Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Sun, Oct. 17

Ponders Dine' sovereignty

Ya'at'eeh shi'kie doo shi'dine,' hope this letter finds you walking in beauty. May peace and harmony be with you always.

After reading about President Shirley's state of emergency address concerning the recent flooding and how the residents of Tse Bonito have complained to McKinley County to have a bridge replaced, I couldn't help but to ponder on why are they asking McKinley County for help. Shouldn't the residents be complaining to the Navajo government? Does the Navajo Nation not have an emergency funding for such occurrences?

We talk about sovereignty in one breath, then we cry out to adjoining states for handouts.

Each county has a budget for it's population, and I am sure that the list to assist the Indians, which makes up a small portion of their population overall is near the bottom. After all, each county has to serve the general population and each county makes the assumption that Indian country gets money from the federal government.

Well, so does each state receive federal dollars for the same programs Indian country receives, with the exception of fulfilling treaty obligations.

Despite all this, I couldn't help but to ponder on why our Great Navajo Nation [doesn't] get serious about acting more sovereign by establishing its own government similar to a state. We can use the example of Puerto Rico's commonwealth state; there are some similarities. We control our internal affairs, but the U.S. controls interstate commerce and whatnot. We'll have our own government, no armies, control our internal business and be exempt from the internal revenue service--that would be okay, because what's 35 percent of nothing anyway?

The beauty of this is more sovereign control .We can divide our nation into its own counties and money will be distributed equitably. The size of our great nation is always being compared to West Virginia. The state of West Virginia has a total of 55 counties. I wouldn't go so far as to have that many, but you get the picture. Instead of being dependent on three different states' county budgets, we will have our own counties within our own nation.

That way we will stop going to the various state counties of whose jurisdiction we somehow became under, and we will no longer have to beg each county for scraps like the Orphaned-boy Oliver asking, please can I have some more.

This bold step into self-governing will separate our ties with each state, which has encroached upon our sovereignty. It's time to reform our government but not to replicate that of an existing government that goes against our sovereignty. It will have to take a major commitment to protecting our sovereignty and become more economically secure. It can be accomplished and it is the next step to save and to preserve our nation for future generations, especially at a time when so many have lost hope and are leaving the reservation.

We have too much foreign government (United States) intervening into our affairs, causing economic stagnation and no progress to protect our future. BIA must go! States must go! We are our own state; we are a nation! Think about it--a true sovereign nation! Hagoonee!

Peter June Corbell

Flagstaff, Ariz.

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