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.
DELEGATE MEL BEGAY
I ask that you address Rangeland Improvement Act. The dust from the land is creating health problems for our elders.
PRESIDENT BEN SHELLY
To Delegate Katherine Benally: Yes, i agree, we need to addres Headstart facilities. There are some without bathroom. But these facilities need to meet federal school building standards. And I have difficulty getting updates from Headstart, which present more often to Council’s standing committees. But what I hear from community is that they are unhappy.
The first Feral Horse Roundup legislation that I vetoed was because of the lack of participation by tribal program. And the next one was successfully. There are a lot of people that oppose the roundup of feral horses. This summer, we are asking Robert Redford to be involved when we sign memo of understanding with federal government/Bureau of Indian Affairs. There are ranch horses needed out there. And there are horses raised for rodeo competition. And we need to respect those too.
We put things together for tribal programs and then it comes here where it is approved or disapproved and it goes forward. But we agree here that we need to take care of horse. I support taking care of feral horses so manage in the right way. And federal government’s Bureau of Land Management is also responsible too. I also talked about feral donkeys. And I went to Washington DC where I testified about feral horses, feral donkeys.
In 1930s, the federal government held livestock reduction on Navajo Reservation. I asked for funding so we cud manage our feral horses, donkeys, livestock.
And on Delegate Tsosie’s statement, I want to state that there are three tribal laws: Navajo Fundamental Law and that is not written.
And we talk about what is missing from Navajo Fundamental Law. Many of our federal employees were not exposed to Navajo Fundamental Law and so it is hard for them to understand Navajo Fundamental Law. Maybe we need Navajo Commission to meet with federal officials and educate them about Navajo Fundamental Law.
Also Delegate Tsosie mentioned that public hearings are ineffective and there is need for public hearings on reservation roads, especially U.S. Route 89. And I also state that I have not waived Navajo Sovereign Immunity. I cannot do that.