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Navajo Nation Council celebrates 100 years as governing physique for Navajo folks

5 min read

Celebrating 100 years of presidency
on the Navajo Nation, tribal leaders and neighborhood members rode as much as
the Navajo Nation Council Chambers in Window Rock on horseback to kick
off the twenty fifth Navajo Nation Council summer time session on Monday.

As greater than 50 horse riders
converged to the entrance of the council chambers after an almost three-mile
experience from the Navajo Nation Fairgrounds, they have been greeted by cheering

On the entrance of the riders was Navajo
Nation President Buu Nygren, who stated that, 100 years in the past, using as much as
the Navajo Nation Council Chambers on horseback was how Navajo leaders
guided the folks at the moment. 

“Possibly in one other 100 years, our
youngsters’s youngsters will likely be praising us for the steerage that we
supplied for them,” Nygren stated to the group. “Our kids will
in all probability be talking our sacred language and singing our sacred songs
after they arrive at this very council chamber throughout one of many

The path experience has develop into an annual
custom for Navajo Nation Council classes. It honors previous Navajo
leaders who rode on horseback or in horse-drawn wagons from their dwelling
areas throughout the Navajo Nation to the council chambers in Window Rock, a
journey that would take days to finish.

Throughout their journey to the Navajo
Nation capital, tribal leaders would go to with neighborhood members alongside
the best way and take heed to their considerations. By the point their experience ended at
the council steps, the leaders could be able to advocate on their

In 1923, the Navajo tribe established a governing physique often known as the Navajo Tribal Council, made up of 5 representatives from 5 regional businesses.

“The invention of oil on Navajoland within the early Twenties promoted the necessity for a extra systematic type of authorities,” based on historic data on the tribe’s official web site.
“A tribal authorities was established to assist meet the growing
wishes of American oil corporations to lease Navajoland for exploration.”

From 1923 to 1989, the Navajo Nation authorities consisted of the tribal council, headed by a boss, making the choices for the tribe. 

In 1989, the council went by
reform because the tribe switched to a three-branch authorities system
consisting of an govt, judicial and legislative department. The Navajo
Tribal Council was renamed the Navajo Nation Council, and it was made up
of 88 council delegates till 2011, when the Navajo folks voted to
lower its delegation from 88 to 24.

The current-day Navajo Nation Council
is made up of 24 elected delegates that signify 110 Navajo chapters
throughout Diné Bikéyah, or Navajo land. 

The Navajo Nation is without doubt one of the
largest tribes in the US, with almost 400,000 enrolled
residents with about 175,000 residing on Navajo land. 

The Navajo Nation extends throughout
three states, Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico, making it the biggest
tribal land mass within the nation.

The spotlight of the summer time session
was the celebration of 100 years of the Navajo Nation Council, and as
a part of the primary day of the summer time session, reviews from a number of high
Navajo leaders got to the council. 

Navajo Nation Council Speaker
Crystalyne Curley highlighted that, because the council celebrates 100 years,
the event of the Navajo Nation authorities remains to be a piece in
progress, although she and the opposite delegates acknowledge that the desire of
the Navajo folks is part of the federal government course of has by no means

“In actual fact, the decision of our folks to
be concerned and knowledgeable continues to develop,” Curley stated. “As leaders,
the duty to make our authorities open to the folks rests on
our shoulders.” 

Curley mentioned a number of priorities
throughout her handle to the council, together with water rights, American
Rescue Plan Act funding, the fiscal yr 2024 price range, the Indian Youngster
Welfare Act, the Lacking and Murdered Diné Family Job Pressure and the
Radiation Publicity Compensation Act.

“As we transfer into the subsequent quarter,
the Council will start many extra initiatives, together with the 2024 price range
session, during which all authorities departments and packages will current
their objectives and proposed budgets,” Curley stated. “Might this summer time season
convey many blessings to your households and communities.”

Nygren gave a State of the Navajo
Nation handle to the delegates, highlighting the work that he has performed
and can proceed to do as president. 

“Our council-based authorities got here
into existence with the intention of creating choices in the very best
curiosity and highest good of all Diné,” Nygren stated. “The council was
created to make choices about pure assets, a lot as we do at the moment.”

Nygren stated the council has modified
and matured over time by intervals of peace and turmoil,
together with disagreements with the federal authorities. 

“It has developed into what’s the
largest and most highly-developed three-branch tribal authorities in
Indian Nation,” Nygren stated of the Navajo Nation Council. 

Nygren famous how, within the centennial
yr of the Council, they have fun a authorities whose management is
shared by many sturdy Navajo ladies leaders, together with their first-ever
lady Vice President Richelle Montoya.

He stated the Navajo authorities has a
legislative physique led by its first lady speaker and it has the biggest
variety of ladies delegates in its 100-year historical past. 

He highlighted how Chief Justice
JoAnn Jayne and Affiliate Justice Eleanor Shirley head the judicial
department. Legal professional Common Ethel Department and Deputy Legal professional Common
Heather Clah lead the Navajo Nation Division of Justice.

Nygren additionally talked in regards to the Arizona v. Navajo Nation
ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court docket in June. Regardless that it was a loss for
the tribe, he stated the Navajo Nation will proceed to maneuver ahead to
safe their Arizona water rights. 

“The federal authorities isn’t
obligated to quantify our water,” Nygren stated, however the majority and
dissenting opinions famous how the Navajo Nation has a declare to water
rights within the Colorado River. 

“Justice (Neil) Gorsuch identified
that the Navajo Nation has a proper to intervene and push our declare to
Colorado River water,” Nygren stated. “I need the Navajo folks to know
that we’ll proceed to pursue our declare to our water rights.

“The settling of our Arizona water
rights is a precedence. Negotiations have begun in earnest to agency our
water rights by a settlement.” 

The twenty fifth Navajo Nation Council summer time
session runs from July 17 to July 21, and it addresses new laws
launched by delegates for evaluation. 

As of July 17, there have been 28
legislations on the agenda for the council to think about. The subjects of
the laws vary from title amendments to property purchases and
mapping out funding challenge plans launched by council delegates.

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