Wááshindoon Weekly

July 17, 2023

Executive Director's Corner


This past week was a particularly active one for the Navajo Nation Washington Office, as we strive to represent our community's needs and priorities at the national level. Our President, Dr. Nygren, took center stage and demonstrated leadership on our behalf in two influential congressional committees.

In the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, President Nygren testified on the vital Navajo Gallup Water Supply Project. This project's importance cannot be overstated as it seeks to address significant water supply challenges faced by our community. The President's testimony provided a crucial opportunity to highlight the project's ongoing needs and to ensure that our Nation's water security remains at the forefront of legislative discussions.

Subsequently, President Nygren represented Navajo interests before the House Natural Resources Committee Subcommittee on Energy and Minerals. The focus of this hearing was on the recent secretarial order establishing a 10 mile buffer zone around Chaco Canyon despite the Nations strong objections. President Nygren emphasized the need for robust and meaningful consultation underscoring the importance of respectful and understanding for tribal sovereignty. Furthermore the President agrees with protecting sacred sites but by doing so in a balanced manner that would not affect the interest of Navajo allotment owners who depend on the income from oil and gas royalties. 

In addition to these congressional engagements, the Navajo Nation Washington Office was delighted to host a Meet and Greet reception. This event served to strengthen our relationships with our federal partners. It provided a platform for our partners to interact directly with our staff and begin dialogues on the priorities laid out by President Nygren and the 25th Navajo Nation Council. We believe that such interactions are key to securing understanding and cooperation from our federal partners.

As we look ahead to the coming week, our attention turns to the crucial issue of supporting our post-1971 uranium miners. We are planning engagements up on Capitol Hill regarding the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act. Our aim is to advocate for the rights and welfare of those in our community who have been impacted by uranium mining, affirming that their experiences and sacrifices are acknowledged and addressed.

The Navajo Nation Washington Office is committed to promoting the needs and aspirations of our community at every level of government. We will continue to forge ahead, advocating for our people's rights, resources, and cultural heritage. We are grateful for the support of our community and our federal partners as we navigate these significant issues. We will continue to provide updates on our efforts and progress in these areas.


Weekly Updates

Photo Source: NNWO

President Buu Nygren Testifies on Two Legislation Regarding Water Extension Funding and Chaco Canyon

Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren provided testimony in support of two congressional bills: S. 1898, the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project Amendments Act of 2023; and H.R. 4374, Energy Opportunities for All Act.

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New ARTIST Act Would Extend the Indian Arts and Crafts Act, Increasing Protections for Nativve Creators

Native artists and designs receive protections through the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 (IACA). The IACA prohibits marketing non-Native art and design as Native produced, protecting Native American creators from having their art replicated and sold by non-Native people representing themselves as Native American. However, many feel it does not provide enough protection. 

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Indigenous School of Medicine and Health Services

Three prominent and formidable advocates are stepping forward to address a need within Indian County: building the first school of medicine and health services centered around Indigenous knowledge. Indian Country Today wrote in their recent article, Indigenous Doctors Set on Developing Medical School, about Donald Warne (Oglala Lakota); Allison Kelliher (Koyukon Anthabascan); and Jonathan Baines joining together to advance Indigenous knowledge and Indigenous professionals in the medical field.

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Additional News and Updates

Federal Register

Presidential Declaration of a Major Disaster for Public Assistance Only for the Navajo Nation

This is a Notice of the Presidential declaration of a major disaster for Public Assistance Only for the Navajo Nation (FEMA–4703–DR), dated 04/11/202.

More Information

Tax Status of Tribally Chartered Corporations

The U.S. Department of the Treasury is hosting a Tribal Consultation on the tax status of Tribally chartered corporations. The consultations will be held Wednesday, June 21, 2023, and Thursday, June 22, 2023, from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. 

Comment Deadline: August 18, 2023

More Information

Upcoming Events

National Tribal Opioid Summit

August 22-24, 2023

The Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NPAIHB) will host the National Tribal Opioid Summit at Tulalip Washington from August 22-24, 2023, to address the intersection of Covid 19 and the opioid crisis throughout our communities.

More Information

National Transportation in Indian Country

September 24-28, 2023

The National Transportation in Indian Country Conference (NTICC) is the one-stop-shop transportation conference for tribes, by tribes. NTICC offers access to relevant training and an opportunity for Tribal transportation professionals to engage with federal officials and their Tribal transportation peers regarding Tribal transportation issues and challenges.  

More Information

For more information regarding topics provided in the newsletter, please contact NNWO at [email protected].

Navajo Nation Washington Office | www.nnwo.org

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