MacDonald gains seat on Navajo Nation Council<br>
Her campaign slogan reveals her feelings for her hometown of To’nanees’dizi. “Hope for Tuba City” is Hope MacDonald, daughter of former Navajo Tribal Chairman Peter MacDonald.
Members of the To’nanees’dizi community have already had a taste of Hope MacDonald’s proactive politics. During her term on the To’nanees’dizi Chapter Planning Board, on which she served as president for two years, MacDonald took an aggressive stand against bootlegging, stood in strong support of law enforcement and prosecution, making a bold statement that the Tuba City community just was not going to take criminal activity laying down.
As a council delegate, MacDonald said she will continue her efforts in the above arena, and will seek additional funding for public safety, to allow for training, adequate compensation and manpower.
“I also want to strengthen our court system and stabilize our government to encourage economic growth. I want to make our government accountable and efficient, so I will work towards fiscal accountability,” MacDonald added.
She also plans on making community infrastructure a priority, working to improve and pave new roads, assist community residents in building new homes and community facilities.
Many residents of the Tuba City area still suffer under the restrictions of the Bennett Freeze, which prohibits them from repairing, improving or building homes, nor do they have access to electricity or running water.
“My heart is with my people, and I will do everything within my power to bring prosperity to them,” she said. “I want to build them housing and bring them utilities so that they are allowed the same human comforts as the rest of us who are less than a mile away from them.”
MacDonald is also very concerned about water. For her community, she pledges to work with livestock owners, helping them maintain their own economic security and protecting this in time of drought.
On the Navajo Nation level, she wants to see tribal water rights quantified, allowing the nation to claim what rightfully belongs to it, rather than what state legislators think the nation is entitled to.
“I am against forfeiting our land, neglecting our relatives who live on the HPL [Hopi Partitioned Land] and allowing the continued harassment by federal officials on our people who suffer from displacement and alienation. I will do everything possible to keep our home sites on the HPL, and will do everything possible to work towards a resolution favorable to Navajo.”
The daughter of former tribal chairman can be no stranger to a life of politics. She describes her father as her role model in serving her people.
“He has taught me to fight against all odds to protect my people and my land,” McDonald said. “He has taught me with the wisdom of our ancestors that our people and land are worth more than anything and should never be forsaken.”
She credits both her father and her mother, Wanda MacDonald, for molding the woman she has become.
“I have the inner strength of my mother and the wisdom of my father,” she said. “Both qualities give me hope when all hope seems to be lost.
“The absence of my father [whose imprisonment and subsequent release remains a controversy] was the hardest decade of my life and despite much pessimism, I never gave up home in bringing him home. I have the same hope in my people. I have the strength and power of my ancestors with me.”
Hope MacDonald has proven to be a woman of strength, according to her admirers allow, but MacDonald recognizes that she is a representative of the people who have elected her.
“I will be the people’s voice by consulting with them and working with them,” she said. “I want to return power to the people.”