State of the Navajo Nation Address from President Ben Shelly
During his State of the Navajo Nation Address on the opening day of the 22nd Navajo Nation Council Fall Session on October 17, Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly addressed many topics including domestic violence, economic development, tribal IDs and more.
He mentioned the Violence Against Women Act that is going through Congress in Washington D.C. and mentioned his reaffirmation for the Act.
“Only together and through our leadership can we put an end to this sad problem on the Navajo Nation,” he said.
In his statements on economic development and prosperity for the Navajo Nation, Shelly addresses the old way the tribal business council handled things.
“The new Navajo Chambers of Commerce is rebuilding the Navajo Business Opportunity Act to eliminate bureaucracy. That act is old and failed to respond to our growing business community and fortunately being neglected,” he said.
Shelly addressed his testimony last month to protect the San Francisco Peaks and how a blind eye was turned upon his concerns from the United States government. He continued to say the Nation would take every available action and sacrifice to protect what is the Nation’s.
“We must act always for the best interest for our futures,” he said.
One of the highlights of his speech was the news of the Navajo Nation tribal ID card that will be available on November 11, 2011. Shelly said the date was chosen to honor the tribe’s veterans on Veteran’s Day. The ID cards will be able to be used in government buildings and crossing the borders into Canada and Mexico.
Shelly also had to share some troubling news about the Nation’s Head Start program. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Service said the Nation’s program has overspent. He assured that the Nation is working to fix Head Start and that the process is already underway.
Shelly wrapped up his address talking about redistricting of the Nation for voting rights, along with his hope to continue working together with state and federal governments when it comes to tribal issues, and the tribe’s renewable energy capabilities.
“We can do so much together in building a great economy, as we work together in reducing government bureaucracy, which has stopped at growth. We have much work to do on behalf of the executive branch and the many who work hard every day, I pledge my commitment,” Shelly said in closing.