Candidates tackle issues at presidential forum in Tuba City
Navajo Nation primary is Aug. 2; General election is Nov. 8

Among the issues discussed by Navajo Nation president hopefuls at the Tuba City Warrior Pavilion July 19 was whether the people would elect a woman to become president of the Navajo Nation.(Stock photo)

Among the issues discussed by Navajo Nation president hopefuls at the Tuba City Warrior Pavilion July 19 was whether the people would elect a woman to become president of the Navajo Nation.(Stock photo)

TUBA CITY, Ariz. — Among the issues discussed by Navajo Nation president hopefuls at the Tuba City Warrior Pavilion July 19 was whether the people would elect a woman to become president of the Navajo Nation.

With five of the seven woman on hand in Tuba City, and 11 of the 15 candidates, the women contended that they could become the next president, even though a woman has never become the Navajo Nation president.

“Perhaps a female president will eliminate corruption or inefficiency,” said candidate Dr. Dolly Mason. “It’s going to take a woman to do this job better because for so long, we have been putting men in there, over and over. It’s as if we’re stuck in one position.”

Ethel Branch said she doesn’t get asked that question, but she did address the lack of running water in many Navajo homes and that in the last 40 years, almost 50 percent of Navajo people move off the reservation.

“Every decade we lost 10 percent of our population,” Branch said. “If we lost 30 percent in the face of climate change in the next decade, in addition to that 10 percent, that’s another 40 percent loss of our population. Our Nation could be empty within the next 50 years. We cannot allow that to happen. Why do we not have running water? Why do we not have electricity?”

Other issues addressed included plans to improve health care and improving police enforcement on the Nation.

Current President Jonathan Nez said his administration brought back the police academy and graduated many police officers.

“Just recently, we graduated 10 more police officers, two women and eight men, who are going to patrol the streets of the Navajo Nation,” he said.

More issues discussed were improving how small businesses are implemented on the Nation and lifting the prohibition on sales of alchohol and cannabis and using revune for treatement centers.

Candidate Rosanna Jumbo-Fitch said traditional teachings did not include those items.

“We see the effects it has on our Nation. We see that it causes within our households, those are some items we don’t want to allow. We don’t want to invite domestic violence... broken families... health care issues into our households,” she said.

Donate to nhonews.com Report a Typo Contact