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[l] at 5/19/22 3:30am
WINDOW ROCK With election season underway, Rosita Kelly, elections administration director, gave a report to the Naabik’íyáti Committee last Thursday regarding the 2022 Navajo Nation primary and general elections. During the report, Kelly discussed voter outreach and funding shortfalls. Registrars have been hired and trained in the Phoenix and Las Vegas areas so they are available to help people looking to register to vote. Registrars in other areas outside of the Navajo Nation where Diné people live have also been requested but lack of funding has restricted this. “We have been requested from Salt Lake City, Denver, Tucson, but we just don’t have the funds to have the staff go out there to do voter registrar training,” Kelly said. Despite this, the elections office has done registration drives in Phoenix, Albuquerque, Shiprock Chapter and other locations. At the time of the meeting a week ago, Kelly said another drive was scheduled at the upcoming Navajo voter coalition conference that will take place on June 17. “For people that live in other states or metropolitan areas, (the election offce) sends them voter registration applications,” Kelly said, “which they will fill out, and send back with the documents that we need to register them.” The documents needed to register to vote are: Certificate of Indian Blood; driver’s license or state-issued ID or a Navajo Nation ID; and Social Security card. Kelly said the office has tried to hire staff to help with the 2022 elections but most candidates pursue positions elsewhere due to hold ups at the Office of Background Investigations. The office is still advertising many open positions and the application deadline for a voter registration specialist closed as of May 11. “We hope to have a pool of applicants that are deemed qualified, real soon,” Kelly said. As of March, the number of voters registered with the Navajo Nation was 119,918. “We’re registering new voters and voters who have been inactive for several years,” Kelly said. “They’re coming in to the reactivate their voting status and we will have an accurate number once our database allows us to run a current report.” The office’s database has been a problem that has come up time and time again due to the age of the system and the computers used. “We can’t even access our database with the computers that we have right now,” she said. With the legislation (No. 0051-22) that is currently making its way through the approval process, Kelly said the office plans to use those funds to update their technology. “We plan to purchase new computers that will be compatible with the new database, we plan to purchase new printers, new scanners, new telephones,” said Kelly. “And hot spots for agency offices since they are experiencing difficulties in accessing the internet for voter registration purposes.” Most will be one-time purchases, Kelly said. “It’s going to last many years,” she said. Kelly told the Naabik’íyáti Committee that the office needs the Navajo Nation Council to approve the appropriations legislation. “Make this happen,” she urged. Kelly believes the office is behind technology wise and needs to catch up with more modern technology. “That’s one thing we started working on,” she said. Technology is not the only area where the elections’ office is pursuing updates. Office space across the Navajo Nation is also a concern for Kelly. “Everything is in place, all that’s missing is funding for the election administration,” Kelly said. “Only five agency buildings, they’re real old. Some of them have holes in the floor, others, like Crownpoint, Navajo OSHA condemned that building a long time ago.” Staff continues to occupy the condemned building in Crownpoint, according to Kelly. In the search for a new building for Crownpoint, the office has run into problems considering they do not have land for infrastructure. The problems with office space continue with other agencies like the Northern Agency. Kelly said the agency’s office is located in a warehouse. “It has issues with handicapped accessibility and lighting in the back is not good, it’s not safe for them,” she said. “Covid protocol is difficult for them to adhere to because it has one entry but you exit out the same way so that’s not Covid protocol.” To encourage more people to register to vote or to reactivate their registration, the election’s office is looking to have voter registration online. “That’s one of the things the board of supervisors wants to do and they’re discussing that, at least they mentioned it before,” Kelly said. She cited rising gas prices as an example of why people may be discouraged from registering to vote. “Today gas is very expensive,” she said. “People are traveling to the agency offices to register. If we had it online that would make it so much easier and people wouldn’t be spending money on expensive gas or food.” However, online registration will not be used for this year’s election. Kelly said the office will pick it up after the 2022 election season. The post Election office trouble: Staff deals with old computers, lack of office space appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: Election 2022]

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[l] at 5/19/22 3:29am
Jack Ahasteens toon for May 19, 2022. Select a thumbnail below to launch a gallery of Jacks recent work: The post Comics by Jack Ahasteen appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: Comics, comics, Jack Ahasteen]

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[l] at 5/19/22 3:29am
WINDOW ROCK In last week’s Law and Order Committee meeting, Azee’ Bee Nahagha of Diné Nation leadership presented a resolution and pleaded that the Navajo Nation Council oppose the potential decriminalization of peyote (Azee’) by certain states in order to protect and preserve the Peyote Way of Life. ABNDN (formerly Native American Church of Navajoland) resolution recognizes that peyote is sacred among the Navajo people and has been consumed for religious, cultural, and ceremonial purposes since time immemorial. “Our primary interest is to protect the peyote in terms of the decriminalization movement nationally,” said ABNDN President Willie Tracey. “Protecting the medicine is of utmost importance to us.” Hinaah Azee Summit As a follow-up, on Monday, May 23 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.), ABNDN will be hosting a Hinááh Azee (“living medicine”) summit at Twin Arrows Casino Resort, which is open to the public, to inform stakeholders and discuss what further actions to take. “Azee Bee Nahagha of Diné Nation will be sponsoring a summit, enhancing awareness about the decriminalization of peyote movement at the state level and how that is threatening the American Indian use of peyote for bona fide religious ceremonial purpose,” said ABNDN Vice President Albert Johnson. Thorough examination of the impact will be presented from a legal standpoint by Justin Jones, attorney from Jones Law Office, said Johnson. Other presenters will include Delegate Eugenia Charles-Newton, chairperson of the Law & Order Committee, President Jonathan Nez, Native American Church leaders/members as well as traditional Hataalis. The agenda will be distributed at the event. As of right now, there are no states where possession of peyote, except for members of Native American tribes, is legal. “Our primary concern is protecting the peyote, because Public Law 103-344 highlights that only federally recognized tribes are able to utilize peyote in a bona-fide ceremony,” said ABNDN President Willie Tracey. “It only gives us the right to use peyote to pray with.” However, with the recent widespread legalization of cannabis and research being done on the beneficial health effects of some psychedelic drugs, such as psilocybin (mushrooms), the concern is that the peyote, which contains mescaline, could one day become legalized across the board. “The worst-case scenario is that the states and societies around Indian Country may one day legalize the use of peyote for medicinal or even recreational use,” said Delegate Thomas Walker. ABNDN further cautions widespread personal and corporate cultivation of peyote cactus could threaten the historical, cultural and biological integrity of the plant by potentially exposing the population to hybridization, genetic modification and sterilization. Walker, who has served the ABNDN organization in various leadership roles since1985, said that the purpose of the summit is to share information, invite feedback and develop next steps. “This is an opportunity for our people that believe in Azee’ Bee Nahagha to come together to understand our need to protect our way of worship, our way of healing,” said Walker. “It’s critically important that we understand the issues in the country,” he said, “and how we can address them together.” Religious freedom The U.S. American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978 protects the rights of Native Americans to exercise their traditional religions by ensuring access to sacred sites, use and possession of sacred objects, and the freedom to worship through ceremonials and traditional rites. In 1994, Congress passed an amendment to further strengthen the law and provide for protected use of peyote as a sacrament in traditional Native American religious ceremonies. As amended, ARFA states that the “use, possession, or transportation of peyote by an Indian for bona fide traditional ceremonial purposes in connection with the practice of a traditional Indian religion is lawful and shall not be prohibited by the United States or any state.” The federal law further states that the traditional ceremonial use of the peyote cactus as a religious sacrament has for centuries been integral to a way of life and is significant in perpetuating tribes and cultures. However, while at least 28 states have enacted laws that are similar to, or in conformance with, the federal AIRFA regulation, 22 states have not done so. In its resolution, ABNDN says the movement to decriminalize peyote use could also directly threaten availability and the integrity of ceremonial use for Navajo and other Indigenous peoples. It also would be contrary to the doctrine of federal pre-emption, whereby federal law supersedes state law. “I certainly hope states will comply with the law and our medicine will be protected, because we are thinking for our children so that in another 50 or 100 years they can practice and enjoy our way of life when we are no longer here,” said Tracey. This is inter-tribal Tracey said that he’s hoping that all organizations at the summit can learn from one another about what the implications of the decriminalization of peyote would be. He added that while there are other substances and plants that contain mescaline, they are not ABNDN’s concern. Walker says the effort to raise awareness about decriminalization will require NAC groups across Navajo and the U.S. to work together to inform the public about the sacred use of peyote as medicine and sacrament before it’s too late. “This is inter-tribal, a nationwide tribal concern,” he said. “It isn’t just Navajo. But by Navajo stepping up, I think that alerts everyone else in the country and that’s a good thing that we can do.” Walker said the ABNDN also states in its mission that peyote is meant to be kept in its natural state. “Meaning, leave it alone, don’t disturb it, don’t change it, don’t be making peyote greenhouses,” said Walker. According to Tracey, the other big issue is that while the number of NAC practitioners is growing, there is already a limited and diminishing supply of peyote, which ABNDN sources from locations in Texas during an annual pilgrimage. “There’s very limited areas where peyote still grows,” he said. Some of the land that used to be used to grow peyote is being bought and converted to use for other purposes, he said. The ABNDN resolution recognizes that the number of peyote plants has decreased in recent years, threatening the long-term sustainability of aboriginal habitats, and depleting the number of peyote plants that could be available for future generations. Hershel Clark, spokesperson for ABNDN, said many tribes and Native American Church organizations, including ABNDN, want to preserve the peyote in its natural aboriginal habitat in southern Texas. “There are also tribal efforts to urge the federal government to set land aside for conservation projects to preserve the peyote in Texas,” said Clark. “So, the decriminalization of peyote effort also includes the protection and preservation of land where peyote is grown naturally.” In response to ABNDN’s resolution, delegates Walker and Charles-Newton are simultaneously working on drafting a supporting Council resolution that will oppose the decriminalization of peyote except for use for religious purposes by federally recognized tribes. Use of peyote on Navajo Nation is legal as a sacrament within Native American Church services. Information: hclark@bhcaih.org or www.abndn.org The post ‘Our way of healing’: Azee Bee Nahagha working to protect peyote from state decriminalization appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: News]

