ST. MICHAELS, Ariz.-The mayor of Gallup, N.M. has signed a new government to government initiative to address human rights violations against Navajo citizens.
Gallup Mayor Harry Mendoza signed the MOA last Thursday after the Gallup City Council unanimously approved the MOA 5-0 the previous evening. The MOA will now be introduced to the Intergovernmental Relations Committee of the Navajo Nation Council.
The Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission (NNHRC) sent the memorandum of agreement (MOA) nearly a year ago which states in part, "Together the commission and the city intend to move forward by acknowledging that racism and other destructive actions were inflicted upon the Navajo and other [I]ndigenous peoples and minorities ... Those actions and ideas must be eliminated now and forever at every level of government and eventually in the hearts and minds of peoples."
According to Leonard Gorman, NNHRC Executive Director, Gallup city officials have been proactive and did not require mediation from the Justice Department.
Gallup is the second city to sign the MOA following Grants, N.M.
Grants Mayor Joe Murrieta signed the MOA on April 29 after their city council approved the MOA on April 27.