President Buu Nygren highlights importance of the judiciary
PHOENIX, Ariz. — Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren spoke Aug. 24 at the annual Navajo Nation Judicial Training, where he emphasized the critical role of the Navajo Nation court system and an independent judiciary.
In his remarks, Nygren told the judges and court staff in attendance that a fair and impartial justice system is fundamental to the Navajo Nation's sovereignty and self-governance.
As one of the largest Native American tribes and with a land mass larger than several U.S. states, the Navajo Nation judicial system must have a robust and effective court system to uphold the rule of law for Navajo citizens, Nygren said.
Navajo Nation Supreme Court Justice JoAnn Jayne said the Navajo Nation’s judicial system does its best to help everyone.
“What we have in our hearts is that we don't turn anybody away; we don't do that,” Jayne said. “What we do is we help each other, we help our people and we do understand that there are difficult cases that we have to deal with. But the bottom line is that we help each other.”
Nygren highlighted several ongoing initiatives within the Navajo Nation courts, including expanded language access services to allow more Diné citizens to participate fully in legal proceedings in their native language.
He also praised the courts' use of traditional Navajo peacemaking methods and Diné bi Bee Haz'áanii, or Navajo common law, to resolve disputes in a culturally appropriate manner whenever possible.
Nygren emphasized that the Navajo Nation judiciary must remain independent from political influence.
"It is paramount that our judges and courts are free to make decisions based solely on the facts of each case and Navajo law, without interference," he said. "This is the only way to ensure fairness and build trust in our justice system among the Navajo people."
Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes also gave remarks to Navajo Nation judges, public defenders, prosecutors, and court staff attending the judicial training.
Participants attended seminars to effectively serving Diné citizens across the vast Navajo Nation.
Information provided by the Office of the President and Vice President.