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[l] at 5/19/22 3:27am
SANTA FE An explosive report released by the U.S. Department of the Interior last week represents the first step in accounting for the federal government’s role in a willful and deliberate use of federal boarding schools to forcibly separate Native children from their families, lands and culture in order to make way for the expansion of the United States over two centuries. In an emotional press conference on March 11, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland announced that first volume of the “Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative Investigative Report” lays the groundwork to confront intergenerational trauma caused by Indian boarding school policies. “As the federal government moved the country west, they also moved to exterminate, eradicate and assimilate Native Americans, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians,” Haaland said in a press conference. “The languages, cultures, religions, traditional practices and even the history of Native communities were targeted for destruction.” The report confirms that the federal government’s “twin policy” of cultural assimilation and dispossession of Indian lands that targeted Native children through removal and relocation from their homes led to loss of life, physical and mental health, territories and wealth, use of tribal languages, and caused the erosion of tribal religious and cultural practices over generations. “This has left lasting scars for all Indigenous people,” said Newland. “There’s not a single Native American, Alaska Native or Native Hawaiian whose life hasn’t been impacted by these schools,” he said. “We haven’t begun to explain the scope of this policy era until now.” DOI expects ‘thousands’ died The investigation found that from 1819 to 1969, the federal Indian boarding school system consisted of 408 schools across 37 states or then-territories, including 21 schools in Alaska and seven in Hawaii. The greatest concentration of schools was found in Oklahoma, with 76 boarding schools, in Arizona, with 47 schools, and New Mexico, with 43 schools. “Tens of thousands of Indigenous children were taken from their communities and forced into boarding schools run by the U.S. government, specifically the Department of the Interior and religious institutions,” said Haaland. “It is my priority to not only give voice to the survivors and descendants of federal Indian boarding school policies,” she said, “but also to address the lasting legacies of these policies…” The investigation also identified marked or unmarked burial sites at approximately 53 boarding schools, but the DOI expects that number will increase as the investigation continues. According to initial analysis, approximately 19 federal boarding schools accounted for over 500 American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian child deaths, but that number is also expected to increase as well. “Based on initial research, the department finds that hundreds of Indian children died throughout the federal Indian boarding school system,” Newland states in the report. “The department expects that continued investigation will reveal the approximate number of Indian children who died at federal Indian boarding schools to be in the thousands or tens of thousands.” ‘Identity alteration The DOI investigation affirms that education was used as a weaponized means to an end by the U.S. government, justifying policies that subjected Indian children to systematic militarized and “identity-alteration methodologies” in the boarding schools. These included renaming children with English names, cutting their hair, wearing of uniforms, and forbidding the use of their languages, religions and cultural practices in order to compel them to adopt Western practices and Christianity. Lack of compliance with rules by students was subject to forms of punishment, including solitary confinement, withholding of food, flogging, whipping, slapping and cuffing. The report also states that “rampant physical, sexual, and emotional abuse,” disease, malnourishment, overcrowding, and lack of health care in the boarding schools are well-documented and child manual labor was incorporated into curriculums in addition to vocational training. “I come from ancestors who endured the horrors of the Indian boarding school assimilation policies carried out by the same department that I now lead,” said Haaland. “Now, we are uniquely positioned to assist in the effort to recover the dark history of these institutions that have haunted our families for too long,” she said. The DOI said it will not make public the specific locations of burial sites to protect against grave-robbing, vandalism, and other disturbances, but will consult with tribes individually about recovering children. “Many children never made it back to their homes,” said Haaland. “Each of those children is a missing family member, a person who was not able to live out their purpose on this earth because they lost their lives as part of this terrible system.” Breaking family ties Referencing historical government records, the report cites that, even beginning with President George Washington, the stated policy of the federal government (in pursuit of acquiring Indian lands) was to replace “the Indian’s culture” with its own. As documented in U.S. Senate communications justifying assimilation and land dispossession, this was considered “advisable” as the “cheapest and safest way of subduing the Indians, of providing a safe habitat for the country’s white inhabitants, of helping the whites acquire desirable land, and of changing the Indian’s economy so that he would be content with less land.” The theory was that the “problem of the (Indian)” could be solved by educating the children, not to return to the reservation but to be absorbed into the white population, which involved the permanent “breaking of family ties.” Furthermore, there is evidence the United States “coerced, induced, or compelled” Indian children to enter the Federal boarding school system without their parents’ consent. “The consequences of federal Indian boarding school policies, including the intergenerational trauma, caused by forced family separation and cultural eradication which were inflicted upon generations of children as young as four years old are heartbreaking and undeniable,” said Haaland. In a personal anecdote, Haaland, who is from the Pueblo of Laguna, said that when her maternal grandparents were only eight years old, they were “stolen” from their parent’s culture and communities and forced to live in boarding schools until the age of 13. “The fact that I am standing here today as the first Indigenous cabinet secretary is testament to the strength and determination of Native people,” said Haaland. “I am here because my ancestors persevered,” she said. “I stand on the shoulders of my grandmother and my mother and the work we will do with the federal Indian boarding school initiative will have a transformational impact on the generations who follow.” Boarding school funding To add insult to injury, funding for the federal Indian boarding school system may have included both congressional appropriations and Indian treaty funds held in tribal trust accounts for the benefit of Indians by the United States. While the exact amounts are not yet confirmed, this would indicate that proceeds from the destruction of the tribal land base were used to pay the costs of taking children from their homes and placing them in boarding schools. A large portion of funds were also apportioned to Christian missionary organizations that were prominent in the effort to “civilize the Indians.” The initial investigation shows that approximately 50% of federal boarding schools may have received support or involvement from a religious institution or organization, including funding, infrastructure and personnel. Those same religious institutions and organizations were often paid by the federal government on a per capita basis for children to enter federal boarding schools that they operated, which could have incentivized overcrowding. The report also notes that Indian territorial dispossession and assimilation through education extended far beyond the boarding school system, with an identified 1,000 plus other federal and non-federal institutions, such Indian day schools, sanitariums, asylums, orphanages and dormitories. Next steps Newland said the report presents an opportunity to now “reorient” federal policies to support the revitalization of tribal languages and cultural practices and counteract nearly two centuries of policies aimed at their destruction. He said in order to begin the process of healing from the violence and the harm caused by the assimilation policy, the DOI should begin to revitalize culture including languages, cultural practices, traditional food systems, and intra-tribal relations. Other recommendations for next steps, Newland said, include a full investigation to account for total number of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian children who attended federal Indian boarding schools, including names, ages, and tribal affiliations. The probe should confirm the total number of marked and unmarked burial sites and detail the health and mortality of Indian children. Newland wants to quantify the amount of financial and other support the federal government provided to support the operations of the boarding school system and identify religious and state institutions and organizations that received federal funding for that purpose. He also wants to confirm how much of that funding came from tribal or individual Native trust funds. In a broader mission, Newland would like the DOI to identify all surviving boarding school students, document their experiences and recognize the generations of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian children who lived through the federal boarding school system with a memorial. “Together, we can help begin a healing process for Indian Country, the Native Hawaiian community and across the United?States, from the Alaskan tundra to the Florida everglades, and everywhere in between,” he said. ‘Road to Healing’ In response to Newland’s recommendations, Haaland announced the launch of “The Road to Healing” tour to allow survivors of federal boarding schools to share stories, connect communities with trauma-informed support, and facilitate collection of a permanent oral history. Until now, the U.S. government has not provided a forum or opportunity for boarding school survivors or their descendants to voluntarily detail their experiences. “The department’s work thus far shows that an all-of-government approach is necessary to strengthen and rebuild the bonds within Native communities that federal Indian boarding school policies set out to break,” added Haaland. She said the federal policies that attempted to “wipe out Native identity, language and culture” continue to manifest in the pain tribal communities face today, including cycles of violence and abuse, disappearance of people, premature deaths, poverty, mental health disorders and substance abuse. “Recognizing the impacts of the federal Indian boarding school system cannot just be a historical reckoning,” she said. “To address the intergenerational impact of federal Indian boarding schools and promote spiritual and emotional healing in our communities, we must shed light on the unspoken traumas of the past.” The full 102-page Federal Indian Boarding School Investigative Report is available at: www.bia.gov    As a public service, the Navajo Times is making all coverage of the coronavirus pandemic fully available on its website. Please support the Times by subscribing.  Daily updates: Tracking the coronavirus on the Navajo Nation. --  How to protect yourself and others. Why masks work. Which masks are best. Resources for coronavirus assistance   Vaccine information. The post Unspoken traumas: Interior report documents abuse, death at US-run boarding schools appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: Culture]

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[l] at 5/19/22 3:20am
By Candace Begody Special to the Times LAVEEN, Ariz. When Nicholas Fulgham pitched the idea to Phoenix Indian Center leadership to host the first Indigenous Football Combine, everyone got on board. “I have a son who is going through the college recruiting process for football, and for him to get seen by college coaches and scouts, we have to attend a lot of camps to get that exposure,” he explained. “It was always lingering in the back of my mind that this would be an amazing opportunity (to) highlight Native athletes in football.” The Phoenix Indian Center leadership “loved the idea and allowed me to work with the team to build the Indigenous Football Combine,” added Fulgham, from St. Micheals, Arizona, and a graduate of St. Michael High. “I wanted the athletes to know that their football talents are noticed and they deserve an opportunity to have those talents showcased,” he said. “Rez ball is king in rez life, but there is also real football talent often overlooked within these communities,” he added, “and I hope they walked away knowing that they had an opportunity to showcase their football talents.” With that in mind, the Phoenix Indian Center hosted its very first Indigenous Football Combine over the weekend, bringing together over 70 athletes from across Arizona, California, New Mexico and South Dakota at Cesar Chavez High. “The event allowed Indigenous high school athletes to have a platform to showcase their skills and talents with other football athletes from around the state and the country,” Fulgham said. “It allows them the opportunity to possibly get noticed by colleges and use football to get a college education (and) helps build knowledge, experience, and an opportunity for this knowledge to be passed down and make football recruiting easier for future gridiron athletes,” he said. The combine also featured an impressive lineup of professional and college athletes including Toby Wright, a former St. Louis Rams safety; Adam Dixon, former Green Bay Blizzard; Shiyazh Pete, currently playing for New Mexico State as an offensive lineman; Leone Losea, San Jose State University; Fata Avegalio, University of Arizona; Fred Ruff, Indoor Football League’s Sioux Falls Storm; and Lou Perrone, a college recruiting specialist from My Recruits. “Basketball and running are popular sports for Native athletes but there are other sports that we have skilled athletes in and we, asked, ‘How can we highlight them?” said the center’s CEO, Jolyana Begay-Kroupa, adding that the combine fit in with its programming. Special to the Times | Candace BegodyOffensive linemen get in their stance as they work on a number of drills during the Indigenous Football Combine, hosted by the Phoenix Indian Center over the weekend. “We have team members who were knowledgeable and have contacts,” she said, “and we got an overwhelming amount of support and people that wanted to highlight the underrepresented. It was really neat to see.” The coaches and mentors ran drills in the morning including the 40-yard dash, the 5-10-50 shuttle, power ball toss, broad jump, and 1-on-1 competitions. The athletes also participated in workshops in areas of college recruitment, leadership and discipline, motivation, and topics on what it means to be a Native athlete. Toby Wright, who attended Dobson High in Mesa, said he was on board as soon as he got the call. “This is the first Indigenous combine – my service is the kids and from the very beginning, I wanted to be in,” he said. “I came from humble beginnings, and someone took the chance on me. “The criteria for winning is just never give up,” Wright said of teachings he hoped to instill in the young athletes. “You will always get knocked down and that is what happens throughout life but as long as you don’t quit, you won. Give your all and we all leave here winners.” For majority of the athletes who attended, it was their very first combine. “I really liked it. It was a lot of fun,” said Connor Shirley, who traveled from Page where he plays wide receiver for Page High’s football team. “They taught us about our mindset and encouraged us to keep focused,” he said. “There is some good competition out here today. I liked the drills and I would like to teach my team back home about having a strong mindset.” Priscilla Notah, an eighth-grader from Gila River, plays quarterback for an all-girls club football team called “Elite Girls.” “It has been pretty fun,’ she said. “My favorite was the 40-yard dash. They taught us to always have fun and show up, always work hard and do all things good.” Of the event, Fulgham added, “It was amazing to see the support systems from the families that showed to watch their athlete compete and buy into the event. “The people that we had working and donating their time to make this combine the event that it was made it very special to me personally and more impactful for the athletes there,” he said. “It was just an amazing turnout, and I couldnt be happier with how the day went.” jQuery(document).ready(function() { jQuery(".post-meta p").text(function(index, text) { return text.replace('By Navajo Times |', ''); }); }); The post First Indigenous football combine a resounding success appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: Football]

