Council continues debating Legislation No. 0289-14: Relating to Law and Order, Naabik’iyati’, and the Navajo Nation Council; Amending Language Fluency Requirements of the Navajo Nation Election Code at 11 N.N.C. §8(A)(4) (Office of President/Vice President), §8(B)(8) 5 (Office of Council Delegate), §8(D)(2)(c) (Land Board) and §8(D)(3)(e) (Farm Board)
(Sponsor: Honorable Lorenzo Curley)
DELEGATE LEONARD TSOSIE
My amendment would allow voters to choose candidate of choice. who are we say that individual who can only understand Navajo language cannot be presidential candidate.
DELEGATE DWIGHT WITHERSPOON
my concern is if allowing to total choice then Delegate Curley saying to do away with navajo langauge and to have people vote on that. i have concern about Tsosie’s amendment because language can be challenged and whether chief justice would uphold that presidential candidate meets navajo language fluency requirement by vote of the people. i still see this going back to courts.
DELEGATE MEL BEGAY
we told the people that they will be incarcerated and pay restitution without full council voting on that legislation that amended Title 17. why didn’t we have that debate then? we are fearful. what happened to us? that is why i am looking forward to new 23rd Council. the reason i feel fearful about this discussion is because it will create dissension among our youth who are energetic and educated. i weighed my differences with my people back home. we want to see improvements, difference. we want to see someone to speak language in a way that is more attractive. we are confronted wiht different angles from different people.
DELEGATE NELSON BEGAYE
i don’t know if reading this right, page 5, line 3 which was striken, you are going to unstrike and insert language that presidential candidate speak Navajo language fluently, which could negatively impact individual would select to be Interim President if there is no president elected by Inauguration.
DELEGATE ROLAND TSO
when called as leader, you look at situation boardly. If send for referendum, why are we here. there are young Navajo professionals that have interest in political arena. they follow these discussions. it’s like challenging yourself to get higher level education. they are interested in Navajo government to help improve it. in my opinion, the proposed language from Delegate Tsosie is okay.