"A proposal to downsize the Navajo Nation's tribal council
from 88 delegates to 24 may sound good on the surface when it comes to talk of saving money and implementing government reform, but there are great dangers that Navajo voters should consider.
Among the greatest is the loss of representation.
One of the things missing most in Navajo government is the voice of the people. Electing their own delegates from various and remote townships or chapter houses is the one voice many Navajo tribal members have when this legislative branch of their government meets in Window Rock.
Ideally, locally elected representatives do just that: represent. A good one will do so with the best interests of his or her people in mind when going before the council.
Cutting this much of the people's voice out is a dangerous and risky thing. It can consolidate power to a select few and limit the voice of the average Navajo citizen.
Is reform needed?
Yes, reform is needed in a big way within Navajo government. And perhaps the 88 council delegates are the biggest problem. They spend and spend on what many see as frivolous, personal expenditures — such as one bill of $50,000 for vanity rings, and much more in travel to places such as Hawaii and Las Vegas — while Navajo children attend cold schools during winter and many Navajo families are living without electricity or running water.
Any government can be corrupted by selfish intent. The Navajo council proves it is no different and should be ashamed."
Get the Story:
Editorial: Navajo should carefully consider delegate proposal
(The Farmington Daily Times 6/16)
Attorneys to face off
on Council reduction
(The Gallup Independent 6/14)
Navajo president pushes for government reform