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[l] at 5/19/22 3:19am
HOLBROOK The Navajo County Sheriff’s Office reports that a traffic stop on May 17 on State Route 87 south of Winslow resulted in the arrest of Edward Jose Tovar-Gonzalez, 31), of Phoenix, for possession of narcotic drugs for sale and transportation of drugs. A Gila County Sheriff’s Office K-9 dog performed a free-air sniff and alerted. A search of the vehicle revealed nearly 56,000 suspected M-30 Fentanyl pills, and 2 grams of cocaine. The estimated street value of the drugs is nearly $1.4 million. And on May 12, four individuals were booked into Navajo County Jail for drug charges. A traffic stop in the Show Low area led to the arrest of Richard Blodgett, 46, of Concho, and Britain Peters, 42, of Eager. A firearm, 6 ounces of methamphetamine, and 160 suspected M30 Fentanyl pills were found in the vehicle. Detectives obtained a search warrant for two hotel rooms in the Show Low area. Jessica Calkins, 44, of Mesa, was arrested on warrant and Cheri Lee, 34, of Mesa, was also taken into custody for multiple drug-related charges. The search warrant of the location revealed an additional 1 ounce of methamphetamine and approximately 30 suspected M30 Fentanyl pills. The estimated street value of the drugs is more than $15,000. Traffic stop leads to K-9 led arrest HOLBROOK – Navajo County Sheriff’s Office on May 11 reported that Emmanuel Becerra, 24, of Litchfield Park, Arizona, was arrested for trafficking dangerous and narcotic drugs. Becerra is being held on a $250,000 surety bond and a $25,000 cash-only bond. At approximately 1:38 pm, the Criminal Interdiction Unit conducted a traffic stop in the Heber area for civil traffic violations. During the stop, K-9 Kilo alerted. A vehicle search revealed approximately 2,360 suspected M-30 Fentanyl pills, 10.1 grams of methamphetamine, and a firearm. After arriving at the jail, detention staff located 360 M-30 pills hidden in Becerra’s shoe. The estimated street value of the drugs is more than $68,000. Becerra was booked for transportation and possession of narcotic drugs for sale, possession of paraphernalia, possession of a weapon during a drug offense, and prison contraband. Navajo Co. Sheriff’s report – April 24 to 30 HOLBROOK – The Navajo County Sheriff’s Office reports the following activity from Sunday, April 24, through Saturday, April 30. On April 24, deputies conducted a traffic stop on State Route 260 and Pine Drive in Heber for civil traffic violations. A K-9 indicated a positive alert, and a search of the vehicle revealed 3.3 grams of marijuana and a handgun. James David King, 33, of Tempe, was cited for misconduct involving a weapon failure to disclose to law enforcement. On April 26, reports of an intoxicated individual disturbing the peace in Lakeside resulted in the arrest of Charles Parkinson, 41, of Show Low, for disorderly conduct. On April 28, an intoxicated person was reported in Heber, and Charles Spencer was arrested and booked into Navajo County Jail for assault/domestic violence and two counts of disorderly conduct. On April 28, during a traffic stop in Show Low for civil traffic violations, Christie Stanley, 25, of Lakeside, was arrested for DUI to the slightest and DUI/drugs. The post Police Blotter | Navajo Co. sheriff reports drug busts appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: Police Blotter]

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[l] at 5/19/22 3:19am
PHOENIX Trinity Bethea of Piñon High was the only one from her school to qualify for state. Despite the pressure, she placed in all three of her events and became state champion for the 200-meter dash and the 400-meter run. “It feels so amazing, knowing that I’m doing it coming from the rez, being half black and half Native American, from Piñon, such a small community, I just feel so honored,” Bethea said. She participated in the 100, 200 and 400 races. This is her senior year and she was determined to win the gold, especially after missing so much due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bethea credits much of her success to her family and coaches as well as her own self-dedication. She said she was always training hard during practice, even on off days she would push herself at home, saying she had to work ten times harder than ever before. She was excited to make it to state, but wished the rest of her team made it, including her friends Delyla Denny and Kabibe Yellowhair, her teammates who were with her through the track, volleyball and basketball seasons. But before she and her two coaches left, Piñon held a small party in her honor. She’d also be missing graduation. “Even though I missed graduation, missed my friends and I couldn’t walk, I did this for them, I did this for my school, it feels way amazing,” she said. Piñon’s sprint coach, John Hubbell, said he wasn’t surprised by Bethea’s performance, saying she was always been coming in first or close to first during the season. “She did an outstanding job performance-wise,” Hubbell said. “Its all because of all the hard work that she put in. Not just the hard work that she put in, her teammate, her friends, her family and the coaches all had a big impact on her performance when we went down to state.” Some of her friends followed her to state as well as her family, including relatives who traveled from North Carolina to watch her in her first state competition. Her first event was the 100-meter dash where she placed second. “I didn’t let it bring me down,” Bethea said. “My coaches and uncle told me not to let it bring me down and so I just threw it over my shoulder and thought, new event, new me, that’s what happened so I felt amazing when I won two golds.” She then won the 200- and 400-meter dashes. She’d also PR in the events, running 57.9 in the 400 meters and 24.9 in the 200 meters. Hubbell can’t be certain when the last time a Piñon athlete brought home two gold medals, but it has been years since the last time the school went to state. Hubbell said he is proud of what Bethea achieved. Although he only had the chance to coach her once due to the pandemic, he knows she is a stellar athlete, person and will do well after school. “I talked to her about hard work pays off, if you really want it, you got to work for it because other athletes out there are doing the exact same thing,” Hubbell said. Bethea plans to go to college though is not certain which one yet, but she knows she will be brining what sports taught her – dedication, hard work and communication. Overall, she said, she had a amazing season, made even more special by her team, coaches and family. “I really want to thank my coaches Aerosol and John Hubbell so much, my dad, my uncle and my family for coming out,” she said. “And my teammates, especially Kayla and Delilah, even though they couldnt be here,” she said. “I just know they were cheering for me from school, and I really appreciate everything they have done.”  As a public service, the Navajo Times is making all coverage of the coronavirus pandemic fully available on its website. Please support the Times by subscribing.  Daily updates: Tracking the coronavirus on the Navajo Nation. --  How to protect yourself and others. Why masks work. Which masks are best. Resources for coronavirus assistance   Vaccine information. The post Piñon’s Bethea wins 2 golds at state appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: Track & Field]

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[l] at 5/19/22 3:18am
ALBUQUERQUE Tayan Benson took a personal best approach to the Class 4A state meet. Navajo Times | Quentin JodieMiyamura senior Tayan Benson (2) took silver in the Class 4A 800-meter run on Saturday in Albuquerque. Benson won a total of three medals having placed third in the 1600-meter run and anchoring the 1600-meter sprint medley team to a second-place finish. The Miyamura senior hit a pair of PRs during the two-day state meet held in Albuquerque. “The competition was tough here, so my plan was to go out as hard as I could,” Benson said. On Friday, he finished third in the 1600-meter run with a time of 4:24.12, beating his previous best by over seven seconds. In the open 800 on Saturday, he ran under the two-minute mark for the first time this season as he took home the silver medal with a 1:57.25 effort. His previous best before the state meet was a 2:00.27, a mark he hit at the District 1-4A meet two weeks ago. In the two-lap race, Albuquerque Academy senior Joaquin Deprez set the pace as he won the event in 1:55.62. He had a way better PR than I did, Benson said of the eventual state champ. With that, the Miyamura runner was determined to stay within striking distance, and, if the opportunity presented itself, he was going to try and take the win. “My plan was to hang with him, but he kind of widened his lead on the second lap,” he said. “After that I was shooting for that second-place medal and that is what I did. I was second the whole way and I stayed there.” Benson took that same approach in the 1600-meters as he didn’t sit back during the four-lap race. Usually, the runners go out slow in the mile races, he said. They try to run it more tactically, but I wasnt going to have that, so my plan was to go out fast and take everyone with me. Coincidentally, the other top three dudes had the same idea, and they took off pretty quick too, he added. I just hung onto them and I tried to do that as long as possible.” Benson said he struggled to stick with the three frontrunners but as they got more into a pace, he moved up a spot. “I finished (six) seconds away from the winner and three seconds from the dude that got second,” he said of Hope Christian junior Rendon Kuykendall (4:18.65) and Los Alamos senior Keith Bridge (4:21.92). “My plan was pretty good, so I executed there too, he said. Benson earned another silver medal, helping the 1600-meter sprint medley team to a second-place finish in 3:36.68. In a scintillating finish, Academy was crowned the state champs with a 3:36.25 effort. The Miyamura team is comprised of junior Saleem Gillespie and seniors Abdullah Alassi and Sergio Chavarria. In the fall, Benson is headed to run for the mens cross-country team at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. I want to go into aerospace engineering, he said. Its the best aerospace engineering school in the nation, so it worked out well that I could run for them as well. At the beginning I was a little indecisive; trying to figure out where I could go, he said. I went and visited the school and after that I knew that is where I wanted to be. It’s different, but it’s a good different.” The post Miyamura’s Benson aims for PRs at state meet appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: Track & Field]

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[l] at 5/19/22 3:14am
ALBUQUERQUE The Kirtland Central track team exhibited a lot of personal growth at last week’s Class 4A state track meet. A handful of KC athletes culminated the season by hitting new personal records during the two-day meet held at the UNM Track-Soccer Complex. In the throwing events, senior Jojera Dodge hit new PRs in both the discus and shot put. Senior Zakk Thomas also shattered his previous best in the javelin while junior Kyler Joe (400) and senior Aisha Ramone (800) set new personal records in the middle distance events. At the beginning of the year they all came in with the mindset of not only getting here to state, but winning, first-year KC coach Tory Franklin said. We set those standards high, so they came in here with high expectations and their hard work is paying off. “Its paying off not only in track, but also in the classroom, he added. Franklin said every athlete on his team hit the weight room and they worked extremely hard to make progress in their respective events. In a game of inches, Dodge came close to winning a state title in the shot put. In her final throw, she improved her previous best by almost a foot as she threw the 4-kilogram ball 36 feet and one-half inch. That throw appeared to be the best mark in 4A, but Artesia’s Lorin Wagner came up with a 36-01.25 effort on her final throw to earn the Artesia thrower the state title. The difference was a mere three-quarter of an inch. Im really proud of myself because Ive made some improvements in shot, Dodge said. Ive went from 35-feet all the way to 36. I gave it my all in my last throw.” To hit that mark, Dodge said she’s been working with her timing and footwork in the previous weeks with her throwing coaches. As for her final attempt, the KC senior had a feeling that her throw was going to go far. “I was feeling pretty confident about that throw,” she said. “I was actually trying to aim for 38-feet, but 36 is still good.” In the discus, she threw a 107-01 effort for another second-place finish. “I usually throw in the lower 100s,” she confessed. Dodge leaves KC with a couple of state medals in track, having placed second in the discus and fifth in the shot put at last year’s state meet. In addition, she’s a three-time state wrestling champion. I feel like I ended my senior year really well, she said. I put all my determination and integrity out there because it takes a lot to be a three-time state champion and to be a state placer in track. In the fall, she’s going to major in criminology and she is going to start either at San Juan College or UNM. For Thomas, he popped his second to last throw in the javelin for 160 feet. That mark earned him his first state title. “I was like sitting sixth or seventh and I was thinking I gotta pop one out there,” he said. The KC thrower brought two spears to the state meet and to get his PR he utilized the Space Master javelin. “It’s one of the high-end javelins and that one is supposed to go 90 meters,” he said. “A lot of Olympic throwers use that.” The other javelin, he said, maxes out at 60 meters. It doesnt go that far, unless you force it out there, he said, while adding that the Space Master is more aerodynamic. Thomas said he lowered his tip to get his spear out to 160 feet, beating his previous best by over 10 feet. “In my other throws my tip was too high and it was decreasing at the end,” he said. Thomas said hes surprised that he won the state tile as he came into the meet seeded sixth. I was hoping for top three, he said. I happened to get a PR on that second to last throw, and so it was a lot of fun. I enjoyed it, and its good feeling to have winning state. The KC coach said his pupil made the necessary adjustments after watching video in his previous throws. “With his PR, he went through a progression,” Franklin said. “We didn’t have to say anything. He knew what he was doing wrong and he took control of it and hit his PR.” Next fall, Thomas is looking to study either engineering or kinesiology. He is still narrowing his choices between three colleges. As for Joe, he felt the need to compete at a high level in the open 400 against a strong field of contenders. The KC junior edged Hope Christian’s James Jenkins for the state crown as Joe finished the race at 49.54 seconds while Jenkins was a close second at 49.70. “The Hope Christian guy won it last year, so I knew I had to go out fast,” Joe said. “I felt really good about my chances because I did really well in the prelims. I had a decent time and I knew that I could do it.” Entering the state meet, Joe had ran a personal best of 50.49 and in the finals he beat that by over nine-tenths of a second. The open 400 was one of four events that the KC athlete qualified for Saturday’s finals. He finished third in the 200 (22.42), fourth in the 100 (11.11) and he helped the 4100 relay team to a sixth place finish. He ran anchor for the relay team that consisted of Thomas, junior Brandon Okerman and junior Nick Cambridge. “My prelims in the 100s were faster, so I could have probably done better,” he said. “But I was really tired for my 200s, so I’ll take that.” He also earned a state qualification in the pole vault, but he didn’t clear his initial height of 10-06. “I’ve cleared 11-feet, but I did get any run-throughs,” he said. With another year left, Joe has his eyes set on earning new PRs in all of his events. In particular, he wants to reset the school record in the open 100. The current record holder is Cameron Crawford, who ran a 10.85 during the 2021 track season. In the girls’ 800-meter run, Ramone beat her previous best by nearly two seconds with a time of 2:23.26 as she finished second to state champ Delaney Ulrich of Los Alamos, who recorded a 2:23.18 time. Franklin said he’s not surprise with the success they had at the state meet and he believes the hard work his kids put into their craft has paid off in a big way. “The work they did exemplifies the kind of blue chipper athletes they are,” he said. “They put the work in and they were rewarded with PRs, competing with the best in all of 4A.” The post KC athletes show grit at state meet appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: News]

