Indianz.Com > News > Navajo Nation leader apologizes for off-reservation incident
Seth Damon
Seth Damon, Speaker of the Navajo Nation Council, welcomes tribal lawmakers to Window Rock, Arizona, for the start of the 2022 Summer Session in July. Photo: Navajo Nation Council
Navajo Nation leader apologizes for off-reservation incident
Thursday, October 27, 2022

A leader of the Navajo Nation is apologizing for an incident that took place off the reservation — though he isn’t detailing exactly what he’s sorry for.

Seth Damon, the highest-ranking official on the Navajo Nation Council, said an “unauthorized photo” was taken of him while he was attending the Indian National Finals Rodeo (INFR) in Las Vegas, Nevada, last week. But he didn’t disclose the contents of the image in a statement on Thursday evening.

“Our leaders should be held accountable and I accept responsibility for this incident,” Damon, who serves as Speaker of the tribe’s legislative body. “I made a mistake as an elected leader and it will not happen again,”

“As a father and grandfather, I learned the importance of truth and acknowledging wrongdoing,” Damon said. “I send my apologies to the Navajo people and the communities I represent for any ill-will or embarrassment this photograph caused.”

Seth Damon Statement - October 27, 2022
An October 27, 2022, statement from Seth Damon, the Speaker of the Navajo Nation Council.

According to Damon, the off-reservation trip he took with his family was not funded by the tribe. He said he went to Nevada to support Navajo athletes who were competing in the rodeo, which took place October 18-22 at the South Point Equestrian Center in Las Vegas.

During the excursion, Damon was apparently photographed at one of the casinos in the city. An image circulating on social media appears to show him in a state of incontinence while seated at a gaming machine.

“In the coming days, I will be working with the 24th Navajo Nation Council to further discuss corrective actions in the best interest of the Navajo Nation to begin the healing of our Nation and myself,” Damon said in his statement.

“It is with sincerity that I send prayers to the Holy People and our Creator to always protect our people and for the Navajo Nation to remain strong,” he concluded.

According to an October 25 news release from the INFR, six of the 10 rodeo final winners hail from the Navajo Nation.