Come one, come all to summer session

WINDOW ROCK, July 17, 2014

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Y á'át'ééh Diné citizens, on behalf of the 22nd Navajo Nation Council, I invite each of you to the summer Council session beginning Monday, July 21, at the Council Chamber in Window Rock.

The summer session will begin with the horse/bike riders making their way to the Council Chamber at approximately 9 a.m. The week-long horse/bike ride event is currently underway with several delegates joining local leaders and their respective constituents from various parts of the Navajo Nation as they make their way to Window Rock.

The event is held prior to each summer session to pay tribute and to honor the practice of past leaders who once rode on horses from their homes to the Council's regular sessions. Along the way, the leaders would stop and listen to the concerns of the people in their communities. By the time they reached Window Rock, they were well-informed and able to voice the concerns of their communities during the sessions.

The Council will also honor fire and emergency personnel/officials for their courageous and dedicated service during the Asayii Lake Fire, prior to the start of the session. It is important that we express our heartfelt appreciation to the many men and women who worked endless hours to protect our land, livestock, and resources.

Delegates will also address a number of legislations that are expected to come before Council at next week's summer session. To view the proposed agenda for the summer session, please visit (Please keep in mind that each of the legislations is subject to change and may not appear on the approved agenda.) The 22nd Navajo Nation Council invites all Diné citizens to attend next week's Summer Council Session and we also invite you to watch live proceedings via the Council's designated Ustream channel by visiting USTREAM.TV and searching for "Navajo Nation Council" in the search box.

LoRenzo Bates
Speaker Pro Tem
22nd Navajo Nation Council

Join opposition to liquor license transfers

I write this letter to invite the public to an upcoming Apache County Board of Supervisors special meeting scheduled to take place Tuesday, July 22, beginning at 9 a.m. (Navajo Nation time) at the Nahata Dziil Chapter House.

At this meeting, the Apache County Board of Supervisors will vote on whether to approve the sale of four liquor licenses owned by Gary McDonald, who owns a three liquor establishments in Sanders including the Ole Red Barn.

For years, McDonald has been a very destructive force in Sanders and surrounding Navajo communities. His careless and reckless behavior is evident by the fact that McDonald is currently sitting in jail awaiting trial on several serious felony charges including the possession of a large quantity of a substance believed to be methamphetamine and weapons charges.

I have attended numerous meetings and community gatherings in which a large number of residents, Navajo and non-Navajo, have shared personal accounts of violence, rapes, and even deaths that have occurred near the liquor establishments owned by McDonald.

Community members have banded together to form the Hope for Renewal Task Force. The group is primarily comprised of those who have been personally affected and victimized by McDonald.

While McDonald sits in jail, his close friend and associate, George Ryan, continues to manage and operate the liquor businesses. It is no coincidence that McDonald is now attempting to sell the liquor licenses to Ryan at a cost of $2.50 per license, a total of $10 for all four licenses.

The fact that McDonald is offering the liquor licenses at $2.50 a piece to Ryan raises significant concerns and suspicion over their intentions of the proposed sale. The actions, credibility, and integrity of McDonald and Ryan should be carefully examined and heavily-weighed.

In April, the Navajo Nation Council's Naabik'iyati' Committee officially opposed the transfer of the liquor licenses through the passage of a resolution. The Hope for Renewal Task Force, the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission, and the Office of the Speaker has worked diligently to address the issue.

I ask our Navajo people, tribal, county, and state leaders to join myself and community members on Tuesday, July 22, as we oppose the sale of these licenses during the Apache County Board of Supervisors meeting at the Nahata Dziil Chapter House.

Lorenzo Curley
Council Delegate
22nd Navajo Nation Council

What happens to sovereignty in government reform?

Could the reformed Navajo Nation government establish traditional Navajo government based on the Navajo clan relationships and use the Navajo language to write the traditional Navajo Nation government?

Can it outline its purposes, limit its scope, indicate the several branches of that traditional government, which includes a two-term limit for president, honest allocations of tribal funds, defining the offices of each branch, saying how those offices will be filled and by what authority and what and how power is vested in each and how those offices will be related to one another while still retaining sovereignty?

For example, the Constitution of the United States established a federal union, not a unitary state. Each state entering the union still retained some measure of individual sovereignty. The states surrendered only the power to make war and peace, to enter into alliances with one another or with foreign nations, to make treaties and so on. They retained some measure of local or internal sovereignty over the citizens within each state's borders.

A dual sovereignty was established, one that was national, the sovereignty of the federal government and the 13 local sovereignties, the sovereignty of each of the states adopting the Constitution.

The citizens who made up the people of the United States also had a dual citizenship. They became citizens of the new United States but also remained citizens of each individual state.

