Law | Politics

Appeal filed over Navajo language ability of presidential hopeful

Chris Deschene, far left, with his supporters. Photo from Facebook

The Navajo Nation Supreme Court is being asked to hear a dispute over the Navajo language proficiency of a presidential candidate.

Several people have filed grievances with the Navajo Office of Hearings and Appeals, saying Chris Deschene should not able to run for president of the Navajo Nation because he is not fluent in the Navajo language.

The grievances have been dismissed but Dale E. Tsosie, a former presidential candidate, has filed a timely appeal with the tribe's highest court. He intends to argue that Deschene's qualification have never been fully considered.

Deschene, 43, speaks the language in advertisements and uses it when he talks to elders. But he acknowledges he isn't as fluent as he'd like to be.

Deschene is running against Joe Shirley Jr., a former president who speaks Navajo fluently.

Get the Story:
Appeal about dismissed election grievance filed in Navajo Nation Supreme Cou (The Farmington Daily Times 9/17)
Navajo Office of Hearings and Appeals dismisses two more grievances (The Farmington Daily Times 9/16)

Related Stories:
Navajo Nation presidential candidate a target over fluency issue (09/11)
Navajo voters oust incumbent president Ben Shelly in primary (08/27)

Join the Conversation