Greetings Relatives/Frens/Humans, I’m here at the Navajo Nation Council’s Law and Order Committee, which is meeting in the north conference room of the Navajo Nation Council chambers in Window Rock, Ariz. It is now 11:47 a.m. I was at the Council’s Health, Education & Human Services Committee to hear a Report on Fracking, Uranium, Oil & Gas Development but that Report was rescheduled at the request of the presenter.
The L&O took up two pieces of legislation so far and both of legislation were not acted on.
The first bill, 0013-15, was sponsored by Navajo Council Delegate Leonard Tsosie and it was another attempt to place disqualified presidential candidate Chris Deschene to the special presidential election ballot. After 0013-15 was read into the record by legislative staff, L&O Chairperson Edmund Yazzie called for a motion and second to properly place 0013-15 before the committee. Yazzie’s call was met with silence and so the committee moved onto Legislation 0014-15 and Delegate Tsosie left the committee room.
Delegate Nathanial Brown sponsored Legislation 0014-15, which was for the Council to amend the qualifications for presidential candidates to speak the Navajo language fluently by having the Navajo voters determine with their vote if a presidential candidate speaks the Navajo language fluently.
When L&O Chairperson Yazzie called for a motion and second, L&O member Otto Tso made the motion but there was no second and so Yazzie informed Delegate Nathanial Brown that the committee could not take action on his legislation.
The L&O Committee then took up Legislation 0015-15, which is the creation of a Dine’ Uranium Remediation Advisory Commission.
L&O MEMBER OTTO Tso, motioned
L&O MEMBER KEE ALLAN Begay Seconded
SPONSOR, L&O MEMBER JONATHAN PERRY
Thank you for considering this legislation. 1943 to 1981 the Navajo Nation was source of uranium for nuclear weapons and later for nuclear power. In our communities, there is contamination from former uranium mines, mills. There are different regions of reservation that have identified contaminated sites which are the focus of cleanup. This legislation to create a Dine’ Uranium Remediation Advisory Commission does not conflict with other Navajo laws. The commission is for progress to continue in the more than 500 communities impacted by uranium. And the impact is felt across the reservation. The commission will also collect health studies because there are no adequate numbers/data on impact of uranium to the Navajo people and data is important to present to the US EPA Region 9 and Region 6.
L&O MEMBER RAYMOND SMITH JR.
I favor clean up and so I support the creation of this commission. I under Kerr McGee experienced a huge flood of toxic nuclear waste that continues to contaminate Rio Puerco and other water which goes through his communities. So will Commission address this.
L&O MEMBER JONATHAN PERRY
Yes that was a catastrophe. And if you look at the US EPA the maps lack information on that disaster but with the Commission, which will include community members, there will be identification of those highly contaminated areas by community members.
LAW & ORDER COMMITTEE VOTES 4 IN FAVOR, 0 OPPOSED FOR LEGISLATION 0015-15 TO MOVE FORWARD TO RESOURCES & DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE, THE NAABIK’IYATI COMMITTEE AND FINALLY TO THE NAVAJO COUNCIL.