<center>Letters to the Editor</center>
Navajo Nation leadership must listen to the will of the electorate
I do not wish to speak out against anyone, especially against the leadership, who, in their finite knowledge and wisdom, believe they are doing the right thing. Indeed, leadership is, oftentimes, complex and perplexing. One can only do what one believes to be right; then, it is up to history to determine if what is done was the right thing to do. More right can be accomplished by listening to and working with the people.
It would appear, at this juncture in our history, that our Navajo Nation Council is turning on itself and the people, which is not good. As a result, the people are very disenchanted with their government. There is a clamor in the communities throughout Navajoland that the government is not working, the Navajo Nation Council is only out for itself, the people have been completely forgotten, the Chapters are not being listened to and allowed to have input, the laws have been set aside and/or forgotten, etc. That which is going on with our government and our leadership begs questions, comments, and input from the electorate.
For example, the People have been completely left out of the picture regarding a very critical issue, i.e., the plight of the Navajo Nation Board of Election Supervisors. We, the Navajo Electorate, with prayer, faith, and trust that the individuals elected will do right by the People and the Nation, elected the members of the Navajo Nation Board of Election Supervisors to represent us on the elections. I know I speak for many when I say that the Board of Election Supervisors did not do anything wrong. Getting dragged through the quagmire of legal mud will not only do irreparable damage to the individual members of the Board of Supervisors and their families but also to the Navajo Nation as a People and to the underpinnings of a true Democracy on our land.
The People’s representatives who are currently serving on the Navajo Board of Election Supervisors are very respectable people (I know all of them) and, as such, have been put in place by the people to oversee the People’s stature as the People’s representatives on elections. Their responsibility and authority is a sacred trust bestowed upon them by the People. If ever the Board of Election Supervisors do that which they should not, I guarantee you, the Electorate will be heard from.
There is no reason in the world why the elected representatives of the people for elections should be dragged through the legal mud when all they had done is speak out for people and tried to do right by the people. I agree with the Supervisors’ position that all Navajo people need to have input into their government through the ballot box and, if the people’s participation is in jeopardy, the Supervisors are empowered to take appropriate action.
The Navajo Nation Board of Election Supervisors was set up appropriately before it was dismantled by the Speaker of the Navajo Nation Council and the Council’s Intergovernmental Relations Committee. The only thing the Board of Election Supervisors needed in order to do their job right was the infusion of adequate funds. If anything, the Board of Election Supervisors is only guilty of trying to work with an unfounded mandate. The Board of Election Supervisors needs to be away from the auspices of the legislature and needs to work closely with the President. The President should have oversight to the extent the Board of Election Supervisors has adequate funds to do its job.
The People’s money and time are being wasted unnecessarily on a frivolous lawsuit. The lawsuit needs to be withdrawn and/or done away with, and have the Nation’s Board of Election Supervisors come back together and continue working for the People in the way they have ever since their inception. There are many issues that they need to work on, e.g., Should Indian Health Services go under the Nation? What to do about the size and salaries of our Navajo Nation Council and Delegates? Should judges be elected? Should the Attorney General be elected? Should the Council Delegates serve on Boards and Commissions, etc. There are a lot of people out in the communities who have an interest and want to give input regarding how the government is administered. The People need to be involved at the ballot box through elections of new and appropriate legislation to mind the People’s affairs. The People need the Board of Election Supervisors, as a separate entity apart from the Legislature, to mind their affairs at the ballot box.
The leadership of the Navajo Nation needs to stop preying on itself; the fight is not within, the fight is without against impoverishment, drug abuse, domestic violence, unemployment, lack of housing, etc. Of utmost importance, heaven knows, is, we need jobs out where the people are.
The Chapters also need all the support they can get to get established as local viable governments. Further, the Chapters need the influx of new and adequate funds to meet the needs of constituents. The Navajo Nation Council and the President of the Navajo Nation need to be working together about jobs and the generation of new revenues for the people and the government. The Navajo Nation Council and the President need to work with the people regarding the critical issues facing the Nation.
Council Delegate Emeritus
Fluoride a personal choice
Most people don’t realize that trace amounts of cancer-causing arsenic are intentionally added into our nation’s water supplies for no good reason. Tooth decay preventing hydrofluosilicic acid, sodium silicofluoride and sodium fluoride — added to 62% of US fluoridating communities — are contaminated with small amounts of arsenic, lead and other impurities. (http://www.fluoridealert.org/NSF-letter.pdf)
It’s one thing to avoid lowering naturally occurring arsenic levels because it’s too costly, but it is reckless to allow water engineers to purposely add arsenic to the nation’s water supply unnecessarily.
Water department engineers should be required to filter out all contaminants before we drink fluoride chemicals. Better yet, stop fluoridation and allow people who want it to take their own daily fluoride dose from a voluntary source.
For more info: http://www. orgsites.com/ny/nyscof
Paul S. Beeber,
President & General Counsel, NYS Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation
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