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[l] at 5/19/22 3:01am
The thing that Navajo Tribal Chairman Peter MacDonald feared would happen did the last week of May in 1972 – the Hopi Tribe arrested a Navajo rancher and charged him with trespass. MacDonald’s counterpart in the Hopi Tribe, Clarence Hamilton, had been threatening to take that action for the past month so it should not have come as a surprise to Navajo leaders. But MacDonald was worried that if the Hopis actually arrested a Navajo, it would heighten the tension between the two tribes and create the possibility of violence. What we in the press were told was that non-Indian rangers working for the Hopis arrested a Navajo named Sam Maize and confiscated some 200 sheep that allegedly wandered onto the Hopi Reservation during the night. According to one report, Maize, upon learning that his sheep had wandered onto Hopi land, was driving them back to home when he was arrested. He was charged with trespassing which carries a sentence of up to six months in jail. He was released on bond but Hopi rangers impounded his sheep until a fee was paid to get them out. MacDonald said he found the actions by “so-called Hopi leaders” to be “appalling” and arrest was done by the Hopi Tribe for the sole purpose of forcing Congress or the courts to take steps to resolve the dispute between the two tribes. MacDonald asked Navajo residents to stay patient and allow the tribes to work out a solution. He also pointed out that the two tribes had lived in harmony with each other for centuries and urged them to keep the peace. I had a chance to talk to Hamilton a day or two after MacDonald released his statement. Like MacDonald, he urged members of both tribes to keep the peace and not to do anything rash. But he also emphasized that any Navajo livestock and rancher that comes onto the Hopi Reservation without permission will face impoundment and arrest. What is happening with Indian center? What’s going to happen to the Gallup Indian Center now that it’s director, Herb Blatchford Sr., was placed on suspension and the center’s board is taking a long look at the direction the center will take in the future? I talked to Sandy Shock, a Gallup photographer who served on the center’s board in the early years. He said that when the center was first opened, its function as to provide space for agencies that served the Indian community. This included medical and welfare offices. It was becoming a one-stop location for Indians who needed federal or state assistance. But within a few years, the Indian Health Service built a hospital and the state and federal government built their own facility a block from the center. So by the time Blatchford came in as director, its function had changed to a place Indians could meet friends when they came to town and rest before they made the long trip back home. The facility also had showers. But, according to Shock, the center began getting in the middle of controversial actions that appeared to put the center’s staff against the city of Gallup. A good example was the involvement of the center in the 1964 Gallup police action. The police department had come under fire for massive jail overcrowding especially on weekends when drunks picked up on the streets were thrown into piles in cells meant for two prisoners. A local attorney named William Stripp filed lawsuit claiming that arresting street people for being drunk was outlawed by the courts as treating alcohol abuse as a crime instead of a social problem. The city decided to settle the dispute by refusing to pick up anyone for being drunk on the streets, which created major problems since the nights were cold and there was a risk of exposure deaths. Blatchford decided to open the center for people to sleep at night and for two weeks, the center was filled 24 hours a day. Eventually, the city agreed to allow police to pick up drunks for safety and release them in the morning. Then in the late 1960s, the center became a meeting place, according to Gallup officials, for groups that demonstrated against the city and the Gallup Ceremonial. This led to a movement by city representatives on the board to pass a resolution placing Blatchford on suspension while an investigation was done on how he was running the center. That investigation was scheduled to be completed by the middle of June. Surprisingly here was no major demonstration demanding the city put Blatchford back in as director. Blatchford had made no effort to get his job back, saying he was recuperating from a bad car accident. But the fight over Blatchford would have serious consequences for the city’s mayor, Frankie Garcia, who was the leading force on the center’s board to place Blatchford on suspension. Garcia, for the first time, came under attack by Blatchford’s supporters who began criticizing him for his ownership stock in the Navajo Inn, a notorious package liquor store located in Tse Bonito near the reservation border. These protests became even stronger when New Mexico Gov. Bruce King decided to name Garcia as a member of the board of directors for the University of New Mexico. This, of course, led to Garcia’s kidnapping in 1973 by Larry Casuse and Robert Nakadinae, two Navajo students at the university. Casuse was shot by police that day and Nakaidinae served a short stint in jail.   The post 50 Years Ago | Hopis arrest Navajo rancher, sparking range war fears appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: 50 Years Ago]

