I’ll be heading back to the Council chamber today, Jan. 28, 2014, for the Navajo Nation Council’s Day 2 of its five-day winter session. LEGISLATION 0003-14 is item (C), which makes it the third item on the Council’s proposed agenda regarding legislation. Immediately following Legislation 0003-14 is LEGISLATION 0011-14, which is the legislation for the Council to appoint a new speaker.
I’m not sure how many of you listen to KTNN radio station, which is an AM and FM radio station owned and operated by the Navajo government. KTNN has been airing a recording by Speaker Naize, who defends himself against Legislation 0003-14. I’ll try to get a copy of that recording. Yesterday, Jan. 27, 2014, after the Council adjourned, which was about 7 p.m., I was able to briefly, and I mean briefly, ask Speaker Naize about the recording. According to a multi-term Council Delegate, there is Navajo law prohibits elected officials from using tribal funds, tribal equipment, tribal employees to defend themselves against the criminal charges filed against them for alleged misuse of the Council’s now defunct Discretionary Funds, which is also referred to as the Council’s slush fund.
Anyway, i asked Speaker Naize about his recording and that law that prohibits him from using tribal funds to pay for the recording, in which he defends himself against his criminal charges. Naize said that he did not violate the Navajo law because he was defending himself against Legislation 0003-14. Before I could ask him if his attorney, which he should be paying out of his own pocket, had advised him that it was legal for him to pay for radio ads to defend himself against proposed Council legislation that was created because of his criminal charges, his Chief of Staff Jarvis Williams quickly walked up and took Naize away.
I truly believe that Speaker Naize violated tribal law by using funds from the Legislative Branch to defend himself against Legislation 0003-14. The funds that the Council appropriates to the Legislation Branch are tribal revenues that are generated from the Navajo
Reservation’s natural resources, such as coal, oil and gas, forests, water, business site leases, etc. And Speaker Naize does not own those natural resources. The natural resources were placed between the Four Sacred Mountains of the Navajo people’s homeland by the Holy Ones, who also created and gave us our Homeland. AND the Holy Ones told us how to use the natural resources, which involved teachings of how powerful and dangerous those natural resources could become if we abuse them by getting greedy with them.
Another legislation on the Council’s winter session agenda is LEGISLATION 0369-12 which calls for a Referendum by the People to return the People as the governing body of the Navajo government, instead of the Council. I also believe that it is long overdue for the People to regain control of its government which has become greedy, short-sighted, lawless, sneaky, weak-willed, and dangerous.
Our relatives and neighbors that live in New Mexico, which are the Apaches and Pueblos are angry with us because the Council and President Ben Shelly – in our name – told the New Legislature and them that we deserve FIVE casinos because we are the largest tribe and we have the largest land base, which has earned us the power to operate our gambling business under a different set of rules. My father is Zuni and I have never and I will never go to the homes of my Zuni aunts and cousins and order them to serve me because I’m Navajo and there are more Navajos than Zunis and the Navajo Reservation is bigger than the Pueblo of Zuni. That is wrong! It is disrespectful! And those kinds of words and behavior generate hostility and conflict.
And why do I/we need FIVE casinos when Twin Arrows Resort & Casino is losing money but the Council has decided that because THEY invested millions and millions of our money into a failing casino that THEY have no choice but to keep throwing money at Twin Arrows and hope that the non-Navajo fair tale of “and they lived happily ever after” happens with Twin Arrows. President Shelly knows Twin Arrows is losing money and so he’s ORDERED all our tribal division, programs, workers to be customers at Twin Arrows! WTH! And he issued his order or executive memo while also having his Vice President, Rex Lee Jim, proclaim that the Shelly-Jim administration supports Navajo small businesses.
Well, the Shelly-Jim administration needs to walk its talk. But me thinks that it’s too late. This Council and the Shelly-Jim administration have 90 days left in their terms.
And so we, the People, will know what our political officials believe is in our Best interest when they voted on Legislation 0003-14, 0011-14, and 0369-12.