The Navajo Nation Council is meeting at Little America in Flagstaff, Ariz., on Jan. 3, 2014, Friday, for a work session on LEGISLATION 0346-13, which would transform the Navajo Division of Health into the Navajo Department of Health.
The Department status is higher than the Division status. And as a Department, the Navajo Department of Health would have the authority to monitor the numerous health facilities on the Navajo Reservation, which hopefully means that complaints regarding Hospital Chief Executive Officers will finally be addressed.
For example, the Tuba City Chapter, which is the local government, has been trying for several months to have a meeting with the Tuba City Health Care Corporation CEO regarding complaints by community members about the operation of the TCHCC. The CEO simply refuses to meet with the local government leaders.
Employees from the Fort Defiance Hospital went to the Fort Defiance Chapter to ask for the local government’s support in addressing the Fort Defiance Hospital CEO’s administration of the hospital where employees have allegedly been illegally removed which has resulted in professional health staff, such as doctors, allegedly resigning. During the recent Professional Rodeo Association Finals in Las Vegas, Nev., the Fort Defiance Hospital CEO traveled to Las Vegas to make a report to the Navajo Council’s Health, Education and Human Services Committee. The Fort Defiance Hospital CEO report was the only agenda item of the HEHR Committee.
The members of the HEHS Committee are Navajo Council Delegates Jonathan Hale, HEHS Committee chairperson; Charles Damon II, HEHS Committee vice chairperson; Joshua Butler, Kenneth Maryboy, Walter Phelps and Dwight Witherspoon.
HERE IS THE WEB ADDRESS FOR LEGISLATION 0346-13: Enacting the 2013 amendments of Title 2 of the Navajo Department of Health Act by amending Title 2 of the Navajo Nation Code section 1601 et seq.
Since Legislation 0346-13 amends Navajo law, Council approval is required. But before Legislation 0346-13 gets to the Council, the following Committees must take action on it: Law & Order Committee, Health, Education & Human Services Committee and the Naa’bik’iyati Committee.
The Sponsor of Legislation 0346-13 is Delegate Dwight Witherspoon.
HERE IS THE WEB ADDRESS FOR SPEAKER NAIZE’S MEMO ANNOUNCING THE NAVAJO COUNCIL WORK SESSION IN FLAGSTAFF, ARIZ., FOR LEGISLATION 0346-13:
Speaker Naize does not justify why the Council has to have a work session in Flagstaff instead of meeting at the Council chamber in Window Rock or the Navajo Nation Museum auditorium in Window Rock or even a central Navajo Reservation location, such as Chinle, Ariz., especially since the Navajo Division of Health, which is located in Window Rock, was directed to conduct the work session by the Naa’bik’iyati Committee on Dec. 5, 2013.
I’m wondering who is picking up the tab for the Council work session/meeting at the Little America Hotel in Flagstaff, Ariz.
I do know that the People will pick up the tab for the per diem of Speaker Naize, Council Delegates, and Legislative Staff that attend the Flagstaff gathering to discuss how the new and hopefully improved Navajo Department of Health will insure that the People receive the best health care available from federally funded hospitals on the Navajo Reservation that justify their federal funds by submitting the People’s census numbers.
There is no work session agenda and so I’m not sure if there is a place on the Council’s work session agenda to hear from the People. I always hope that there is because that is the Navajo way. But then again, I’ve been told by Council Delegates that there’s no law that mandates the Council to hear from the People, whether it be by public hearings, public meetings or even public comments submitted during the five-day comment period on proposed Council and Committee legislation.
I asked Council Delegates if the written public comments of the People that were submitted on Legislation 0367-13, which concerned the tribal government’s continued take over of BHP’s coal mining operations through the Council’s approval to be the co-signers for Navajo Transitional Energy Company’s half a billion dollars worth of reclamation and performance insurance and bonds, would be read to the Council. I was told that Navajo law didn’t require that.
My response to those Council Delegates, is why do the People need a law for their elected official to hear them? I thought that Navajo teachings were all about open discussion with the People.
But if it’s going to take law for the People’s voices to be taken seriously by their Navajo government public servants then the People need to start taking back some of the authority that the People delegated to the Council, President, Vice President to help them remember that they are Navajo and servants of the people and that they own their positions and that they are paid by the People, not Speaker Naize.
And please understand and believe that the Council, President, Vice President, elected Chapter Officials and any and all elected officials answer to the People. I’ve sat in many Council sessions where attorneys and some elected officials, including the Council, recognized the People were above the Council and all elected officials.
HERE IS THE WEB ADDRESS FOR THIS WEEK’S MEETINGS OF THE COUNCIL AND ITS COMMITTEE:
HERE IS THE WEB ADDRESS FOR THE NAVAJO COUNCIL WEB SITE WHERE YOU CAN FIND “MEETINGS”, “LEGISLATION”. IF YOU CLICK ON MEETINGS, YOU WILL SEE COMMITTEE MEETINGS AND A PLACE TO DOWNLOAD COMMITTEE AGENDA. THE LOCATION OF COMMITTEE MEETINGS IS ALSO POSTED.