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Legislation amending selection process for VA director moves to Council

WINDOW ROCK

Last Friday, the Naabik’íyáti Committee held its regular meeting to amend the selection process for the Navajo Nation Veterans’ Administration.

Committee members approved legislation No. 0021-22, which will move to the Navajo Nation Council.

This legislation was filed for consideration at the beginning of this year and has been discussed extensively.

It went through Council before during this year’s summer session. However, it was referred to the Naabik’íyáti for a work session.

The legislation moved through Naabi and will move onto Council once again.

If the Council passes it, it will be signed into law by the Navajo Nation president, and many things will be taken into consideration when a VA director is chosen.

Director requirements

The director shall serve at the pleasure of the Council and shall be an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation and honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces.

It will also change the way the VA director is chosen. Currently, the president can choose a director after consulting with the Veteran Advisory Council and retain a contract term of six years.

The new legislation outlines that the president can recommend a director to the Navajo Nation Veteran Board of Commissioners.

However, the board will be able to choose whether they want to support the nominee or not. If the board decides to support the nominee, it will voice its support to Health, Education, and Human Services Committee and the Council for confirmation. If they do not support the nominee, the president must find another one.

Advising, changes

The Veterans Advisory Council will also be changed to a board of commissioners.

This board will be able to recommend and advise any changes relating to veterans issues, some of these being housing, policies, and regulations.

The board will comprise 10 veterans selected by their agency organization – one man and one woman per agency. All these members will be voting members.

The legislation documents have many supporting comments with no opposing comments, some of which come from the Navajo Nation Veterans’ Advisory Council, the Fort Defiance Agency, and the Northern Navajo Veterans Organization.

During the Naabik’íyáti Committee’s regular meeting, there was no discussion about the legislation, and it was voted on 11-6, moving the legislation to be voted on by Council.

More details about the legislation, including comments, can be found on dibb.nnols.org with the tracking number 0021-22.


About The Author

Hannah John

Hannah John is from Coyote Canyon, N.M. She is Bit’ah’nii (Within His Cover), born for Honágháahnii (One Who Walks Around), maternal grandfather is Tábaahí (Water Edge) and paternal grandfather is Tódich’ii’nii (Bitter Water). She recently graduated from the University of New Mexico with a bachelor’s in communications and a minor in Native American studies. She recently worked with the Daily Lobo and the Rio Grande Sun.

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