PRESS RELEASE – Navajo Nation Chief Justice JoAnn B. Jayne invites the public as the Supreme Court of the Navajo Nation and the Administrative Offices of the Courts hold the first Justice Day at their new offices on May 9.
The Supreme Court’s Justice Day is commemorating the Year of Naaltsoos Sani with the theme, “Diné be’iina’ Náás Yilyééł dóó bee Hada’ííníilní,” which translates to, “Perpetuate Diné Way of Life Through Resilience.” Staff from the Judicial Branch’s Peacemaking Program will be conducting educational presentations on the theme and on the Treaty of 1868.
Justice Day will begin with a fun run co-sponsored by the Navajo Special Diabetes Program at 7 a.m., followed by Zumba at 8 a.m. The morning activities are being done to encourage physical activity, particularly the Navajo tradition of running each morning, to the public. One of the beliefs of many Navajo people is that running in the morning brings blessings from the Holy People.
To begin the program, the Twin Warriors Society will be posting colors and Kathrynn C. Arviso-Robinson will be singing the National Anthem in Navajo. Arviso-Robinson is one of the first, if not the first person, to sing the National Anthem in the Navajo language. Arviso-Robinson’s parents helped to translate the anthem from English to Navajo at the suggestion of her uncle Jack C. Jackson, Sr.
Entertainment will be provided by Hunter’s Point Boarding School Immersion Program, Miss Navajo Nation 2017-2018 Crystal Littleben, and Tséhotsooi Diné Bi Olta students. Service providers are invited to set up informational tables to educate the public.
Another highlight of the activities will be a mock Supreme Court hearing conducted inside the Court’s new hearing room.
Justice Day events are held annually at the courts of the Navajo Nation to celebrate the creation of the Navajo tribal court system on April 1, 1959. The Supreme Court’s Justice Day will conclude the events for the 59th anniversary of the Navajo tribal courts. One other event also remains with the To’hajiilee Court holding its Justice Day on May 4 with activities that include a sobriety and fun walk and presentations on the Treaty of 1868, gangs, domestic violence and substance abuse.
The Supreme Court has not had its own building for all justices and staff, which has historically made it difficult for the highest court of the Navajo Nation to hold Justice Day. Some employees remember that there was a Justice Day event in the 1980s but there has been no Justice Day event for the Supreme Court in recent years.
The Supreme Court opened the doors for operation in its new modular building in January 2018, more than two years after the previous office was shut down. The Administrative Office of the Courts, which provides administrative and technical support for the courts and programs of the Navajo Nation Judicial Branch, was also in the same situation for more than two years with staff separated into at least two different office locations.
For more information, please visit the Judicial Branch website at www.navajocourts.org or call (928) 871-6920.