If you were elected the Navajo Nation president to reform our Navajo Nation government similar to the federal government, could it dissolve the Navajo Nation sovereignty?

Please answer the June 1, 1868, Navajo Nation peace treaty sovereignty question -- the Navajo people want to know the answer before they vote for you.

Edward J. Little Sr.
Tuba City, Ariz.

Wrongful death lawsuit is justified

The misfortune of a child would have been prevented only if Northern Navajo Medical Center did its job by admitting the seriously ill child. Obviously, they didn't care and refused to admit the child.

First it was the long waiting list at the Veteran Administration Hospital and now it's the Indian Health Service's negligence that unnecessarily caused the precious life of a dear child.

A wrongful death suit is totally justified and I urge the family to take appropriate measures against the IHSe without further due.

It is unfortunate the parents are left with a heartbreak of their lives due to the failure of the IHS. The child was being transported by the parents to the Southwest Memorial Hospital in Cortez, Colo., and the misfortune happen en route. The incident is a prime example IHS does not provide adequate health care to the Native people.

I don't understand why IHS requires so much health insurance from us and yet they fail to deliver adequate health care. I personally don't think our tribal leaders did their jobs in defending the Treaty of 1868, which mandates the federal government to provide free health care. We shouldn't be required to provide health insurance if the service is not going to improve.

Due to the negligence of the Northern Navajo Medical Center, I urge the parents and/or family to pursue a wrongful death suit without further due. And it should be in the millions.

In conclusion, I would like to urge our tribal leaders to take a stand or position on the treaty obligation against the federal government and not require health insurance. Thank you for the opportunity to address this very important issue.

Vern Charleston
Farmington, N.M.

Strike a deal with businessmen, women

I read with hesitance, the story aboutÊindividuals bobbing and weaving for control of the Navajo Nation Oil and Gas Company in a federal court (July 3, 2014).

Now, more than ever, is private business extremely important to the citizens of the Navajo Nation. Private business located on federal property called the Navajo Nation would not be seeing itself in the position the federal corporation NNOGC has found itself.

I want to make the distinction here that despite recent federal law to "streamline" business-site leasing, that there are many steps to take to get established on the Navajo Nation to employ 1,000 tribal citizens.

We, the mighty Navajo Nation, might as well be seen as a military reservation because of the complexities imposed upon us in this colonizing of the Diné for 146 years.

T'áá hwó áj’t éego, or self-reliance, was the mindset of many Navajo people before the Long Walk. After the return back home, that philosophy was changed into dependence upon the government and the reluctance of federal officials to live up to trust responsibilities guaranteed in the Treaty of 1868, according to Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly on Treaty Day.

With those words in mind, I recently toured the Navajo Nation Industrial Park facilities and saw dilapidation. Think about this, if the tribal government could attract a few thousand jobs netting tens of millions of dollars in taxes, would the flap over who presides as CEO and board members at NNOGC still be within the confines of a new justice center housing the Navajo justices instead of a federal courtroom? Would have Dilkon Justice Center been built instead of hanging in limbo over $2 million?

With taxation in the tens of millions the elected leaders would be able to focus on bigger issues than microcosms that defeat the inherent sovereign authority of our court system. Banks and insurance brokers are watching this case closely, as are attorneys representing other federally recognized tribes. In the meantime, don't study the economic situation of the Navajo Nation as it has been studied to death. Open your doors to businessmen and women and strike a deal.

I would like to open a manufacturing company employing many Blacksheep, Towering House and Bitter Water clans people -- clanships are important to the survival for the next 146 years. Open up a warehouse for me at Fort Wingate Army Deport and offer me a lease.

Visit my website,, to contact me otherwise, it's the nearest border town I go: Farmington? Gallup? Winslow? Flagstaff? Page? Blanding? Thank you for allowing me to air what has been bottled up inside.

Pat Murphy
Window Rock, Ariz.

Liquor licenses have caused much damage

I am a longtime resident of the small community of Sanders, Ariz. From the time I was small to now alcohol has played a very detrimental role in Sanders and neighboring communities.

Within a 4- to 5-mile radius, three liquor establishments operate under the ownership of one person, Gary McDonald, who currently awaits trial on felony weapons and drug charges.

I personally know the effects that McDonald's liquor licenses have brought to my community: untimely deaths, severe health issues, trash, and the overwhelming presence of intoxicated individuals.

McDonald is now attempting to sell the four licenses to a close associate, George Ryan. Ryan is not only a close associate, but a close friend who continues to manage the liquor businesses for McDonald while he is jailed.

Ryan has carried on the irresponsible business practices of McDonald, evident by the groups of individuals who continue to be served alcohol despite being intoxicated.