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[l] at 5/19/22 12:06am
Kimberlee Benally Kimberlee Benally ST. MICHAELS, Ariz. – Funeral services for Kimberlee Benally, 39, of St. Michaels, Arizona, were held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 17. Officiating was Bishop Ray Holyan. Services were at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in St. Michaels, and burial was at St. Michaels Community Cemetery. Benally was born May 11, 1982, in Fort Defiance. She passed away May 8 in Phoenix. She was Tábąąhá, born for Honágháahnii. Benally was a graduate of Window Rock High and obtained her bachelor’s degree in health care administration. Benally enjoyed sewing, beading necklaces, and cooking. Benally is survived by her husband, Karl Jim, of Flagstaff; son, Ari Craig, of St. Michaels; sisters, Terrilyn Cook of Cross Canyon, Christine Haven of San Tan Valley, Kameo Benally of St. Michaels, and Tiffani Benally of St. Michaels. Benally is preceded in death by her brother, Gary Benally; grandparents, Pauline Whitesinger, John Whitesinger, Etsitty Benally, and Ruth Whitesinger Benally. Pallbearers were Ty Wauneka, Forrest Benally, Joshua “JJ” Haven, Gabriel Benally, Leander White, and Melix Cowboy. Honorary pallbearers were Powen Benally, Silas Benally, Joshua Haven Sr., George Cook, and Clinton Jim Jr. Summit Funeral Home oversaw arrangements. John Edward Francis ALBUQUERQUE – John Edward Francis, 33, of Albuquerque and Gallup, died suddenly in Torrivio Mesa on April 1. Francis was born Nov. 12, 1988. He was Tódích’íi’nii and born for the Bitáá’chii’nii (Táchii’nii). His cheii is Áshįįhí and his nálí is Kiyaa’áanii. Francis was a caring, loving, and wonderful soul. He was a free spirit crafted by the Holy People. He loved to code, tune cars, off-roading, rebuild computers, watch movies, visit, study, play board games with friends and family, and chat on the phone for two hours or more. Francis graduated from Ignacio High, Navajo Technical College, and DeVry University with a bachelor’s in IT management systems. Before his death, John completed an A-plus certification from New Horizon Academy. Professionally, John thrived in the fast-paced IT environment where he liked to challenge and couldn’t wait to be at the top of his game. He was very passionate about his IT career and motivated to teach his Native people his skills. He wanted to contribute his education back to the Navajo Nation but was cut off by his mental illness. His three children survive John: Andre Thompson of Ignacio, Colorado, Silver Star of Church Rock, and Eli Francis of Tuba City; his parents, Susie Jo and Craig Reinhart of Pagosa Springs, Colorado; his sister, Kristen Laughlin (Derrick & Mason) of Albuquerque; his brother, Marcus Joe; his step-dad, Vernon Laughlin; his paternal grandma and grandfather, Anita Francis of Chinle and Johnny Spencer of Coyote Canyon; step-brothers, James and Daniel Reinhart of Durango, Colorado; step-sister, Beth Reinhart of Grand Junction, Colorado; aunties, JoAnn Muskett, Shirley McCabe, Fannie Begay, Daisy Joe-Nez, Candice Spencer, Juanita Francis, Jennifer Francis, and Michelle Francis; and uncles, Harrison Joe, Perry Joe, William Joe, Sam Joe, JR, Mike Francis, and Perry Francis. John was beloved by many of his cousins from the Joe family, the Francis family, and the Spencer family. John is preceded in death by his father, Jimmy Francis; his maternal grandparents, Morris and Mary Joe of Teec Nos Pos; his paternal grandpa, James Francis; and his favorite uncle, June Mojo Jr. Trujillo Family Funeral Home oversaw his cremation and memorial services on April 20. A reception followed at Rudy’s Bar-B-Q. Thank you so much to all those who donated money and offered prayers and comfort during this difficult time. John will be forever missed and leaves behind a large group of those who loved him dearly. Doobie Tully Yazzie Doobie Tully Yazzie TSE BONITO, N.M. – Yá’át’ééh shik’éí dóó shiDine’é. Shí éí Amanda Nasbah James yinishyé. Shí éí Tódích’íi’nii nishłį́, Tsinaajinii báshíshchíín, Honágháahnii dashicheii, Kinyaaáanii dashinálí. Ákót’éego Diné asdzáán nishłį́. Łichíí Deez’áhídę́ę́ t’áá íiyisíí naashá. From the family of Doobie Tully Yazzie, I am writing to you about a special memorial event attended by loved ones around the Navajo Reservation and the outer regions from all over the country. You are all respectfully invited to lay our son, brother, father, uncle, and grandpa Delbert Tully Yazzie, also known as Doobie, to rest. At 56, Doobie was originally from Sanders, Arizona, and his memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 21, at 10 a.m., at the House of Prayer in Houck, Arizona. Doobie passed away on May 8 in Flagstaff, surrounded by his son, siblings, and those closest to him. Doobie was born on Dec. 30, 1965, in Gallup, into Tódích’íi’nii (Bitter Water Clan), born for Honágháahnii (One Walks Around You Clan). His maternal grandfather is Mąii Deeshgiizhinii (Coyote Pass Clan), and his paternal grandfather is Kinyaa’áanii (Towering House Clan). His hobby was playing chess – he loved playing chess. He loved jive-talking, and making others laugh with his spontaneous humor; he enjoyed playing card games and long walks from the House of the Rising Sun. He was a free soul; he went as he pleased and found comfort in reading. He played with his artistic abilities to show how he felt. And most importantly, he always wanted to be acknowledged as Doobie and never as the government name. Doobie is survived by his only son Dillon Yazzie; sisters, Pearl Silver of Flagstaff and Delphine Tully Wee of Farmington and Evangeline Yazzie of Salt Lake City; and brother, Lou Anderson Yazzie of Birdsprings, Arizona; and three beautiful grandchildren, Nicholas William Yazzie, Kimberly Adeezbaa Yazzie, and Levi Thomas Yazzie. Doobie is preceded in death by his daughter, Dara Yazzie; parents, Thomas and Alice Tully Yazzie of Sanders, Arizona; and grandparents, John and Mary Silver of Wide Ruins, Arizona, and Egbert and Mary Nasbah Yazzie of Greasewood, Arizona. The memorial service will be held in Houck, Arizona, on Saturday, May 21, at 10 a.m. Pastor Gilbert Tully will officiate on behalf of Dillon Yazzie and his family. An interment ceremony at the New Houck Cemetery burial site will follow the leading memorial service. Doobie will be formally laid to rest with his daughter, Dara Yazzie, and his parents, Thomas and Alice Tully Yazzie. A reception will be as follows at the House of Prayer. Pallbearers are Jared Newman, Zachary Richards, Shaun Hoskie, Chris Haskie, Adrian Dawes, and Nate Dawes. Honorary pallbearers are Nicholas William Yazzie, Kimberly Adeezbaa Yazzie, and Levi Thomas Yazzie. Tse Bonito Mortuary oversees arrangements. Johnny Slim Jr. Johnny Slim Jr. GALLLUP – Funeral services for Johnny Slim Sr., 77, of Lupton, Arizona, were held May 17 at the Rollie Mortuary Chapel in Gallup. Burial services followed at Houck, Arizona. Ronald Yazzie officiated at the services. Slim was born Jan. 24, 1945, in Lupton, into Tábąąhá. He was born for Bitáá’chii’nii (Táchii’nii). He passed away May 9 in Albuquerque. Slim attended Intermountain School in Birmingham City. He worked as a farmer in Burley, Idaho, and later as a sheepherder in Smith Lake, New Mexico. He enjoyed sheepherding, building and fixing stuff, and training horses, and he loved spending time with his family and grandchildren. Slim is survived by his sons, Fred Slim of Winslow, and Jonathan Slim of Casamero Lake; daughters, Ralphelia Slim-Falla of Chandler, Evangeline Slim of Albuquerque, and Evaline Slim of Albuquerque; brothers, Leonard Slim, Jone Fransisco, Kenneth Slim, and Daniel Slim; sisters, Nettie Slim, Helen Slim, Esther Bodie, Minnie Woody, and Rita Daye; and 12 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Slim is preceded in death by his father, John Slim Sr.; his mother, Geebah Smith; brothers, Sam Slim and Benny Slim; daughters, Vicki Slim and Victoria Slim. Pallbearers were Jonathan Slim Jr., Jeremiah Slim, Jacob Slim, Jayson Slim, Jeremy Slim, and Leroy Ramone. Honorary pallbearers were his brothers, Johnathan Slim Sr., Jonathan Ashley, and Benny Slim Sr. Rollie Mortuary oversaw arrangements. Dorothy Jane Gould CRYSTAL, N.M. — Funeral services for Dorothy Jane Gould, 95, of Crystal, will be held at 10 a.m. today. Father Maynard will be officiating the graveside service at the family plot in Crystal. Gould was born July 13, 1926, in Crystal. She was Áshįįhí (Salt People Clan), born for Tsi’naajinii (Black Streak Wood People Clan). She passed away May 15 at Fort Defiance. Gould attended Wingate Junior High. She was a homemaker and she enjoyed weaving as her hobby and lifestyle. Gould is survived by her sons Myron Gould and Micheal Gould; daughters Lillie Gould-Soto, Barbara Kayaanii, Emma Gould, Rose Gould and Maxine Gould; sisters, Helen Stewart and Victoria Haley. Gould was preceded in death by her husband, Francis Gould; daughter, Linda Abundis; and son, Freddy Gould. Pallbearers are Nathan Ashley, Lincoln Kayaani, Isiah Gould, Juan Abundis, Monica Abundis and Basilio Tsabetsaye. Honorary pallbearers are Lydell Gould, Ryan Soto and Bryan Tsabetsaye. A drive-by reception will be held. Silver Creek Mortuary is in charge of arrangements. The Navajo Times publishes obituaries free of charge as a public service. If you have an obituary you would like to submit, follow this link to the online submission form. We look forward to serving you. The post Obituaries for May 19. 2022 appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: Obituaries]

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[l] at 5/18/22 3:30am
ROCKVILLE, Md. The Indian Health Service on May 6 announced that Benjamin Smith, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, is the new deputy director at IHS headquarters. Ben Smith As deputy director, Smith will lead IHS operations to ensure the delivery of health services and that services are integrated across all levels of the agency. “We are excited that Mr. Smith will be serving in this important new role as deputy director of the Indian Health Service,” IHS Acting Director Elizabeth Fowler said. “He has been a consistent leader at IHS headquarters for several years,” she said. “He has a wealth of experience providing leadership on tribal and urban Indian health issues, and I look forward to working with Mr. Smith on improving quality health care services throughout Indian Country.” The IHS deputy director is responsible for collaboration between IHS and tribes and assisting with developing standardized metrics and monitoring the progress of goals. Smith joined the senior executive service in March 2012 and has served as the deputy director for intergovernmental affairs at IHS headquarters since November 2016, where he provided leadership on tribal and urban Indian health activities. He has also served as the IHS Office of Tribal Self Governance director. “I have always been passionate about serving our American Indian and Alaska Native people,” Smith said, “and look forward to continuing my career at IHS with new challenges and responsibilities.” Before federal service, Smith worked as a self-governance specialist for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. He has received numerous awards throughout his career, including the 2020 National Public Service Award from the American Society for Public Administration. In 2014, he received the Arthur S. Flemming Award from the George Washington University Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration. He earned a master’s in business administration from George Washington University, a master’s in international peace and conflict resolution from American University, and a bachelor’s from Brigham Young University. He is also one of the Navajo Nation’s Chief Manuelito Scholars. Sacred Wind Hires new director of governmental, tribal affairs YA-TAH-HEY, N.M.– Sacred Wind Communications, a New Mexico telecommunications company, on May 6 announced the hiring of Teresa Hopkins as the new director of governmental and tribal affairs. Hopkins began employment with Sacred Wind on April 11 and will be working out of the company’s Ya-Tah-Hey headquarters. Hopkins is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation and hails from St. Michaels, Arizona. She has served four years as executive director of the Navajo Nation’s Telecommunications Regulatory Commission. From 2010 to 2015, she was special project director and deputy director in the tribe’s judicial branch. She has also held positions in the legislative branch and the Division of General Services. Sacred Wind’s CEO John Badal said she will work with the Navajo Nation, Federal Communications Commission, and other state and federal governmental offices. “She will also assist in development and implementation of policies and procedures for the Company which conducts business on Navajo and other tribal lands,” he said, “including marketing plans, so as to better serve its customers.” Pimentel named director of Friendship House SAN FRANCISCO – The board of directors for the Friendship House Association of American Indians named Gabriel Pimentel as its new executive director after a five-month nationwide search. Pimentel is Apache and was previously the executive director of the Southern California Indian Center. Friendship House is the oldest social service organization in the United States run by and for American Indians and Alaska Natives. Since 1963, the organization has helped nearly 6,000 clients recover from substance abuse using a model that integrates traditional Native healing with evidence-based practices. Pimentel is only the second executive leader in the organization’s history, succeeding Helen Waukazoo, who founded Friendship House in 1963 and remained CEO until her passing in April 2021. Her leadership and vision to build “a place for healing” from substance abuse and trauma would eventually establish Friendship House as a national leader in urban Indian health and advocacy. “I could not be more grateful to be a part of such a well-established and well-loved organization as Friendship House,” Pimentel said. “This organization consists of an extremely talented team with a long history of dedicated donors and community partners,” he said. “My goal is to build upon the immense achievements of the past 59 years.” Pimentel has spent his career working with underserved communities, particularly with American Indian and Alaska Native populations. Jessica Skye Paul, the board’s president, said, “He is an energetic entrepreneur with a passion for positive change. His knowledge of urban Indian communities, health policy, and fundraising is exactly what is needed to carry the organization’s vision forward.” McCabe in Hawaii Courtesy photoAmbrose “Andy” McCabe Jr. wears a Navajo Times T-shirt while on vacation in Oahu in Hawaii. He is originally from Kinlichee, Ariz., and lives in Phoenix where he is a metrology technician. The post People | IHS names Diné deputy director appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: People]

