Navajo Nation Council confirms new Standing Committee membership

L-R 24th Navajo Nation Council Speaker Damon and Delegate Freeland. The Council voted to confirm the new standing committee membership in a Special Session. (Photo: 24th Navajo Nation Council - Office of the Speaker)

Voters made a recommendation for change, says Speaker Damon, urging the need to balance new and returning representation

News Release

24th Navajo Nation Council - Office of the Speaker

The 24th Navajo Nation Council voted to confirm the new standing committee membership in a Special Session.

Legislation 0016-19 confirms the appointments of 24th Navajo Nation Council Speaker Seth Damon (Bááháálí, Chichiltah, Manuelito, Tsé Lichíí’, Rock Springs, Tsayatoh) to the Budget and Finance Committee; Health, Education and Human Services Committee; Resources and Development Committee; and the Law and Order Committee. Council Delegate Mark Freeland (Becenti, Crownpoint, Huerfano, Lake Valley, Nageezi, Nahodishgish, Tse’ii’ahí, Whiterock) co-sponsored the legislation.

By Navajo Nation law, each committee must have representation from each Navajo Nation agency (2 N.N.C. § 110 (A). 2 N.N.C. § 181.). Additionally, Navajo Nation law mandates the number of members of each committee.

First, the legislation was considered by the Naabik’íyáti’ Committee. Council Delegate Daniel Tso (Baca/Prewitt, Casamero Lake, Counselor, Littlewater, Ojo Encino, Pueblo Pintado, Torreon, Whitehorse Lake) offered a successful amendment to explain to the Navajo people that all current Council Delegates are members of the Naabik’íyáti’ Committee. Later, Council Delegate Eugenia Charles-Newton (Shiprock) motioned to table the legislation, which was successful in a 13-10 vote. According to the standing rules of the Navajo Nation Council, tabled legislation from the Naabik’íyáti’ Committee are referred to the full council when tabled.

Council Delegate Rickie Nez (Nenahnezad, Newcomb, San Juan, T’iis Tsoh Sikaad, Tse’Daa’Kaan, Upper Fruitland) expressed his enthusiasm to start his term representing Northern Agency on the Resources and Development Committee: “I’m glad to start working together with my colleagues on the Council for the benefit of the Navajo Nation. That’s what we’re here for – being public servants.”

Speaker Damon emphasized the need to balance new and returning representation on the standing committees. “The voters did make a recommendation for change,” said Speaker Damon in his presentation.

After the legislation passed, Speaker Damon stated, “I look forward to the committees getting to work. The standing committees are an essential component of Navajo Nation governance, and with new membership, the committees will bring forth positive change for the great Navajo Nation.”

Committee Assignments

Budget and Finance Committee – six members (2 N.N.C. §§ 300 (A) – (B)):

  • Amber Kanazbah Crotty (Beclabito, Cove, Gadi’i’áhi/To’Koi, Red Valley, Tooh Haltsooi, Toadlena/Two Grey Hills, Tsé ałnáoz’t’I’í)
  • Jamie Henio (Alamo, Ramah, Tóhajiilee)
  • Elmer P. Begay (Dilkon, Greasewood Springs, Indian Wells, Teesto, Whitecone)
  • Jimmy Yellowhair (Black Mesa, Forest Lake, Hardrock, Pinõn, Whippoorwill)
  • Nathaniel Brown (Chilchinbeto, Dennehotso, Kayenta)
  • Raymond Smith, Jr. (Houck, Klagetoh, Nahat’a Dziil, Tsé Si’áni, Wide Ruins)

Health, Education and Human Services Committee – six members (2 N.N.C. §§ 400 (A) – (B)):

  • Charlaine Tso (Mexican Water, Aneth, Teecnospos, Tółikan, Red Mesa)
  • Daniel Tso (Baca/Prewitt, Casamero Lake, Counselor, Littlewater, Ojo Encino, Pueblo Pintado, Torreon, Whitehorse Lake)
  • Pernell Halona (Coyote Canyon, Mexican Springs, Naschitti, Tohatchi, Bahastl’a’a’)
  • Edison J. Wauneka (Oak Springs, St. Michaels)
  • Nelson BeGaye (Lukachukai, Rock Point, Round Rock, Tsaile/Wheatfields, Tsé Ch’izhí)
  • Paul Begay (Bodaway/Gap, Coppermine, K’ai’bii’tó, LeChee, Tonalea)

Resources and Development Committee – six members (2 N.N.C. §§ 500 (A) – (B)):

  • Rickie Nez (Nenahnezad, Newcomb, San Juan, T’iis Tsoh Sikaad, Tse’Daa’Kaan, Upper Fruitland)
  • Mark Freeland (Becenti, Crownpoint, Huerfano, Lake Valley, Nageezi, Nahodishgish, Tse’ii’ahí, Whiterock)
  • Wilson Stewart (Crystal, Fort Defiance, Red Lake, Sawmill)
  • Kee Allen Begay (Low Mountain, Many Farms, Nazlini, Blue Gap/Tachee, Tselani/Cottonwood)
  • Thomas Walker, Jr. (Cameron, Coalmine Canyon, Leupp, Tolani Lake, Tsidi Tó’ii)
  • Herman Daniels, Jr. (Shonto, Naa’tsis’áán, Oljato, Ts’áh Bii Kin)

Law and Order Committee – five members (2 N.N.C. §§ 600 (A) – (B)):

  • Eugenia Charles-Newton (Shiprock)
  • Edmund Yazzie (Churchrock, Iyanbito, Mariano Lake, Pinedale, Smith Lake, Thoreau)
  • Vince James (Jeddito, Cornfields, Ganado, Kin Dah Łichíí, Steamboat)
  • Eugene Tso (Chinle)
  • Otto Tso (Tó Nanees Dizí)

For news on the latest legislative branch activities, please visit www.navajonationcouncil.org or find us on Facebook and Twitter, keywords: Navajo Nation Council

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