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For delegates, it’s travel time


It’s December, and for some Navajo lawmakers that means: Vegas, baby!

Members of the Resource and Development and Budget and Finance committees will be keeping with the tradition of Council delegates traveling to Sin City to attend meetings during the National Finals Rodeo.

From Dec. 9 to 13, RDC Chair Alton Joe Shepherd stated in his travel request, approved by Speaker LoRenzo Bates, that members of his committee along with a legislative staff assistant are travelling to Las Vegas to participate in the 2018 National American Indian Housing Council Legal Symposium at the Venetian.

“Committee has sufficient funds available in their account to cover all their travel-related (costs), including the membership and registration expenses, including the Legislative staff for their travel expenses,” stated Shepherd in his travel request.

Members of the NAIHC will pay a registration cost of $350 each and non-members pay $450.

Other RDC members who decide not to attend the symposium will be attending the Colorado River Water Users’ Association Annual Convention at Caesar’s Palace.

All five RDC members will not be returning to serve on the next Navajo Nation Council.

The Budget and Finance Committee has been doing quite a bit of traveling this month. From Sunday until today they were scheduled to be in New York City attending the Insurance Services annual meeting regarding risk management.

“Each year the Insurance Services meets with the Actuary and others to review the risk management issues concerning the Navajo Nation divisions/programs, enterprises, and chapter property assets,” stated Budget and Finance Chair Seth Damon in his approved travel request.

But when they return home they wont stay unpacked for long because from Dec. 12 to 15 B&F members will be attending the Retirement Plan Administration Committee’s annual meeting at the Signature at MGM Grand.

“Each year the Retirement Plan Administration Committee meets with Wells Fargo, Northern Trust, Retirement Office, RV Kuhns & Associates, Inc., and Willis Towers Watson to review the financial performance of the retirement funds and retirement policies,” stated Damon, who will be the only delegate from the B&F committee who will be returning for the next Navajo Nation Council, in his request.

During last Thursday’s Naabik’iyati Committee meeting, Health, Education and Human Resources Committee member Amber Crotty was critical of the amount of travelling done by delegates, especially with time running out to address remaining legislation.

Crotty also noted that it’s been stated on a few occasions that there are no funds, yet delegates are still traveling.

“I think in terms of how we wrap up this December, there looks like there is going to be a lot of travelling,” said Crotty during the announcements at last Thursday’s Naabik’iyati meeting. “There is a lot of work that we need to do here in Window Rock to get these legislations approved.”

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About The Author

Arlyssa Becenti

Arlyssa Becenti reports on Navajo Nation Council, Business, Fort Defiance Agency, New Mexico State politics and Art/fashion. Her clans are Nát'oh dine'é Táchii'nii, Bit'ahnii, Kin łichii'nii, Kiyaa'áanii. She’s originally from Fort Defiance and has a degree in English Literature from Arizona State University. Before working for the Navajo Times she was a reporter for the Gallup Independent. She can be reached at