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[l] at 5/18/22 3:26am
By Colleen Keane Special to the Times ALBUQUERQUE As a soldier in the U.S. Army, Manuel (Manny) Tsosie had one of the most dangerous jobs in the military. In training at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, he had the task of jumping out of airplanes and helicopters and taking apart land mines and booby traps. Then, something went terribly wrong that caused him to lose his sight. Tsosie, who is from Coyote Canyon, New Mexico, said he was sent home and his first reaction was to feel sorry for himself. “I pushed every one away from me because they didn’t know what I was going through,” he said. “I pretty much dug a hole and put myself in there as far as I could dig.” Then, he met Marietta Herrera from Counselor, New Mexico, who started taking him to appointments. “I was surprised when she spoke to me in Navajo,” he said. She encouraged him to go to school. “You have a gift to help others,” she told him. His life started to turn around. Herrera and Tsosie married and with her encouragement, before and after their marriage, he discovered TRIO Student Services at Central New Mexico Community College. Thanks to the Education Act of 1965, TRIO programs are federal outreach and student services for low-income and first-generation college students and students with disabilities. The goal is to help them succeed in higher education. The TRIO programs started out with three, hence the name – Upward Bound, Talent Search and Student Services. Now, there are eight, according Magda Martinez-Baca, director of TRIO Student Services at CNM. Like other TRIO programs across the country, Martinez-Baca’s department is an open door to academic coaching, career counseling. tutoring, time management and finance workshops. “We work with (students) on their goals to help them graduate and transition to college,” said Martinez-Baca. There are 180 TRIO students at CNM’s main campus and 150 at the Montoya campus. On Albuquerque’s main campus, Martinez-Baca watched Tsosie advance in his goals. “He’s great,” she said. “He (has done) a fine job.” Tsosie said, “When I enrolled in school everybody was so helpful. They introduced me to the Disability Resource Center, the TRIO Center, the Tutoring Center and the Veterans’ Resource Center. “I started getting involved with them and it made (going to school a lot easier),” he said. He also made life-long friends. One of them is Gerald Padilla, also a veteran attending CNM, who volunteered to help Tsosie get to classes. “He didn’t like to be late,” Padilla said. “He would text me and say, ‘Hey, Gerald! I need to get to my next class!’” Padilla said he was also impressed with Tsosie’s tenacity. “He is really an achiever,” Padilla said. “He doesn’t let his blindness block him. He is going to do whatever it takes. He doesn’t quit. He thinks all of the time on how he (can accomplish his goals).” Proud of his friend’s accomplishments, Padilla added, “And when he makes those incremental steps towards his goals, he puts that smile on his face and says ‘I did it!’” Tsosie likens his challenge to succeed to a weaving. “There may be a lot of things wrong with your rug,” but, he said, surrounded by the right people, like his mom, Annie Tsosie, in memory of his dad, the late Mark Tsosie, his wife Marietta Tsosie, and his in-laws, Jimmy and Helen Herrera from Counselor, Arizona, and supportive programs like TRIO and the Native American Church, he is on a new path. “(They) teach you how to weave correctly and help you start re-weaving your life,” he said. On Friday, April 29, Tsosie’s hard work paid off. He graduated with associates in psychology and human services. President Jonathan Nez, who gave the graduation speech, was there to congratulate Tsosie, Rachel Yazzie from Teec Nos Pos, Arizona, and the other graduating TRIO students. Yazzie attributes her success of graduating with associates in psychology and liberal arts to TRIO Support Services and two CNM core values – stay connected and be courageous. She said that being part of the TRIO program allowed her to stay in touch with her professors, tutors and achievement coach and she, like Tsosie and other students, was fortified by the encouragement and validation she received from CNM. Continuing with his goals, Tsosie has set new sights on a bachelor’s degree, then a master’s in psychology. “The reason why I chose psychology is to be able to learn from the Western world and intertwine it with Diné traditions,” he explained. He said blending the two will especially help veterans. “There are a lot of them out there who are still suffering,” he said. “They are being neglected. They need help.” Tsosie plans to attend the University of New Mexico this fall. Tsosie had words of advice for students securing educational opportunities like he did. “I tell the students, ‘I’m blind, I go through a lot of anxiety coming to school,’” he said. But he added he perseveres because of the opportunities ahead. “We are walking investments,” he said. “If we don’t graduate or be successful, it all goes to waste. You got to apply yourself.” TRiO students also participated in CNM’s main graduation ceremony on May 7. Information: TRIO Student Support Services-CNM jQuery(document).ready(function() { jQuery(".post-meta p").text(function(index, text) { return text.replace('By Navajo Times |', ''); }); }); The post Diné excels with help from family, college program appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: Education]

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[l] at 5/17/22 3:30am
FORT WINGATE On May 5, former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson delivered 307 pairs of athletic shoes to Wingate High School for students in part of the Gov. Bill Richardson/President Peterson Zah COVID-19 Navajo Families Relief Fund. Courtesy photo | Joseph LeonFormer New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, on May 5, gave away 307 pairs of athletic shoes to students at Wingate High, including to Karlonya Yazzie. This donation brings the total to more than 1,000 pairs of shoes donated to students attending Navajo Nation schools. A longtime supporter of the Navajo people, Richardson established the fund in April of 2020 with former Navajo Nation President Peterson Zah to help get essential supplies and equipment to the Navajo people to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Within two years, the Richardson-Zah fund purchased and delivered medical supplies to eight Navajo hospitals, paid for a respiratory doctor’s salary at Rehoboth Hospital in Gallup, and donated food, water, PPE products, diapers, dog food, and dry goods to hundreds of Navajo families. “Then we heard that Navajo children needed shoes during the lockdown,” Richardson said. “We worked with Navajo golfer Notah Begay III’s foundation to secure discounts and began buying shoes. I’m proud to say we helped students in Manuelito, Shiprock, Sheep Springs, Sawmill, Fort Defiance, Crystal, Crownpoint, Lake Valley, Albuquerque, and now Wingate.” The outdoor stadium at Wingate was filled with 200 students, teachers, and staff wearing masks as they greeted Richardson. Also in attendance, Navajo shoe designer Lacey Trujillo designs shoes for tennis superstars Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka. She works at Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. Students Janae Wagner and Joshua Notah sang several songs in Navajo at the event. Courtesy photo | Joseph LeonStudents, including Joshua Notah, right, and Janae Wagner, second from right, help former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson unload 307 pairs of athletic shoes to give to students at Wingate High on May 5. Richardson thanked the teachers and staff during Teacher Appreciation Week and spoke about working hard in school, staying motivated, and continuing Wingate’s winning sports teams in basketball, track, and rodeo. “It’s been tough for many Navajo and New Mexico families as we struggle to overcome COVID-19 and its variants,” he said. “We’re making progress by continuing to take precautions, but we still need to be careful as we rebuild our lives coming back from COVID. I’m pleased to see students and teachers still wearing masks.” The post Richardson delivers 307 pairs of shoes to Wingate appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: Community]

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[l] at 5/17/22 3:29am
LOGAN, Utah Utah State University’s 6,588 graduates received degrees and certificates on April 29. The ceremony included the following students from the Blanding campus. • Chanel Bahe, associate in general studies. • Euphemia Begay, associate in general studies. • Andrea Benally, certificate for heavy equipment operator and commercial drivers license. • Treynae BooSilas, certificate for heavy equipment operator. • Nikki Butler, associate in general studies. • Amando Cody, certificate in construction technology & management. • Lita Cowboy, associate in general studies. • Kauldrinn Crank, associate in general studies. • Alyssa Denny, associate in general studies. • Benny Fatt, bachelor’s in technology systems. • Fernando Francis, certificate for heavy equipment operator and commercial drivers license. • Kalvina Hanley, bachelor’s in integrated studies. • Leman Harvey, certificate for commercial drivers license. • Adrian James, bachelor’s in technology systems. • Dawnrae Jim, certificate for medical assistant. • Mehki Nez, certificate for construction technology & management. • Angel Parrish, associate in general studies. • Dusty Parrish, certificate for construction technology & management. • Shailyn Parrish, associate in general studies. • Shikera Russell, associate in general studies. • Faustine Saganey, two bachelor’s in kinesiology and health education and promotion. • Charleston Salt, certificate for heavy equipment operator. • Jacey Sayetsitty, certificate for construction technology & management. • Alicia Skeets, certificate for commercial drivers license. • Joshua Smallcanyon, certificate for commercial drivers license. • Taniyah Staley, certificate for medical assistant. • Hughston Sullivan, associate in general studies. • Michelle Sullivan, associate in general studies. • Nizhoni Whitehorse, bachelor’s in health education and promotion. • Deeona Wilson, certificate for commercial drivers license. • Brenda Young, certificate for commercial drivers license. NM seeks feedback on draft ‘action plan’ response to Martinez-Yazzie lawsuit SANTA FE — The Public Education Department is seeking public feedback on a draft that summarizes the state’s ongoing plan to change New Mexico’s education system in response to the Martinez-Yazzie lawsuit, according to a news release from the Public Education Department. Under the direction of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, the department created the 53-page “Discussion Draft Action Plan: Decisions about Martinez/Yazzie v. State of New Mexico.” The draft outlines progress since she took office in 2019 and sets goals to recruit a diverse educator workforce and assure equity for each student group named in the lawsuit. These groups are Native American students, English learners, economically disadvantaged students, and students with disabilities. These four groups make up 70% of New Mexico students. “This administration is fully committed to giving every New Mexico child a world-class education,” Public Education Secretary Kurt Steinhaus said. “This draft document records three years of work getting us on course and sets specific targets for what remains to be done. Public comments in writing can be submitted at draft.actionplan@state.nm.us through June 17. Kim Lanoy-Sandoval, chair of the Indian Education Advisory Council, said, “The Indian Education Advisory Council looks forward to reviewing the action plan draft and collaborating with tribal leaders to provide NMPED with feedback to ensure that there are accountability measures in place as districts and charters work to address the full spectrum of Indigenous students needs.” IAIA commencement ceremony on May 14 SANTA FE – The 2022 Institute of American Indian Arts commencement ceremony is on Saturday, May 14, at 10 a.m. (MST). A graduation powwow and luncheon will be held in the Dance Circle as part of the ceremony. The commencement is by invitation only and not open to the public. A live stream will be available on the IAIA website and IAIA’s official Facebook page. The commencement speaker is W. Richard (Rick) West Jr., Cheyenne and Arapaho. He will also be awarded an honorary doctorate of humanities. The post Education Briefs | Utah State-Blanding lists 2022 graduates appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: Education]

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[l] at 5/16/22 3:30am
WINDOW ROCK After years of preparation and planning by dozens of leaders and advocates, Diné veterans can finally look forward to having their own nursing home. On Monday, President Jonathan Nez joined members of the Chinle Agency Veterans Organization and Chinle Chapter officials at the Dr. Guy Gorman Senior Care Home to sign into law the Council resolution, which appropriates $29.2 million in Sihasin Funds to construct and operate a 60-bed nursing home in Chinle called the “Navajo Warriors Home.” Delegate Carl Slater, who sponsored the legislation, and Chinle Delegate Eugene Tso also attended for signing ceremony for the resolution, which was approved unanimously by the Navajo Nation Council on April 20. The new facility will be the first nursing home on the Navajo Nation dedicated to providing services exclusively for veterans. “As Navajo people, we all have someone in our family who has served or is serving in the Armed Forces,” said Nez. “We have a long proud history of military service among the First People of this country.” The Navajo Warriors Home will be built next door to the Dr. Guy Gorman Senior Care Home, the only Arizona nursing home licensed for Medicare/Medicaid services on the Navajo Nation. Slater, vice chairman of the Health, Education and Human Services Committee, said it is his hope that the project will serve as a template for more nursing homes on the Nation. The goal is to have at least one in every agency. “We hope this collaborative effort provides a sustainable model that leadership can look to in the future as we establish resources for every Navajo veteran,” said Slater. According to the legislation, until now if a Navajo veteran has required nursing home care due to health and/or age, there have been no veteran-specific nursing homes on the Navajo Nation. The only solution is to be admitted to a Veterans Administration nursing home hundreds of miles away. Also admissions depend on space availability and priorities set by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, sometimes leaving Navajo veterans with long wait times. Wayne Claw, CEO for Navajoland Nursing Homes Inc., who spearheaded the project and also oversees the 80-bed Gorman home, thanked the Nation’s leaders for their efforts to bring the Navajo Warriors Home to fruition. “Since 2005, we have been working hard on this project,” said Claw. “We have to take care of our veterans on the lands they have protected for us on the battlefields. We welcomed our veterans back home when they completed their service and now, we have to take care of them.” In 2015, Navajo Housing Authority provided $250,000 to the Navajoland home to design the project, by Dyron Murphy Architects, so it is construction ready. Of the $29.2 million in the expenditure plan, $19.3 million is allocated for construction, $6.8 million for project management/utility costs, and startup service operation costs of $3.2 million for the first year. Navajoland will oversee the construction and operation of the Navajo veterans’ home and the Navajo Department of Health and HEHSC will provide administrative oversight. Claw said he hopes to bid out for contracts by November so construction can begin in early 2023. He said additional funds will have to be sourced, including through P.L. 93-638 contracts, to fund operations past the first year, but it will be much easier to do so with the facility up and running. Slater also hopes that in addition to Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements, the Indian Health Service and the VA can provide long-term care funding and services to sustain operations into the future. “Now there’s some weight off of me, but there’s still a lot to be done,” said Claw. The post First nursing home for veterans gets OK appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: News]

