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April 21, 2014 Professional Journal

HERE AT NAVAJO COUNCIL SPRING SESSION, WHERE NAVAJO PRESIDENT BEN SHELLY GAVE HIS STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS AND COUNCIL DELEGATES ARE MAKING COMMENTS AND ASKING QUESTIONS ABOUT HIS ADDRESS.

DELEGATE RUSSELL BEGAYE
You talked about RANGELAND IMPROVEMENT ACT and one individual described it as “big head with skinny legs” which means that all the power remains with tribal government instead of including grassroots people.
And veterans are very concerned about the amendments to reduce amount of tribal revenues that are deposited into Navajo Nation Veterans Trust Fund. And veterans are asking that these 75 homes being constructed have electrical appliances. I ask that

DELEGATE KATHERINE BENALLY
I want information on funeral assistance, emergency assistance from the tribal programs. These types of financial assistance came from defunct Financial Assistance Programs (Disrectionary Fund). I hear from constituents that they are having problems with obtaining assistance. Please, Mr. President, look into this.
And I’m also concerned about Headstart. Qualified students are falling through the cracks. And the Headstart schools are in deplorable conditions.
Thank you for not vetoing supplemental funding for renovations and construction of chapters, especially Chilchinbeto (which is one of Delegate Benally’s chapters)

DELEGATE LORENZO CURLEY
There is legislation before Council for Feral Horse Roundup and I ask you to not veto it. As I drive here to Council, I see packs of horses, 10-15, roaming unrestricted. I see them where people graze their cattle and sheep. Every year I plead with colleagues not to reduce funding for tribal Livestock Program in Division of Natural Resources, specially for rangers who enforce Grazing Act. There needs to be funding for enforcement and education. Not sure how this authority and issue shud be shared with federal government which is represented by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. And you, President Shelly, are responsible for reducing funding to Livestock Program and Rangers.
And I thought the council was going to discuss the Rangeland Improvement Act because our people need more education on it so our people really understand “stewardship” on our land.

DELEGATE LEONARD TSOSIE
The Navajo Council’s Resources and Development Committee has held numerous public meetings on the proposed Rangeland Improvement Act. And the participants were asked if they wanted to pay grazing fee and they all raised their hands.

On the construction of the highway between Gallup, NM, and Shiprock, NM, I hear that Sen. Pinto is responsible but it was NM San Juan County Commissioner. Jackson Gibson.

DELEGATE WALTER PHELPS
We need a large discussion on the proposed Rangeland Improvement Act.

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