The issue is now in the hands of the Apache Board of Supervisors -- Joe Shirley Jr., Tom White, and Barry Weller -- who will vote July 22 whether or not to allow the sale of the licenses to Ryan. This is an opportunity for our elected officials to represent the overwhelming opposition of community members by voting no.

McDonald and Ryan are profiting off the misery and destruction of Navajo communities. They do not care about the well-being and welfare of the Navajo people. For years, community members have been forced to tolerate violence, sexual assaults, and even deaths resulting from these businesses, particularly the "Ole Red Barn." A person simply has to drive through the small town to see groups of intoxicated people near these liquor establishments each day.

This is also an opportunity for our county officials to rid our communities of this negativity and to promote businesses that truly benefit the people. I feel that many have stepped up to voice their opposition.

We as a collective community do not want this and all the sickness that it has brought into our lives. In the 25 years that I have lived in Sanders, I have seen nothing but the trouble that it has brought. For the sake of my children's futures I do not want McDonald and Ryan to continue to own and operate these establishments. They are profiting while hundreds are suffering.

Years ago, I was challenged to create a youth group and with the help of others, we did it. We started a series of youth conferences and utilized the Chapter Summer Youth Employment Program to get young people involved in planning events. We compiled the issues that we thought were important. Alcohol abuse was a major concern.

We reached out to state and tribal departments to teach us about these issues. We told each other that it is up to us to try to fix these problems.

With that in mind, I encourage everyone to urge the Apache County Board of Supervisors to vote no on July 22 at 9 a.m. at the Nahata Dzil Chapter House.

Eilene Tsosie
Sanders, Ariz.

Old guard vs. nation builders

Our primary elections are around the corner. With the presidential field divided in half, having on one side candidates ages 50 years and older, the other 50 years and younger, the politics of the established "old guard" and younger "nation builders."

What's it going to be voters, especially the 20,000 younger voters who don't vote.

Continued massive dependence, lack of jobs, scandals, corruption, drug, gangs, alcohol, homeless veterans, single mothers, domestic violence, and so on. Or a new generation, strong, leading from the front, professional, bold, get the job done now, ability and skills.

The Dineh people, young and old, deserve better today. We know we can expect little from the old guards. Their proven record shows "one step forward, two steps backward." Our land, water resources, elders and children are the accepted cost for their promises from past two presidential administrative policies.

Navajo is assured we remain a socialistic state at best. Never achieving our full sovereignty and economic power. Specially, the former and current presidents seeking another term, former president Joe Shirley running on his honorary degree. We already have many men and women with post hole digging non-degree in the Chinle Valley.

To his credit the current corruption have their roots during his watch, not to mention his behavior discrediting our nation in the eyes of non-Indians and Indian nations alike.

Current President Ben Shelly "leading from behind," AWOL/MIA, want the Lower Colorado River Settlement works at hand during the U.S. presidential campaigns. Only after the Hopi Nation took the leadership in confronting this whitewash tactic generated in Washington, D.C., where both candidates stood to win votes nationwide. President Shelly finally stepped forward in large part to Dineh people voicing their outrage. Younger voters, is this what you want? Will the Navajo Nation remain "wards of the government" held back from obtaining first nations citizens of our homeland? The nation's builders reside in the younger candidates. Positive visions, professionals, long-range thinkers, mission doer's protecting our reservation, elders, culture, language, and at the same time tackling multi-issues at hand, nation building for the future of the Dineh people, no longer depending on federal handouts, and cleaning up the Council and working closely with them to develop a strong private business sector for putting our people to work.

Time is critical. U.S. has administration committed to ending our capitalization form of government. As first Americans we all know too well what socialism has done to us. Current issues in Navajo concerning the Range Management Act (aka government) can seize your land. Who's fooling whom? Younger voter, the future is here. Voice your concerns, stand-up and be counted. It's your time to carry the ball, like it or not. Be aware of the old guard police "Drink my poison from the political Kool Aid of corruption." Vote! Vote for the candidate that has proven skills under the age of 50.

Gary Bernally
Hogback, N.M.

Looking for info on Rainwater

I am a writer in Canada looking for any friends, heirs or relatives of Gerald Wesley (Buster) Rainwater. He was a miner in Goldfield, Nev., became a geologist at the Nevada Test Site, and would winter in Yerrington, Nev., and Yuma, Ariz.

He is now deceased and I am trying to reach his widow Maggie (formerly Margaret Grace Brown Kramer) and/or stepdaughter Kathy Rainwater to help me fact check a book I am writing with a hard deadline.

Please contact Ken at, Tel: 450-240-1389, U.S. Mobile: 818-634-0432.

Ken Kaganovitch
Piedmont, Quebec, Canada

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