Greetings Relatives/Frens/Humans, I’m here at the Navajo Nation Council chambers in Window Rock, Ariz., where some Council delegates and numerous Navajo citizens are waiting for the Council’s top standing committee, the Naabik’iyati Committee to convene. According to the PROPOSED AGENDA of the Naabik’iyati Committee or Naabi, the meeting was scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. It is now 12:21 p.m. and Naabik’iyati Committee Chairperson Pro Tem Lorenzo Bates has called the meeting to order.
As I’ve been waiting, I’ve been downloading several press releases from the Navajo Nation Legislative Branch, including an announcement that the Navajo Nation government inauguration of the Navajo Nation Council will be on Jan. 13, 2015, at the Navajo Nation Fairgrounds’ Dean C. Jackson Memorial Rodeo Arena in Window Rock. It’s usually very cold and so dress warm. According to the Dec. 19, 2014, Legislative Branch PRESS RELEASE, “details” of the Jan. 13, 2015, inauguration will be released at a later date.
The Legislative Branch also announced on Dec. 19, 2014, that held a four-day orientation for returning and new Council delegates at the Twin Arrows Hotel & Casino near Flagstaff, Ariz., from Dec. 15 to 18, 2014. “The orientation included presentations from each of the programs and offices under the Legislative Branch including, the Office of the Speaker, Office of Legislative Counsel, Office of Legislative Services, Human Rights Commission, Office of the Auditor General, Navajo Government Development, Navajo Election Administration, Ethics and Rules Office, Eastern Navajo Land Commission, Labor Commission, and the Navajo Utah Commission,” legislative staff reported
Staff also reported that the 12 newly elected delegates are Kee Allen Begay, Jr., Norman Begay, Nathaniel Brown, Tom Chee, Amber Crotty, Seth Damon, David Filfred, Lee Jack, Sr., Jonathan Perry, Tuchoney Slim, Raymond Smith, and Otto Tso. The 13 returning delegates are LoRenzo Bates, Mel Begay, Jonathan Hale, Jonathan Nez, Leonard Pete, Walter Phelps, Alton Joe Shepherd, Leonard Tsosie, Dwight Witherspoon, and Edmund Yazzie. A special election will take place on Dec. 30 to determine who will represent two separate legislative districts that include the communities of Lukachukai, Rock Point, Round Rock, Tsaile/Wheatfields, Tsé Ch’ izhi, Crystal, Fort Defiance, Red Lake, and Sawmill.
Meanwhile, the current Council has planned two special sessions on Dec. 23, 2014, tomorrow, and on Dec. 30, 2014. A Naabi meeting is also scheduled on Dec. 29, 2014.
Council Speaker Pro Tem Lorenzo Bates, who represents the communities of Nenahnezad, Newcomb, San Juan, Tiis Tsoh Sikaad, Tse’Daa’Kaan, and Upper Fruitland, said this morning, Dec. 22, 2014, that the PROPOSED AGENDA for the Dec. 23, 2014, special session is very short but he expects to have additional agenda items added from today’s Naabi meeting.
“Although the end of the term for this Council is nearing, we still have many important issues and legislations to consider and we invite all Diné Citizens to attend or watch live,” Bates stated.
The special Council sessions will be live streamed at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nnobs.
There are other Council standing committee MEETINGS this week and as the week progresses, special Committee meetings can be scheduled. The Council’s WEBSITE provides information on committee and Council meetings, proposed legislation and other information.
Legislative staff also announced that the latest edition of NAAT’AJI NAHAT’A HANE’ – Legislative Branch News. focuses entirely on the seven public hearings conducted by the Office of the Speaker to gain feed back and recommendations from the Navajo people as to how the $554 million settlement funds should be used and/or invested.