Navajo Nation Delegates met with New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez on February 3 to discuss its working relationships. Pictured, from left are, President Ben Shelly, First Lady Martha Shelly, Gov. Martinez, Council Delegate LoRenzo Bates, Council Delegate Mel Begay and Council Delegate Edmund Yazzie.

Navajo Nation Talks Redistricting, Law Enforcement and Gaming Compact With NM Gov. Martinez


On February 3, Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly and members of the Navajo Nation council met with New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez for a discussion on redistricting plans, where the Nation let Martinez know she has its support.

“The Navajo Nation is pleased with the trial court’s decision in the New Mexico House of Representatives redistricting trial; we believe the outcome is a fair and lawful map that appropriately addresses voting rights issues raised by the Navajo Nation during the trial. As such, the Navajo Nation requests that the New Mexico Supreme Court affirm the trial court’s decision in the House of Representatives appeal that is currently before it,” said President Shelly.

In a meeting of almost an hour, Shelly and Nation members LoRenzo Bates, Mel Begay, Edmond Yazzie, and former Vice Chairman Frank E. Paul, shared the areas of importance to the Nation and asked the Governor for continued support of the Navajo Gallup Supply Water Project.

“Please work with us to make this project a reality,” the President said.

Among other topics of discussion was, the need for more law enforcement, a constant topic of concern between both governments, along Highway 550, and the Tribal Infrastructure Fund.

Gov. Martinez has stood by the TIF while other New Mexico lawmakers have pushed for the Fund to be cut in half.

“We need to grow jobs,” Gov. Martinez said.

Bates also informed Martinez during the meeting that the Navajo Nation was ready to negotiate a gaming compact with New Mexico and said, “If you call us tomorrow and tell us to come up, we will be ready.”

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