Navajo Veterans marching on Navajo Council, 7.16 – 18.22

Ya’at’eeh Relatives/Frens/Humans, the following announcement was shared with me by Navajo Nation Northern Agency Veterans Organization Commander Vern Lee on behalf of the Navajo Nation Chinle Agency Veterans’ Organization.

Due to the current 2023 Navajo Veterans Administration Budget turmoil; 60% cut in 2023 Veterans Trust Fund interest earned; the Allocation and possible loss of 2022 VA budget Carryover funds.

The Chinle Chapter Veterans Organization Members, supported by other nearby veterans from other Veterans Organizations at Chapters.

We will be marching to Window Rock, Ariz., to the Navajo Nation Council Summer Session to ascertain just how long the Navajo Council will condone the mistreatment and use of Veterans as Political pawns, before actually supporting issues constantly entertained on behalf of Navajo Veterans. Our Budget has become a fiasco and jeopardized by a Navajo Nation VA Admiinistration and its agents.

TO NAVAJO NATION PREESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES! We hear the same rhetoric every four years. We would like to hear your stance and see you join us at each campsite along our March to the Navajo Council and, or join us as we march in a show of your support for NAVAJO VETERANS.

SATURDAY, 7.16.22:
0600…Prayer and begin March from across Chinle, Arizona, Chapter Compound.
12 Noon… Lunch. Mile Post 434, US 191
6 PM….. Campsite, Ganado, Arizona, Flea Market
SUNDAY, 7.17.22
0600…Breakfast and begin Eastbound on SR 264
12 Noon… Lunch @ Mile Post 455, SR264, Cross Canyon, Ariz.
1800…Campsite, St. Michaels, Ariz., Catholic Church Softball Field
MONDAY, 7.18.22
0800..Breakfast and begin March to Fairgrounds
0900…At Navajo Nation Fairground, Window Rock, Ariz., we will meet other groups from Ft. Defiance, Ariz., and the Navajo Nation Northern and Eastern Agencies.
1000.. Arrive @ Navajo Council Chambers, Window Rock, Ariz.

We invite people to Join us for coffee each evening at our campsites and, or to March with us. Candidates for Navajo Council are welcomed, as well as Donations of water, juice and snacks for walkers.

Contact: Pete Tsinnijinnie (928)349-6781 or (929)349-9882

A bit of Background on why Navajo Veterans are Marching AGAIN to the Navajo Council, Navajo President Jonathan Nez, and Vice President Myron Lizer regarding their annual budget, which is under the Navajo Nation VA. Navajo veterans have repeatedly Informed the Council, Nez and Lizer about the Disrespectful behavior of James Zweirlei since 2020. Nez&lizer appointed Zweirlein as Navajo Nation VA director and approved a six-year contract with Zweirlein. The Navajo veterans & Navajo Council have repeatedly asked nez&lizer for a copy of Zweirlein’s six-year contract. A copy of Zweirlein’s six-year contract was provided to the Navajo Council, but before a Council Delegate can see Zweirlein’s contract, he or she has to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement, which means they are legally bound not to talk about Zweirlein’s six-year contract. And that Reeks of Censorship by nez&lizer, who from now on should never say that Navajo Veterans Fought & Died for our Freedom. Censorship is NOT Freedom.

The following is an email that was sent to Nez&lizer Chief of Staff Paulsen Chaco on Sept. 8, 2020, from Northern Agency Veterans’ Organization Commander Vern Lee and copied to other Navajo Veterans’ Organizations and veterans:

“Mr Chaco,
Northern Agency Veterans organization, Crownpoint Agency Veterans organization, Ft Defiance Veterans organization and Chinle Veterans organization are opposing legislation 0173-20. Veterans Act with President Nez signature on that law says, that NVA Director will enter into agreement with veterans organization. This did not occur and we have been telling you about NVA behavior and disrespectful attitude towards Navajo veterans and culture. You were present at a meeting when we (NNVAC) at the time express our concerns to Zweirlein. You know our concerns sir. With you and Zweirlein lobbying the delegates on Navajo money, resourses and time is throwing Navajo Veterans under the bus. Please work with the local veterans and we are willing to talk to President Nez. He does not give us the time to talk but we are asking because we voters put him in office.
Thank you sir”

On Sept. 27, 2021, Nez&lizer issues a press release regarding Nez’s signing of Navajo Council’s approval of the Navajo Nation’s Fiscal 2022 operating budget and the following statement that he approved funding for veterans in each of the five agencies to help provide direct services and assistance. (The Council approved the funding. Nez just signs or vetos.)

Nez also stated in his press release that “he is open to working with veterans and Council members to improve funding policies and procedures that hinder benefits. I am very thankful to our Navajo veterans, our warriors, for bringing forth their concerns to leadership last week. We sign this funding into law and we will continue meeting with veterans to work toward more solutions to address concerns. The Veterans Housing Program received approval last week from the Health, Education, and Human Services Committee to move the program forward to begin building homes for veterans. If there are any concerns with the budgets, we will sit down and talk through those issues with our veterans and Council members.”

It’s July 15, 2022, and the Navajo Veterans are Marching again because Nez&lizer seem to always Lose their Hearing when Navajo veterans speak.

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