HERE AT NAVAJO COUNCIL SPRING SESSION, WHERE NAVAJO PRESIDENT BEN SHELLY GAVE HIS STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS AND COUNCIL DELEGATES ARE MAKING COMMENTS AND ASKING QUESTIONS ABOUT HIS ADDRESS.
DELGATE RUSSELL BEGAYE
I appreciate you saying that if proposed Rangeland Improvement Act goes before you that you will veto it. I liked the Act when I first read it but then it was amended and that is when it become “top heavy.” We all know we need to improve our rangeland. No one argues that. But it must include how we treat our grazing permitees.
DELGATE LEONARD PETE
There are concerns from outside entities and the people that we have been working with about current Grazing Act. They reported to us that the land would continue to be overgrazed. It is a big concern and devastating to the land. It affects our future children. Other impacts to our land is Climate Change. And if we fail to enforce grazing laws regarding overgrazing that we will continue to devastate our land. And there will always be opposition from some grazing permitees.
DELEGATE EDMUND YAZZIE
Congressman Young is a bully and he wants division of Fort Wingate land his way. And I’m recommending that perhaps the Navajo Nation and Pueblo of Zuni share Fort Wingate jointly for a new Gallup Indian Medical Center. And that would stop the Navajo Nation and Pueblo of Zuni from feuding.
And “no” to uranium. We need to stand together.
And Delegate Tsosie said he heard tons of presidential campaign speeches but he has not heard one candidate say that he’ll work with Council. We need to hear that we’ll work as a team. No more “I” stuff.
DELEGATE DAVID TOM
Thank you, Mr. President for supporting the construction of 75 veterans homes. Many of our veterans live in houses that are dangerous.
And on the Rangeland Improvement Act, the first draft has been released to the public. There is some opposition and some support, but we just need to move forward. There are livestock owners and there are others that have livestock that don’t have grazing permits.
We are in our fourth year initiative and there are also political election campaigns.
DELEGATE MEL BEGAY
I ask that you address Rangeland Improvement Act. The dust from the land is creating health problems for our elders.
DELEGATE DWIGHT WITHERSPOON
I have questions on assistance for communities. First I ask about White Valley Road where we have been trying to get permit from Hopi Tribal Reality Office for 2.1 miles of road on Hopi that would be improved.
The communities i represent are also working on Decentralization Project because when a community leader/worker went to central officer here in Window Rock, Ariz., to have the community’s request for funding of local government building, she was told to get in line and that there were more than 200 requests in front of her. And so this Decentralization project needs to be moved along.
DELEGATE LEONARD TSOSIE
If i was to vote today for prsident, i would vote for Delegate Leonard Pete because he is practical and he seeks solutions. I ask you, Mr. President, to take back your veto threat of Rangeland Improvement Act otherwise reservation will turn into “dust bowl.” There are 10,900 grazing permit for about 1 percent of Navajo population. If passed Rangeland Act a year ago then more of our land would be greener.