A Letter From the Publisher,  October 13, 2016


A contentious election. A troubled country. A population concerned with everything from jobs to disaster recovery to water and energy resources. In a campaign year, it’s difficult to look beyond divisive rhetoric. It’s challenging to imagine how exactly our communities, nations and global alliances will resolve differences and confront problems of historic proportions.

While the above description accurately describes the condition of the United States today, it also applies to the situation in Navajo last year. One year after a fraught election, ICTMN examines the post-campaign direction and leadership of this Native nation with Vice President Jonathan Nez. In a wide-ranging interview this week, Nez addresses just where things stand on such crucial issues as the Bennett Freeze, the Nation’s lawsuit against the EPA over the Gold King Mine Spill, and the problems his citizens face from outside law enforcement. Anyone living in Navajo or reading this feature will understand that working for positive change is a slow, careful process for leadership and, most important, for the everyday people who are the only ones who can make it truly happen.

Most people want to work hard, lead their lives, and look to a brighter future. Even so, it’s become increasingly clear (in the face of massive hurricane flooding and the degradation of our air, land and water) that major policy decisions need to be set on a grand scale. When prospective leaders get lost in negative attacks and personal diversions, we miss opportunities to develop plans for a sustainable future. The technologies to do so exist all around us; Native communities are in possession of some that are eons old (controlled grass and scrub burns, anyone?).

We just have to remember that leaders are chosen, and that everyone has the power in them to stand up and do what’s right.

NΛ ki’ wa,


Ray Halbritter

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