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[l] at 5/16/22 3:29am
TSÉBIGHÁHOODZÁNÍ Dineh Benally had been hinting for months that he plans to run for Navajo Nation president again. The former San Juan River Farm Board president will officially announce his campaign in Shiprock on Saturday, May 15. A rally will take place at the Catholic Center from noon to 5 p.m. “I’ve been at this every year since 2014,” Benally said. Navajo Times | Krista AllenDineh Benally campaigns in Kaibeto, Ariz., in 2018. Benally, the former San Juan River Farm Board president, is running for Navajo Nation president. Benally, 45, was then candidate Joe Shirley Jr.’s pick for vice president eight years ago because Diné voters indicated they wanted a young candidate who would promote change. He also ran for president in 2018. “I’m still seeing too many of our people dealing with social ills and high unemployment,” Benally said in an interview with the Navajo Times. “The Navajo Nation helped me get educated. “It helped me obtain scholarships and go to school to get a degree,” he said. “My grandpa always told me, ‘When someone helps you, you go back and help the people.’” Benally is the son of Donald Benally and the late Joann C. Benally. He is Bitáá’chii’nii (Táchii’nii) and born for Tó’aheedlíinii-Naakaii Dine’é. His maternal grandfather is Tódích’íi’nii, and his paternal grandfather is Naakaii Łizhinii (Nahiłii). Dineh is married to Joyce Benally, and together they have four children. Change maker Benally is on a quest to transform the Navajo Nation for the better, everything from the economy and hardship to unemployment and violence. And it starts with only a few steps, said Benally. It’s a risk, but the need is great. “I don’t see the federal government providing that,” he said. “I know there’s enterprise established – Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, Navajo Engineering and Construction Authority – but I don’t see individuals creating wealth for themselves. Related See all Election 2022 coverage. “In order to build a nation, we have to move forward,” he said. “A lot of the problem we’re (Navajo Nation) having is we’re trying to invest, and we’re putting too much money into regulations and lawyers.” The Navajo Nation president often receives legal advice from lawyers. Benally said the Nation is spending too much money on regulations, and those legal advisors know might not know how to navigate Diné Bikéyah. “We’re tying ourselves up,” he said. “We’re putting too much into the regulation and too much into lawyers. “Our people are not getting the resources they need to establish businesses and help their families because there’s no opportunity out there,” he explained. “The future is technology.” Benally said Diné shouldnt talk only about nááts’íílid and k’aabéésh to protect sovereignty – ak’ídádéest’į́į́. “We have to look at technology and really exercise our sovereignty,” he said. “We need to build data centers (Bitcoin colocation hosting facilities). “If the United States were to shut down, we’d have our own (electronic cash system) in place and operate from a financial standpoint, from a forward-thinking government standpoint,” he said. “That needs to be implemented because, in order to be a great Nation, we have to control our own technology,” he said. Crypto, employment growth Outside of Diné Bikéyah, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have gone from curiosity to punchline to investment, making many people wealthy. That’s hard to ignore, said Benally, who sees a Navajo Nation future where the internet runs on blockchain-based tokens. Crypto is a lot of different things, and it’s inescapable, said Benally. In November, he told the Times that blockchain, a digital record that tracks cryptocurrency transactions, would be safer and faster in the Nation. He said then if Diné didn’t get in the know about this technology, it would be a missed opportunity to defend Navajo sovereignty. “We need to incorporate that into our Nation so future generations can use it,” Benally said. “And I want to bring jobs to our Nation,” he said. “We’re not pushing that. I don’t see it. We have a shortage of homes, and we need to build houses for our people. “And I want to make sure young people get educated and come home to work for the Navajo people,” he said. “We have so much opportunity to be great, but we’re not pushing forward.” Benally said what’s most important to Diné varies, including safe communities and a strong economy, because many families don’t have enough emergency savings. The public’s priorities need to be addressed, said Benally. “To beat these issues, you have to create jobs for people,” he said. “I’m talking about the people who are dealing with social ills and problems. “Some of our own people are on the streets,” he said. “We’ve got agriculture, we can move forward with green energy. We have rivers, mountains – there’s so much we can do. “To me, you have to be a leader that’s willing to stay what you’re going to do,” he said. Hemp empire Benally was accused of growing illegal marijuana around his family home two years ago. He and his businesses – Native American Agriculture Co. and Navajo Gold Co. – were accused of running an industrial hemp operation within the Navajo Nation and unlawfully issuing tribal land permits to foreign entities to grow and cultivate hemp. Navajo Attorney General Doreen McPaul said the tribe at that time received numerous complaints, tips, and warnings about the illegal activities. The Navajo Police also issued a warning against cultivating marijuana or hemp after confirming that authorities investigated complaints about a growth operation near Shiprock. While people had thoroughly disputed the matter, it wouldn’t stop him from running for tribal president again, regardless of what people may say. “We were on our third year on this project,” Benally said. “We’ve had meetings with the tribal government. We met with President Jonathan Nez, Vice President Myron Lizer, the attorney general, the speaker, Council, and former officials, telling them our farmers want prosperity and wealth. “We used our own resources,” he said. “I did not ask a single dime from the Navajo Tribe, and we were ready to generate and provide a great opportunity for the people. Yes, maybe there are certain things we didn’t do properly, but that’s part of starting a business.” Benally said he and his team of 400 Diné and non-Native workers – who taught Benally and others how to grow hemp – were near the finish line when the state, federal, and tribe ended the operation, which he says violated the Navajo treaty. His workers comprised sub-contractors, electricians, carpenters and welders. Some workers cleaned up the hemp farms, removed trees, and cleaned ditches. He said his businesses and project injected millions of dollars into local and border town businesses such as the Home Depot and Lowe’s. “It broke my heart,” Benally said. “But what I’ve learned is that we have to all forgive. “I can’t go back. We have to look forward,” he said. “I know the Almighty God has a bigger path for us. I know we can take this opportunity that we missed out on. I know there’s going to be more out there for us. We just have to be positive.” Benally said building multimillion-dollar projects like this is a leader’s job. “That leader has to help see the future for the people,” Benally said. “And I feel that God has given me that strength. And that’s what I’m telling our people now: the future is technology. “We are so resilient as Navajo,” he said, “but there’s going to be a time it may not happen.” The post Former San Juan Farm board leader launches prez bid appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: Election 2022]

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[l] at 5/16/22 3:28am
WINDOW ROCK On May 5, the New Mexico Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Relatives Task Force released its state response plan at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque for how to confront the crisis. “We honor and acknowledge the strength and perseverance of all survivors and families who have shared their experiences and testimonies with the task force and helped guide us with recommendations,” said Lynn Trujillo, secretary of New Mexico Indian Affairs and MMIWR Task Force Chair. The 100-plus page plan outlines strategies for expanding MMIWR: support services for survivors and families; education, community outreach, and prevention efforts; community resources for strong case responses; resources to strengthen tribal justice systems; and law enforcement capacity to prevent, report, investigate, and prosecute cases. “It is our responsibility to continue working towards identifying and breaking down systemic barriers while creating safe spaces and healthy communities for our Indigenous relatives,” said Trujillo. In a statement to Navajo Times, MMIWR task force member and first lady Phefelia Nez thanked the state for allowing the Nation to be a part of the historical movement of reuniting, restoring, and healing Native families and communities. Since the task force was established by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham in 2019, Nez said it has identified gaps in case response, jurisdiction misinterpretations, and the need for coordination among tribal, state and federal partners. She said the plan reflects the collaboration of key partners who shared a common vision to assist law enforcement, provide victim services, and bring loved ones home. “The release of the report also signifies that we are moving closer to minimizing the number of unsolved MMIWR cases on the Navajo Nation and in New Mexico,” said Nez. ‘We need help’ In 2020, the National Crime Information Center reports that 5,295 indigenous women and 4,276 indigenous men were missing in the U.S. “Our Indigenous relatives experience some of the highest rates of cases involving MMIWR and this really reinforces the point that we must continue working together to streamline safety responses, establish prevention and data-drive initiatives to protect our Indigenous people,” said Trujillo. She said that New Mexico has the highest number of MMIWR cases in the country with a total of 926 missing persons reported in the states missing persons clearinghouse. “Sadly, we still don’t know how many Indigenous relatives are reflected in this broad number,” said Trujillo. “Our work is underway to improve how New Mexico is collecting missing persons data.” Anita King, from Crownpoint Chapter, said although it is painful to talk about, she was honored to be at the IPCC event where she again shared the story of her daughter Pepita Redhair, who went missing in 2020 in Albuquerque. “I hope they hear our cry,” said King. “We want to be taken seriously. I hope they hear our concern and put it into consideration.” King describes the grief and anguish of not knowing what happened to her 27-year-old daughter. “Pepita M. Redhair was last seen on March 27, 2020,” King testified. “She was last seen in this very area, right here… but the exact circumstances of the situation remain unknown.” King struggles with the fact that the burden of continuing to raise awareness for missing loved ones falls on families like hers with limited resources, which takes an additional toll emotionally and financially. “We need help,” said King. She also believes the lack of communication and support from law enforcement both in Albuquerque and on the Navajo Nation caused delays in her daughter’s case investigation, without which her daughter may have been found. “For the last two years and 29 days, we have placed flyers on street posts, on windows and inside businesses, held prayer walks, rallies, hoping that someone will speak on what they’ve seen or heard,” she said. “We’ve searched every inch of the area for her and will not give up until we know the truth behind her disappearance.” Families deserve justice Lujan Grisham said it is critical that every available tool is used to deliver resources to the loved ones of missing people and bring more awareness and public attention to cases. “I am deeply grateful to the members of the New Mexico MMIWR Task Force, the family members, and the statewide advocates for lending their voices and expertise to the state’s response,” said Lujan Grisham. “Together we will continue to do everything in our power to bring closure, justice, and healing to New Mexico’s tribal communities.” Embracing the state’s plan, Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said designated APD staff will work closely with impacted families and other jurisdictions are already launching a new multimedia campaign to help uncover leads in missing persons cases. “Families deserve answers and justice, said Keller. Because of the work and testimony of mothers, fathers, daughters and sons across our state, the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Relatives has been pulled into the light, he said. No community should have to answer this call to action alone.” Bernalillo County District Attorney Raul Torrez said his office, which represents the largest county in New Mexico, is the first in the state to have created an MMIWR Task Force Unit to help solve cases and share data amongst law enforcement and government partners. The unit has recently hired a dedicated analyst and investigator who are working full time to address jurisdictional issues, compile data and share information so that justice can be delivered, he said. “I think the publication of this state response is an extraordinary first step, but as the secretary mentioned, it’s the beginning of a very long journey,” said Torrez. He said the DA’s office is most acutely focused on trying to break down the barriers and the “siloed systems” that law enforcement relies on in trying to address MMIWR. “We’ve got a system across the state, and frankly across the country, where local law enforcement, tribal law enforcement and federal law enforcement all have their own record-keeping systems and databases, but they don’t always share information and they don’t share information in real-time,” Torrez told Navajo Times. In addition to working on building a new data platform that will integrate information from different agencies, Torrez said his office is working on setting up MOUs, including with the Navajo Nation, to facilitate sharing of information about open missing persons investigations or any leads that may be generated. “It’s sad that it has taken this long for this issue to get the attention it deserved, but my hope is that if we get strategies in place like they’ve outlined in the report, and we get all the stakeholders together and we get them committed to doing just basic things like opening up their data systems, then we can start to have a real impact on people’s lives,” said Torrez. Information: www.iad.state.nm.us The post “I hope they hear our cry”: New Mexico releases missing, murdered response plan appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: News]

