantly, to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. We must hold law enforcement officers accountable for their participation in the failed power grab by the Goons, Red Shirts, Trumpers, whatever you want to refer to them as.

Pat Murphy
Albuquerque, N.M.

Native science must be considered

Dear Mr. President-elect Biden,

Hopi science, like Native American sciences, has been around centuries before the birth of modern Western science.

Centuries ago, a Greek philosopher, Hippocrates, in “Air, Water and Places’’ recognized that man’s life in sickness and health is bonded with forces of nature, and that nature, from being oppressed and conquered, must be treated as an ally and friend whose ways must be understood and whose counsel must be respected.

All citizens of the world today are confronted with a troublesome paradox by exploiting our natural resource base. Mankind is able to obtain food and fiber and other material that is essential to life, but by depleting and abusing our natural resources, we also lose spiritual substance that is no less vital to our well-being.

Hopi elders believe COVID-19 is caused by the fact that Mother Earth is sick and is crying out for help, but no one seems to be listening. We continue to exploit the natural resources gifted to mankind to take care of her.

COVID-19, climate changes are symptoms of her illness. Scientists will find a cure for COVID-19, but other diseases will come again.

In addition to this, mankind is facing the threat of nuclear war. The threat is written on Prophecy Rock, near the oldest continuously inhabited community in North America, on the Hopi Reservation in Northeastern Arizona.

I hope, in your message to the world, you will acknowledge the importance of Native science. Native Americans seem to be the forgotten people.

Today we are living in a chaotic world: Hopi elders teach that out of chaos can come order. Humankind is gifted with the ability to think so we can envision, create, and communicate to bring about a new world called the 5th World.

The Hopi elders say the time has come to intertwine modern science with Native science, technology, and world religious faiths. Modern science has no heart and must be combined with Native science, which is the heart. The mind and heart must intertwine like it used to be long time ago.

Vernon Masayesva
Kykotsmovi, Ariz.

Masayesva is former chairman of the Hopi Tribe. He founded Black Mesa Trust and is currently the director. You can contact him at:

Missing my friend, Neil McKensley

I lost touch with a dear friend. His name is Neil McKensley. I found him on Facebook, but he hasn’t been active for a long time. I then found him on Instagram, but he hasn’t been on there since 2017.

I did see a posting that his son, Reyes McKensley, passed away. Neil’s mother is Nelly and I believe he has a couple of sisters.

Neil also has a son in his 30s and a daughter between the ages of 17-19. He also has a granddaughter.

Please, if you can locate him, let him know I am looking for him. I miss my friend.

I can be reached at 931-378-2992 or at

Jane Ward
Clarksville, Tenn.

Steps for loved one in hospital

As a COVID-19 physician in Albuquerque, I am heartbroken to see how many people have fallen ill and been hospitalized away from family, loved ones, and their community.

Most hospitals aren’t allowing visitors (except in devastating circumstances) due to concerns about staff and other patients catching COVID from visitors who don’t know they are infected.

Despite not being able to see each other in person, there are still ways for us to support patients who are hospitalized. If your loved one is hospitalized please:

1. Call to check in with them every day, and please tell them you love them.

2. Ask if the hospital will allow you to drop off magazines, word finding puzzles, a blanket from home, food from home, a small radio so they can hear the station they want, including Navajo language stations, or even country western, Mariachi, or any other station.

3. Encourage them to ask if a hospital chaplain can call them if they want additional spiritual support.

4. Ask if your own faith tradition leader can call them, including a medicine man. Most hospitals aren’t allowing medicine men in the hospital now, but they may be able to help set up Zoom or FaceTime.

5. Tell the hospital if your loved one would prefer to speak in a language other than English, especially in Navajo, as many nurses and physicians don’t recognize place names on the Navajo Nation, so don’t know that’s where someone is from. Every hospital is required to have Navajo interpretation available. If the hospital staff does not use interpreters with your loved one, ask to speak with the patient advocate to ensure this happens.

6. Ask if the hospital has an iPad they can use so you can “see” them through FaceTime or Zoom. Ask your elected officials if they can set up spaces like Gallup Indian Medical Center has outside the hospital for loved ones to FaceTime or Zoom with patients inside.

7. Tell your loved one that you love them, that it’s not their fault they have COVID, that you are wearing your mask for them, and that you will get your COVID vaccine to keep yourself and others safe.

Thank you for all you do to care for each other, for wearing masks, and for getting the vaccine when you can. If you can, please help doctors and nurses take better care of your hospitalized loved ones by doing these things and more.

Eileen Barrett, MD, MPH, SFHM, MACP
Albuquerque, N.M.


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