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Capital Briefs | Vietnam vet Gibson Jones passes


Gibson Jones

On Tuesday, Navajo Nation leaders offered condolences to the family of U.S. Army veteran and renowned Steamboat, Arizona, resident Gibson B. Jones, who passed away on Friday at the age of 76, the president’s office reports.

Jones was born July 27, 1946, and was Naasht’ézhí Din’é Tábaahí (Zuni Edgewater Clan), born for Tódích’iinii (Bitter Water Clan). His maternal grandfather was Tsi’naajinii (Black Streak Wood People Clan) and his paternal grandfather was Tótsohnii (Big Water Clan).

Jones’ military career began Feb. 10, 1968, when he began serving in the 168th Engineer Combat Unit as a classified mechanic. After four years of service, he was honorably discharged on Feb. 17, 1972, and earned a National Defense Service medal, marksman medal, and Vietnam service medal.

After his military service, Jones returned home to serve veterans through the Navajo Veterans Association in the Window Rock, Chinle and Tuba City regional offices as an advocate, before eventually moving to Phoenix where he did the same.

Jones’ is survived by his children, Gibson Jones Jr., Zachery Jones and Treina Jones and his first wife Alice Sam and second wife Lilly Nockidine.
The funeral service was scheduled Wednesday at the Jones family burial plot in Steamboat.

Total of COVID-19 cases more than 62,000

WINDOW ROCK – On Monday Navajo Nation health officials reported 214 new cases of COVID-19 from Aug. 6 to 8 and on Tuesday reported 206 for a total of 420 cases on the Nation.

No deaths were reported and a total of 1,866 people have died from the virus.

The Nation remains in “yellow” status and facemasks are required in public.

Based on the number of cases from July 22 to Aug. 4, the Navajo Department of Health issued a health advisory notice warning of the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 to 69 of the 110 chapters.

These chapters are Aneth, Baca/Prewitt, Becenti, Bird Springs, Bread Springs, Cameron, Casamero Lake, Chichiltah, Chinle, Church Rock, Coalmine Mesa, Coyote Canyon, Crownpoint, Dilkon, and
Fort Defiance, Ganado, Greasewood, Hogback, Houck, Indian Wells, Iyanbito, Jeddito, Kaibeto, Kayenta, Lake Valley, Leupp, Littlewater, Low Mountain, and
Lukachukai, Lupton, Many Farms, Mariano Lake, Mexican Springs, Nageezi, Nahatadziil, Naschitti, Nazlini, Nenahnezad, Newcomb, Pinon, Ramah, Red Lake, and
Red Rock, Red Valley, Rock Point, Rock Springs, Rough Rock, Round Rock, Sanostee, Sheepsprings, Shiprock, Shonto, Smith Lake, St. Michaels, Standing Rock, Tachee/Blue Gap, and
Teec Nos Pos, Teesto, Thoreau, Tohatchi, Tonalea, Tsaile/Wheatfields, Tsayatoh, Tselani/Cottonwood, Tuba City, Twin Lakes, Two Grey Hills, Upper Fruitland and Whippoorwill.

Senate passes Inflation Reduction Act; House to vote next

WASHINGTON (AP) – Democrats pushed their election-year economic package to Senate passage Sunday, a hard-fought compromise less ambitious than President Joe Biden’s original domestic vision but one that still meets deep-rooted party goals of slowing global warming, moderating pharmaceutical costs and taxing immense corporations.

The estimated $740 billion package heads next to the House, where lawmakers are poised to deliver on Biden’s priorities, a stunning turnaround of what had seemed a lost and doomed effort that suddenly roared back to political life.

Cheers broke out as Senate Democrats held united, 51-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote after an all-night session.

“Today, Senate Democrats sided with American families over special interests,” President Joe Biden said in a statement from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. “I ran for president promising to make government work for working families again, and that is what this bill does – period.”

Biden, who had his share of long nights during his three decades as a senator, called into the Senate cloakroom during the vote on speakerphone to personally thank the staff for their hard work.

The president urged the House to pass the bill as soon as possible. Speaker Nancy Pelosi said her chamber would “move swiftly to send this bill to the president’s desk.”
House votes are expected Friday.

Senate bill includes climate, energy provisions for Native communities

WASHINGTON – Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawai‘i, chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, said funding and new resources to support Native communities’ climate and energy priorities are included in the Senate-passed Inflation Reduction Act, according to a news release from his office.

“Native communities have the technical expertise, capacity, and place-based knowledge needed to develop effective climate change and energy solutions,” Schatz said.

The Inflation Reduction Act contains:

  • $272.5 million to Native communities for climate resilience and adaptation, including
    • $25 million in targeted climate resilience funding to the Native Hawaiian community for the first time ever;
    • $12.5 million to mitigate drought impacts for tribes and
    • $10 million for tribal fish hatcheries.
  • $150 million for tribal home electrification;
  • $75 million for loans to tribes for energy development; and
  • A tenfold increase (from $2 billion to $20 billion) in loan guarantees for tribal energy development.

State of emergency declared due to floods

WINDOW ROCK – The Navajo Nation’s Commission on Emergency Management declared a state of emergency on Aug. 1 due to flooding caused by recent monsoon rains.

The declaration allowed chapters to access additional resources to help mitigate the impacts of heavy rainfall.

The commission strongly recommended that all entities implement emergency response plans and gain access to funding. Flooding increases risks of property damage and loss of life and impacts public health and safety and damages community infrastructure.

Community Health Representatives and public health nurses under the Navajo Department of Health were on the ground in chapters supporting and helping elderly and those with health conditions. They went door-to-door checking on high-risk residents.

A flood watch was in effect for the entire Nation throughout last week.

Chapters that need help can email the Division of Community Development at


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