I’ve been working on videos and voice recordings of the Status of Navajo Women, Gender Violence and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples forum, which was held Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 at the Fort Defiance, Ariz., Chapter.
Today I attended Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly’s Uranium Task Force meeting to present a draft Navajo Nation Council resolution to create a “Dine’ Uranium Commission Act.”
In May 2013, Shelly issued an executive order for the creation of a Task Force to create the Commission.
I’ll be working on posting my video and voice recording of the Task Force meeting. The Task Force members are Navajo Environmental Protection Agency Director Steven Etcitty, Attorney General Harrison Tsosie, Division of Natural Resources Director Fred White and Division of Health Director Larry Curley.
At the end of the Task Force meeting, the Task Force unanimously voted to present the DRAFT “Dine’ Uranium Commission Act” to President Shelly for his approval and then it goes to the Legislative Branch for sponsorship by a Council Delegate. Delegate Dwight Witherspoon, who attended today’s Task Force meeting, said that he would be willing to sponsor the proposed “Dine’ Uranium Commission Act.”
I’ll scan the proposed DUCA and post tomorrow.
The Navajo Nation Council’s Resources and Development Committee will be meeting in Cornfields, Ariz., at the local Chapter. The RDC proposed agenda is quite lengthy. The committee is scheduled to hear two reports and act on ten pieces of proposed legislation.
The reports include an “update” by tribal Land Department Director Mike Halona on the Goudling project and a report by Council Delegate Charles Damon II and consultant Larry Rodgers on a land purchase proposal to the Bureau of Land Management for customary land users.
The proposed legislation appears to be proposed legislation that was the RDC’s Oct. 29 agenda, which is when the committee met in LeChee, Ariz.
Among the proposed legislation that was on the RDC’s Oct. 29 agenda and which is now on its Nov. 5 agenda, is LEGISLATION 0308-13 – the approval of a Water Rate Negotiation Team, which would set a water rate for Peabody Coal Company under Lease No. 14-20-603-992. Council Delegate Dwight Witherspoon is the sponsor of this legislation, which goes to the Council’s Health, Education & Human Service Committee after RDC action. The Naabiki’yati’ Committee has final approval.
According to LEGISLATION 0308-13, the proposed Water Rate Negotiation Team would be Council Delegates Witherspoon, Katherine Benally, Jonathan Hale, Attorney General Harrison Tsosie, Water Management Branch Director and Minerals Department Director.
Here is the web address for LEGISLATION 0308-13
Here is the web address for the RDC proposed Nov. 5 agenda:
Here is the web address for proposed Council/Committee legislation:
The Council’s Budget and Finance Committee is also meeting tomorrow. The BFC is meeting in the BFC conference room in Window Rock. Their proposed agenda includes three reports and 6 pieces of proposed legislation.
A report on a proposed “Controlled Environmental Agricultural Green House” at the tribe’s Winslow tract is unusual because of one of the presenters, Consultant Ivan Gamble, who is a lobbyist for the proposed and highly controversial Grand Canyon Escalade Project. Gamble also worked with an Arizona beverage lobbyist opposing a proposed Navajo Nation Junk Food Sales Tax.
And now Gamble is a consultant for a Green House.
Gamble and R.J. Brot Chief Financial Officer Josh Abranson will be making the report on the Green House.
The second report is on the proposed reservation-wide Regionalization Plan, which Division of Community Development Director Leonard Chee, a former Council delegate, and Government Development Director Caleb Roanhorse will present to the BFC.
According to the Council, the proposed Regionalization Plan would split up the 110 chapters/local government into 24 regions. The 24 regions would reflect the chapters that each of the 24 Council delegates represent.
The third report will be an “update” on an audit of the Veterans Department, which Veterans Department Director David Nez will make.
Among the BFC’s proposed legislation is LEGISLATION 0321-13: Approving a recommendation of the tribal Investment Committee to allocate 20 percent of the Permanent Trust Fund and Retirement Plan assets, in their respective domestic large cap equity, to a passively managed investment in the Vanguard Institutional Index I fund. Council Delegate Jonathan Hale is the sponsor of this legislation, which BFC has final approval over.
Here is the web address for LEGISLATION 0321-13
LEGISLATION 0322-13 is similar to LEGISLATION 0321-13. It also asks the BFC to approve an Investment Committee recommendation to allocate 15 percent of the Permanent Trust Fund and Retirement Plan Assets into an “absolute return strategies/global tactical asset allocation asset class.” Delegate Hale is also the sponsor of this legislation and the BFC has final approval.
Here is the web address for LEGISLATION 0322-13
Another proposed legislation of interest on the BFC agenda is LEGISLATION 0330-13: approving the fiscal year 2013 budget allocation to the Navajo Nation Gaming/Gambling Enterprise from the Navajo Nation Gaming Development Fund. The sponsor of this legislation is BFC Chairperson LoRenzo Bates.
I wonder if the BFC debate will include the Gambling Enterprises newest venture, Twin Arrows Casino and Resort, which the Council has been questioning. The questions concern financial problems.
The BFC has final approval over the Gambling Enterprise budget.
According to LEGISLATION 0330-13, the 2013 budget for the Gamblng Enterprise is $1.89 million. The Gambling Enterprise has set aside about $196,020 from the $1.89 m. for Board Expenses and $318.309 for Travel.
According to an Oct. 2 letter to the BFC from Gambling Enterprise Chief Financial Office Quincey Natay, the Gambling Enterprise had prepared a $3.6 m. budget for 2014 because $3.6 m. was the amount that they expected from the Gaming/Gambling Development Fund.
Natay stated that the $3.6 m. dropped to $1.89 m. after the Gaming/Gambling Regulatory Office received its share for operational costs and the Office of the Controller received loan payments.
Here is the web address for LEGISLATION 0330-13