HERE AT NAVAJO GOVERNMENT DEVELOPMENT OFFICE IN WINDOW ROCK, ARIZ., WHERE NAVAJO GOVERNMENT DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION IS CONTINUING THEIR “INDIGENOUS NATION BUILDING: LEADERSHIP, GOVERNANCE, CONSTITUTION, AND DEVELOPMENT SUCCESS” SEMINAR BY DR. MANLEY BEGAYE JR.
BEGAYE IS NOW ON SESSION FIVE “CONSTITUTIONS 1 – MAKING INDIGENOUS GOVERNMENTS WORK”
The process of nation building involves four shared values which are not religions. These are Individual & Social Identify, Goals of Well Being, Formal & Informal Institutions, Community Actions.
The Rules of Law & Constitutions: Constitution is the Fundamental Organizing System of the Nation that involves Prupose, Process, Ingredient, Variety. Constitutions, like the Hogan, is Fundamental Organizing System of Nation. But for western educated person, if they came into hogan, they would not understand that it is organized. They would think that there was disorganization.
THE PURPOSES OF NATIVE NATION CONSTITUTION – getting things done (Shared mechanisms for resolving disputes and differences) For example, there was no way to resolve what happened when Chris Deschene lied about speaking the Navajo language fluently. You can argue what fluency means but the issue is that it is part of the the process to be a qualified presidential candidate and there was no process and since there was no process, the Election Board didn’t know what to do.
Is the Constitution written in a way for our children, in the future, to be Navajo? Is there a strong court system? Does it defend sovereignty? Has it made the economy and culture stronger? It must say “this is who we are.”
I believe that if Chris Deschene and his attorneys had gone to Navajo Supreme Court and talked to them in the Navajo way of Ke’ that Deschene would have remained on ballot. But there has to be real understanding of Ke’ and it has to be done in the Navajo language.
And when development and presenting Constitution, it must be done in “increments” and with thought that it’s set in stone then there will be problems.
NAVAJO GOVERNMENT DEVELOPMENT COMMISSIONER
We should think about this like building a hogan. I’m going to be serving two more years.
DR. MANLEY BEGAYE JR
one tribal leader said that its law are the strongest form of its culture. So what’s a Constitution? Along with treaties, it’s a foundamental document of your nation. It establishes the rules of the game. and it’s how we organize action. how we cooperate, work together and how we interact with each other and the outside. also clarifies power – power of presidency, council and different branches.