Category Archives: Politics

Joe Shirley Jr. and Jonathan Nez are the Candidates for Navajo President!

“Navajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez will face former tribal president Joe Shirley Jr. for the tribal presidency in the November general election after they finished as the top two vote-getters in Tuesday’s primary election.” N. Lyn Smith, AZ Central

Navajo Nation Presidential candidate Joe Shirley Jr. walks with his supporters Tuesday at the Window Rock Sports Center  (Photo- Jon Austria:The Daily Times)

J. Nez thanks his supporters. Photo- .Canora Courierjpeg

Excerpt: Nez, Shirley top presidential race in tribe’s primary election, By N. Lyn Smith, AZ Central

‘It’s a humbling thing that happened tonight. There was overwhelming support from the Navajo people,’ Nez said in an interview…With the top contender established early in the night, attention turned to who would be the runner-up, which was a close race between Shirley and Tom Chee.

Approximately 500 votes separated the two men throughout the evening. Chee eventually finished in third with 6,411 votes. Shirley’s supporters made their presence known as they entered the sports center with shouts of ‘Shirley strong.’

‘What can I say? Other than that I feel glad, I feel like a winner. I didn’t have any doubts that we’d be here. We worked hard and had a good team in place and looking forward to the real race that’s going to begin,’ Shirley said in an interview after hugging Nez. He commended Nez for running a good campaign.

Joe Shirley.

‘It’s not about coming in No. 1 or No. 2 for primaries, it’s just about making it,’ Shirley said.”

Category: Politics

Navajo President Begaye Tells Officials to Grow UP…Seriously?

“President Russell Begaye called out chapter officials in his state of the nation address before the Navajo Nation Council Monday, stressing that they have to be accountable to their people… The chiding struck some observers as ironic.”K. Krisst, Navajo Times

Excerpt: Begaye to chapter officials: Grow up! By Kima Krisst, Navajo Times,

“How long are the chapters going to be treated like children?” Begaye asked. ‘You guys are adults, grown men and women. Stop fighting and stop mismanaging the people’s money and make good decisions on behalf of your people. You were elected because people placed their faith and trust in you. It’s time to grow up.’

They [chapter members] noted Begaye might consider this kind of tough-talk approach with his daughter, former legal counsel Karis Begaye, recently charged with DWI and totaling a Navajo Nation vehicle. Tribal investigators are now demanding reimbursement for the vehicle.”

Excellent comic by renown Navajo Editorial Cartoonist Jack Ahasteen.

Comic Jack Ahasteen Navajo Times

 

Category: Politics

Trudie Jackson: The First Trans-Native Running For Navajo Nation President!

“Since 1991, the Navajo People have elected a president for their nation,  and the date to officially file and run is May 17 with a closing date of May 30.   One of the people who is attempting to get on the ballot for the August 28 primary election is Trudie Jackson, a longtime advocate from Arizona who is Native American and trans.” M. Roberts, TransGriot

Trudie Jackson for Navajo Nation president 2018

Excerpt: Trudie Jackson Attempting A Historic Run For Navajo Nation President by Monica Roberts, TransGriot

“Ya’tah – my name is Trudie Jackson and my clans are: Bitterwater and Folded Arms, then the Mexican and Yucca-Strung-Out-In-A-Line from Teec Nos Pos, AZ on the beautiful Navajo Nation. I am a product of Indian Boarding School and Indian Student Placement Program.

Trudie Jackson

Upon relocating to Phoenix, AZ in 1984 to pursue my high school education at the Phoenix Indian School, I decided to stay in Phoenix which lead to 34 years. Ultimately, my experience as an urban Navajo taught me many life lessons of learning to survive in urban spaces. I have learned so much and challenged myself to walk into spaces, which at times, meant being the only American Indian to advocate and be the voice for my community as a proud Dine’.

Over the course of years, I have stood on the sidelines and made my observations of the political climate on the Navajo Nation by elected tribal leaders of what they propose as their platform to lift the Navajo Nation as an effective leader that leads for the betterment of the Navajo Nation.

I can not continue to stand on the sideline and allow the ongoing unethical practices by elected tribal officials to ‘take from the people’ and fill their pockets and/or luxury lifestyles. If I continue to stand on the sideline, I am just adding more fuel and allowing it to continue without interjection. Enough is enough!

With that said, I have decided to enter the race for the 2018 Navajo Nation Presidential Election. I want my people to judge me on my leadership skills and qualities. I would like to bring home the knowledge that I have learned and gained whiled residing off the Navajo reservation and help lift My People to create a better place, which we can all call, home.’

I ask for your support, as a candidate for the 2018 Navajo Nation Presidential Election.  Ahe’hee, Trudie”

Category: Politics | Tags: ,

Natives Ask: What Is A Tariff and How Does It Affect Indian Country?