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[l] at 5/15/22 3:45pm
ALBUQUERQUE The only thing the Gallup softball team didn’t win on Saturday was the coin toss. Head coach Crystal Pablo got some good-natured ribbing for that. Nevertheless, the No. 2 seed Bengals jumped on the Lovington Wildcats to earn the school’s first state crown in softball. After giving up six runs to the fourth-seeded Wildcats the day before, Gallup shutout Lovington 8-0 in the Class 4A title game, finishing the season with a 24-7 record “We were teasing our coach about losing the coin toss,” said Gallup ace pitcher Seniah “SJ” Haines, who gave up two hits while fanning out six Lovington batters. As the designated visiting team, Gallup put across four runs in the top of the first, and they never looked back. “We always try to jump on the other team,” Haines said. “It doesn’t matter what side we get; we’re always going to get ahead first.” Gallup added three more runs in the next inning as they amassed eight of their 13 hits in the first two innings. “We like to feed off each other’s energy,” left fielder Chaylee Becenti said. “Once someone starts to hit, we all get into a flow, and we’ll start to go off on teams.” Five players got two hits each, with Stephanesha Charlie, Alexis Tsosie-Hood, and Haines nailing a double while right fielder Morgan Belone hit a triple. Centerfielder Taylor Morgan had the game’s lone home run as her solo in the second earned Gallup a 7-0 advantage. “This means so much to us,” Morgan said of winning the state title. “We’ve been playing as a group since we were like 10 years old, and we worked hard for this, especially for our senior year. “It just means so much,” she added. “There are no words to describe this feeling we have right now.” Through its playoff run, the Bengals showed its dominance by beating teams by at least six runs. In four games, they outscored its opponent 62-13. I think it all starts within the circle, Tsosie-Hood said. I think SJ did a great job at keeping us in the game. She kept us in all of the games the whole season, and, you know, it just about trust and backing her up. What also helps is the Bengals are efficient hitters, with seven players hitting above .419. Weve been working on hitting a lot, Tsosie-Hood said. “Everyones strong in the lineup, and anyone can go up there and get the job done. The Gallup coach said those two elements were on point in its state championship run. “I think we peaked at the right time,” Pablo said. “We carried the momentum that we had throughout the district season, and these girls put it all out there. “It’s good to be part of the Gallup program,” she added. “This is a start to something amazing. It can only get better from here.” In a heartwarming tribute, the Gallup team presented the blue championship trophy to former coach Ray Spencer, who was fired by the Gallup McKinley County Schools last month for violating the district’s safekeeping of equipment and supplies. His office keys were allegedly used to open the school in the early morning of April 1 as dozens of students entered the high school and used streamers, toilet paper, and glitter in what the student described as a senior prank. “He’s been working with us since we were little, and, you know, we went through a bumpy road during the season with him getting fired,” Haines said. “We were able to push through that, and it just meant a lot for us to win the state championship for him.” “We didnt have him on the field with us, but we knew he was here,” Tsosie-Hood said. “We worked so hard for this, and all of our hard work paid off. It was a great accomplishment for us and coach Ray.” The post Gallup softball team earns first state crown over Lovington: Lady Bengals scatter 13 hits in 8-0 win appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: Baseball]

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[l] at 5/14/22 6:53am
RIO RANCHO, N.M. Depth at the plate proved to be a difference-maker for the Gallup softball team. On Friday morning, the Lady Bengals scattered 16 hits against No. 4 Lovington in the Class 4A state semifinals. Those hits helped No. 2 seed Gallup reach the state title game for the second year as the Bengals posted a 12-6 win over the Lady Wildcats at Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho. “Our girls can put the ball in play,” said Gallup coach Crystal Pablo, whose team improved to 23-7 overall. “Our lineup has been hitting great, and it’s all about timing. Once one girl gets a good base hit, it gets contagious – everybody wants to hit, and everyone wants to get on base.” Breanna Becenti led the Bengals with three hits in five plate appearances, including a double and two RBIs. Seniah “SJ” Haines, Katherine Lincoln, Taylor Morgan, Alexis Tsosie-Hood, Stephanesha Charlie, and Morgan Belone added two hits each. “We just put a lot of pressure on their defense,” said Haines, who finished with a triple and 3 RBIs. After trailing 1-0 to start the contest, Gallup strung together five hits in the top of the second to take a commanding 6-1 cushion. The Bengals plated three more runs in the third before Lovington got those runs back and trailed 9-4, heading into the sixth. Gallup went up 12-4, but the Wildcats put some pressure on the Pablo-coached team with a two-out, two-run rally in the bottom of the seventh to close within six. “I think this was definitely a good game,” Pablo said. “It kind of exposed on what we need to work on, which is communication. “But, you know, the girls did not roll over, and they kept fighting,” she added. “So did Lovington, and they wanted it just as much as we did.” Submitted | Autumn Tsosie-HoodGallup centerfielder Taylor Morgan hit an 0-2 pitch for a triple against the Lovington Lady Wildcats on Friday morning in the Class 4A state semifinals. Gallup scattered 16 hits and advanced into Saturdays title game with a 12-6 win. Inside the circle, Haines gave up six runs on seven hits. Two of those runs were scored late as Gallup made some defensive errors. “In those situations, we just need to calm down and stick to our game, Haines said. Even if we make errors, I still trust my teammates to make plays.” The Gallup ace said she’s excited to be playing in the state finals again. She’s hoping for a different outcome as they came up short to Artesia last season. “This feels good,” she said. “We really worked hard this season to get back to the championship game, and we really deserve this.” “It’s very rewarding to be playing in the state title game because everyone has worked hard for this,” Pablo chimed in. “They put the time in, and we’ve had this goal since last year.” Like her pupil, the Gallup coach said they’re looking to win the school’s first-ever state softball championship. “We want that blue trophy,” she said. “These girls have worked hard for it. We have one more game to go, and we got to keep this going.” Gallup will get a rematch with Lovington as the Wildcats outlasted top-seeded Artesia by a 17-15 count in an elimination game. The championship game is set for 3 p.m. at the University of New Mexico softball field in Albuquerque. An “if necessary” game will be scheduled later on Saturday should Gallup lose. The post Gallup punches ticket to 4A title game appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: Baseball]

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[l] at 5/13/22 1:32pm
RIO RANCHO, N.M. The Gallup softball team is one game away of reaching the Class 4A state title game. The second-seeded Lady Bengals went 2-0 on Thursday to reach the state semifinals and they’ll play No. 4 seed Lovington at 9 a.m. this morning at Cleveland High in Rio Rancho. These girls are working hard and theyre putting everything into it and, you know, its definitely showing, Gallup coach Crystal Pablo said. Were taking it one game at a time and were here to win games. Thats our main priority. Navajo Times | Quentin JodieGallup leftfielder Chaylee Becenti had a two-out solo homer against the Silver Lady Colts in a Class 4A state playoff game. Becenti was recognized at the end of the game with the “G Chain” necklace. “We want to have fun off the field, and we just have to remember this is a business trip for us,” she added. “Our job is to win state. In other tournament action, the Piedra Vista Lady Panthers staved off elimination in the 5A softball bracket by outlasting No. 12 Roswell by a 2-0 count. The Panthers went 1-1, losing its only game to top seed Carlsbad by a 2-1 count. PV will play No. 7 Hobbs at 11 a.m. in another elimination game. Were one of the last six teams standing, so thats pretty dang good,” PV coach Kevin Werth said. In 2A baseball, No. 2 Rehoboth Christian held off No. 7 McCurdy by a 9-5 count in the quarterfinals. “We were hitting the ball, but our hits weren’t dropping,” Rehoboth coach Anthony Sanchez said. “We came around and we got aggressive with our base running. It took us awhile and, you know our emotions were high and it goes for me too. “We were amped up, pumped up and we came a little too high,” he added. “We weren’t hitting the ball like we’re accustomed to.” Rehoboth plays No. 3 seed Capitan at 1 p.m. at Rio Rancho High in the state semis. The state championship game is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday at the Santa Ana Star Field at UNM. Gallup Gallup opened the double-elimination tournament with a 14-1 win over district rival Aztec that went five innings and in the next round they posted a 10-3 win over No. 3 Silver on Thursday. The winner of today’s semifinals will advance into tomorrow’s championship game at 3 p.m. at the University of New Mexico softball field in Albuquerque. The loser of this morning’s game will have to await the survivor of today’s elimination game to make the finals. That game is slated for 3 p.m. later this afternoon. In the Aztec game, Gallup finished with 15 hits with designated hitter Alexis Tsosie-Hood leading the Bengals with four hits. Senior second baseman Breanna Becenti and senior shortstop Katherine Lincoln added three hits each. In the pitching circle, sophomore ace Seniah “SJ” Haines gave up one earned run on three hits while striking out six batters in four innings of work. Lincoln pitched one inning and allowed one hit. In the late game, Silver plated two runs in the third to take a 2-1 lead. Gallup got that run back on a two-out solo home run from leftfielder Chaylee Becenti in the fourth that tied the contest. We made a few errors and that scored Silver and we just lost all of our momentum, Becenti said. We had two outs and I just told myself that I need to redeem myself. I needed to be there for my team, and I just put the bat on the ball, and it went over. Gallup went back to work in the next inning as they plated six runs for an 8-2 cushion. We just keep reminding the girls that it only takes one, Pablo said. It could take one base hit to get the girls going. We just got base hits through the infield in that inning, and with their outfielders playing deep we took advantage of that. Gallup finished with 13 hits with three coming from centerfielder Taylor Morgan who added four RBIs. Piedra Vista The Panthers got a 16 strikeout effort from Emma Lovato to stay alive. The junior righthander gave up three hits in seven innings of work to keep the Roswell team off balance. When you’re on the mound you just have to focus, Lovato said. You have to focus on one batter at a time and just get through it. A couple of times though, the Lady Coyotes had to make the PV pitcher work. Ill be honest, I got a little nervous because that one girl kept fouling and fouling and fouling and I was like, Oh my gosh,” she said of Roswell’s Sarai Morales, who saw 12 pitches from Lovato in bottom of the sixth. “For each pitch all I thought this is going to be my best pitch here,” the PV junior said. After battling and battling I finally won. I had to keep my mentality strong.” Werth said his pupil pitched a great game. He also praised the bottom half of his lineup as senior Akaysia Grogan and Reagan Werth came up with a pair of singles in the fourth for the game’s only scores. “They hit up the middle and they scored those two runs,” he said. “That was huge for us because obviously that was all we got. I told the girls that at this point in time, it doesnt matter how it looks or how we do it,” he said. “If you score one more run than the other team youre moving on and thats what we did. Rehoboth The Lynx put the game out of reach by plating five runs in the sixth for a 9-2 cushion before holding off McCurdy. In that inning, Rehoboth capitalized on three errors by the Bobcats by scoring four unearned runs. The Lynx came up with five hits with senior Mateo Chapman went 2-for-3 at the plate. “Mateo played a great game,” Sanchez said. “He had a great game at centerfield, on the mound and at the plate. He did a great job, and he got the ball rolling with a double into the centerfield gap. “It just got us going,” he added. “He came in and did his job.” Chapman pitched three innings and came in as relief as Rehoboth senior Tyler Keedah got the start and pitched three innings. Keedah gave up two runs on two hits while striking out five batters while senior Talon West closed out the game. “In this tournament, you have to watch their pitch count, so that you can use them the next day and possibly for the state championship game,” Sanchez said of utilizing three pitchers. As for Capitan, the Rehoboth coach said the Tigers are going to be a tough team to beat. “Our pitching has to be on point,” he said. “It’s going to come down to who does the little thing and gets their team ahead and I think it’s going to be a good game.” The post Lady Bengals one game away from state final appeared first on Navajo Times.

[Category: Baseball]

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