” Trump has launched a campaign to fight a trade imbalance against China because ‘China and other nations trade unfairly with the United States.’ The goal is to use tariffs (or the threat of tariffs since they have not yet occurred) to get China to back down on other trade issues. What does this mean? And, how will Indian Country be impacted?” M. Trahaunt, ICTMN

Photo depicting international trade. ICTMN

 

Excerpt:  What Is A Tariff? And How Does A Campaign Against China Affect Indian Country? By Mark Trahaunt, ICTMN

“It’s important to say over and over again that a tariff is fancy word for a tax. A tariff affects how much corporate consumers are charged for, say, steel from China that is used to make a car.

And in response to such a tariff — China will levy a similar tax on its consumers when they buy pork, making that meat more expensive in China…Each side will tax products and the result will cost consumers more. And the producers of those products will make less money.

That’s where Indian Country comes in.

The tax bill will be paid every time someone buys a product that’s on the list, such as a car. And, on the other side of the ledger, Native American consumers will benefit as the price of pork (and its competitor, beef and chicken) drop because there will be more supply on the market. But the producers, the farmers, will make less.

According to the National Congress of American Indians: ‘Agriculture is increasingly important to Native economies, representing the economic backbone of more than 200 tribal communities and witnessing an 88 percent increase in the number of American Indian farmers between 2002 and 2007. According to the Census of Agriculture, in 2007 annual Indian agriculture production exceeded $1.4 billion in raw agriculture products.’

This is the trade deficit — and the Trump administration’s goal is to shrink it. And there is evidence that this trade deficit impacts wages and job creation, especially in manufacturing jobs.”

Category: Business, Politics

Tribal Leaders: Infrastructure Bill Should Include Indian Country

“Native American leaders are once again pushing for a seat at the decision-making table, saying this week that tribal nations have been overlooked for ‘too often and too long.’ Their latest concern comes with Trump’s proposed infrastructure plan…That same day, President Jefferson Keel of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) told the annual gathering of tribal leaders that, in 2018, no infrastructure bill should pass unless it includes Indian Country’s priorities.”  A. St. Clair, NPR

President Jefferson Keel of the National Congress of American Indians gives the annual State of the Indian Nations address.

Excerpt:  Tribal Leaders: Infrastructure Bill Should Include Indian Country Priorities — Andrienne St. Clair, NPR

“Trump urged Congress to act quickly on an infrastructure bill that would stimulate the economy, shorten the process to approve building projects and address continuing infrastructure needs in rural areas. The proposed bill would also give more power to state and local authorities and provide training for the younger American workforce.

Trump’s proposal reiterates points he outlined in the State of the Union last month, when he described America as ‘a nation of builders.’Keel used a similar phrase in his State of the Indian Nations address on Monday.

Native peoples are also builders and managers of roads and bridges and other essential infrastructure,’ he said. Keel said that a 2018 infrastructure bill should ensure that all communities — including native communities — have the framework needed to succeed. He emphasized that Congress should give tribes the same opportunities that state and local governments have to raise money, invest sufficient funding in basic building needs, remove barriers for tribes to make decisions and support tribal right to consent to developments that affect tribes and tribal lands…Keel is on board with the president’s proposal.

‘It’s not that we disagree with his priorities,’ Keel told NPR on Thursday. ‘We just want to be included in any of those plans for development of plans or policies that affect Indian Country in a way that we can not only protect our lands, but we can improve the relationship.’

And, from what Trump said in his State of the Union address, he seems to be on board with the entire country working together to improve the country’s interior:

‘Together, we can reclaim our building heritage,’ he said. ‘We will build gleaming new roads, bridges,    highways, railways, and waterways across our land. And we will do it with American heart, American hands, and American grit.’

But then, it may come down to semantics and how Trump defines ‘together,’ ‘we,’ and ‘American.”

Category: Politics

Exactly Who’s Running for Navajo President This Year?

“Just six months out from the primary election, only two candidates — Rex Lee Jim and Dineh Benally — have formally announced their intention to run for the Navajo Nation’s highest office. But several more seem to be warming up their campaign muscles — including the incumbent.” A. Bencenti and C. Yurth, Navajo Times

Dineh Benally.

Excerpt: Who’s running? Lineup still unclear for NN president campaign By A. Bencenti and C. Yurth, Navajo Times

“Filing is late this year — it doesn’t even start until May 17 — so keep in mind there are no official candidates as of yet. Still, the rumor mill is grinding away as usual, so the Times tracked down some of the usual suspects to see if it could get a straight answer out of anybody.

Rex Lee Jim

Responding to a request for comment with a written statement, President Russell Begaye declared ‘we” are “seriously considering’ going for a second term, accompanied by a list of accomplishments along with works in progress he would like to continue.

President Russell Begaye

Vice President Jonathan Nez,

Unless the president of the Navajo Nation gets to use the “royal we,” one could assume he’s referring to Vice President Jonathan Nez, which would seem to quell rumors that Nez is preparing to run against his current boss.”

 

Category: Politics